New dot uk Domains Are Here: Register Yours Today

We reported on the new dot uk domains coming in the Summer of 2014.

Well, the new domains are now here and ready for registration.

Nominet explained the domain was launched to give UK sites a shorter, snapper domain, to rival dot com.  Cynics will think otherwise, but in my opinion, it should have been done a long time ago, and it will now only cause cause confusion amongst the general public.

Stephen Fry was one of the first to register his domain.

From today, new, short .uk web domains are available alongside .co.uk for the first time ever, with British icon and tech enthusiast Stephen Fry the first person to make the switch.

If you’re confused about these new domains, Nominet have a web site which explains in considerable detail about your rights to existing domains, and when those rights started and will end.

If you’re uncertain, give us a call and we’ll help you through the maze of possibilities and rights.

Posted in Business, Domains, Topical Tips

E.U. Legislation: Post-Sale Call Charges, and Pre-Selected Web Forms Now Banned From June 13, 2014

This June will see the the introduction in the E.U. of legislation where business will have to provide consumers with a post-sale customer services with a basic-rate telephone number. No longer will business be allowed to charge consumers on premium or above standard call lines for post-sales service.

This has to be a good thing for consumers.

For business, some are suggesting they’ve been caught out by this legislation. It appears it was originally proposed as far back as 2008, and reached the form of an E.U. Directive in 2011, so it’s not new.  I can only guess business wasn’t paying attention.

One other thing that caught my eye was the web forms with pre-selected opt-ins are now banned.

Here’s the link to the regulations.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

 

Posted in Business, Topical Tips

Major Internet security flaw: Heartbleed bug

You may, or may not have read or heard about this Heartbleed bug, but if you haven’t, you ought to be aware. If you have, what do you do about it?

Heartbleed bug

Heartbleed bug

Firstly, the Heartbleed bug affects SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer encryption and the sites using it. This bug is a problem when a user exchanges passwords between the SSL server and their computer. The bug can eavesdrop and extract user information, compromising their account.

Nobody actually knows how many sites have been compromised, but now that it’s commonly known, it’s likely the crooks will be working hard to extract as much data as possible.

Changing your password will help, but only if the site has updated its security.

How do you know if the site is vulnerable? There’s a useful checking tool online where you can enter the domain of the site you wish to use to check for Heartbleed bug vulnerability.

Here’s the link to check a site for Heartbleed bug vulnerability.

Obviously, with a major bug such as this it’s wise for the sites to be updates as soon as possible. Once they’ve been updated, it’s recommended you change your passwords.

Here’s more on the Heartbleed bug.

 

 

 

Posted in Business

Understanding Facebook Likes

Facebook became a social media marketers dream when it built its huge audience potential.

As marketers, we could add stories to the news feed, and we could gain exposure to our audience. We’d create fan pages, then groups, and pages for businesses, and we’d be looking for opportunities for “likes.” The more likes you got the better the exposure for your brand or business.

Then folks soon started gaming the system with click farms. That made it even easier to get “likes.” Where it starts to go wrong, of course, is when the likes come from non-relevant users, and those being people that just “like” everything in sight. They are not engaged. Facebook’s algorithm works on those likes sharing. But if you’ve got a whole bunch of fake likes that won’t share and engage, it’s going to skew your opportunities for your post to appear in the real followers’ timelines. Facebook’s solution was to make it against their terms to use systems of click farms. Even without the click farms, it was relatively easy, right! Yes, it was easy, and it worked pretty well, until, along came the IPO.

Over time, Facebook has been slowly pushing the marketers towards its advertising solutions, and the news feed now rarely displays updates from the pages. Yet, look again and the news feed has sponsored posts alongside the traditional advertising on the right hand side. Yes, you have to pay to get into the news feed.

According to one company it’s been a terrific ride, but they’ve decided unilaterally to pull out from their effort to feed Facebook with posts, whether paid or through the organic news feed. It seems they’ve felt that the goalposts have moved and, despite buying advertising from Facebook, the business didn’t see “likes” and engagement from the target audience.

One business pulling out is not going to make any real difference to Facebook.

It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook continues to develop the news feed, and whether they will crack down further on fake likes, or if this disgruntlement becomes a trend.

In the meantime, we still cannot ignore feeding Facebook with posts, until it changes again.

If you want to know more about this topic, or want to use social media to help market your business, contact Marshall Jennings.

Posted in Business, Social Media

New dot UK (.uk) Domains Launch 10 June, 2014

NominetThere’s a revolution occurring in the UK domain names, and it’s the biggest change since the UK domains became available. Nominet announced that new dot UK domain would be available from 10 June 2014.

I’m certain there will be some confusion over this, and that’s why I compiled this document to help clarify what it’s all about.

What is the dot uk? Instead of a .co.uk you can now own a .uk domain. The old domains won’t be going away, and this new introduction will launch from 10 June.

Why is it being introduced? With the dot com being one of the most popular domains, it was felt that the UK ought to have a shorter, snappier domain option. Although, the cynics amongst us believe it’ll be another way to raise more money.

How do I get a new dot uk domain name? It’s relatively straightforward, and your domain registration advisors will be able to help to establish eligibility. However, this domain series is going to be launched in a different way to many other domain introductions.

In simple terms, if you already have a UK domain your new dot uk domain will be automatically registered for you. So if you have a unique. co.uk, a .org.uk,  .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or .ltd.uk the shorter .uk will be reserved for you for free up until 10 June 2019, with the proviso that the domain remains registered. If you choose not to register the reserved domain, it will become available for anyone to register from 10 June 2019.

I can see there might be some disputes coming, especially if you own the .co.uk and someone else owns the .org.uk as there will only be one with the rights to the domain.

If the domain is not registered, you can register your new .uk domain name from 10 June 2014.

If you’d like to find out your rights to the new domain, contact your domain advisor, your domain registrar, or Marshall Jennings.

Neil Marshall

Posted in Business, Domains

UK Manufacturing Up In February 2014

According to The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), UK manufacturing grew much faster than anticipated, and has to be great news for business and for jobs.

Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI ® (50 = no change)

This performance will help the UK recovery, and gives greater confidence to business, especially if the trend of the past eleven months is to remain sustained.

The report also indicates that exports slowed, in part due to the

strengthening Pound.

Here’s a link to the release (PDF)

 

Posted in Business

Your Email Is Under Constant Attack

There’s always a good time to remind us all to be vigilant against the threat of a computer virus getting onto your machine, and worse still, if it starts to do its evil work.

I’m sure you are vigilant, but please remind all that you know to watch out for the latest trends in attacks on your computer.

Some of the latest trends the crooks are using include:-

  • Sending an invoice so that it looks as if it’s coming from a company you know. Needless to say, the attachment is not an invoice, it’s a Trojan.
  • E-mails supposedly with pictures of you, or celebrities, describing you or them caught in compromising or seductive poses. Again, the attachment is evil. Do not even look at the attachment.
  • Messages from DHL or delivery companies suggesting they tried to deliver a parcel. It’s fake. Again, the delivery note attached to the e-mail contains a Trojan.
  • Messages from a bank, or any business, asking you to log on to reactivate your account. The link the crooks send is not to the bank, but it really looks legitimate. As soon as you log on the crooks have your bank of registration details. With every one they trick into completing the form, the crooks are laughing all the way to the bank!
  • What’s App, or Skype voicemail messages. You guessed it, they are not legitimate e-mails. The attachment will compromise your computer.
  • You may also get emails titled, Hey, and Hello, which simply consist of a link. These links are poisoned and will deliver a nasty payload to your machine.

The crooks are getting so sophisticated and spend a great deal of time making the e-mail look legitimate that it really looks as if it’s a genuine e-mail. Another trick is for the crooks to let the trojan sit on your computer until it is accidentally activated. Why would it get accidentally activated? It is saved with a name that looks enticing, such as “holiday” or the name of a celebrity.

These messages are sent using e-mail spoofing, and few are actually from the real sender, such as DHL or your bank.

I’m sure you have antivirus and antispyware programs installed, but those programs are only reactive to the threats when they scan, and when a threat is discovered in the wild. Your best plan of action is vigilance, and to delete the message as soon as possible, especially before you back up your computer. If you run a backup before deleting, the backup programme just makes a copy of the message and stores it for another time.

We’ve compiled a useful toolkit of anti-spam and anti-spyware tools, along with some tools to help sort e-mail before it gets onto your computer. If you’d lik to know more, just let us know.

Don’t get caught out, and I hope you find this is a useful reminder.

Posted in Topical Tips