Surfpoint Blog

Reliability, speed and security

Domain Name Renewal Scam

December 31, 2016

Surfpoint Web Solutions has been notified by some clients of an email based domain name renewal scam.

Scam Email

The email notification received by the registrant, claims that their domain is due for renewal listing the domain name of the registrant. Some emails mention that the registration expiry notice is for "Search Engine Submission" services. Obviously the recipients did not subscribe to this service in the first place, which means that the message merely appears as a "Domain Registration Renewal notice", aimed at fooling the recipient to pay it as a means of extending their domain registration.

We strongly advise customers to ignore these emails and always check WHOIS to confirm their domain registrar whenever they're unsure of the current domain name status.

If you are concerned about your WHOIS information listing your personal contact details, we recommend that you consider enabling Domain Privacy for your registrations. For full details on Domain Privacy click "here"

Mailboxes upgraded

July 20, 2016

Mailboxes

Good news - we're upgrading the mailbox size for standard email accounts from 400MB to 1GB from today.

At Surfpoint Web Solutions, we appreciate feedback from you, our customers, and use it as a guide to help us continue to meet all of your web hosting needs. We know that an increase in mailbox size is something you've wanted for a while, and it feels great to provide you with this.

You won't need to make any changes. The upgrade will happen automatically and will apply to both new and existing mailboxes.






Uk Domain price increase

January 31, 2016

Uk Domain Names

From the 1st March, Nominet, the registry for all .UK domain names, will be increasing their domain name prices by 50%. Therefore with much regret we will be updating our prices in line with Nominet’s industry standard.

Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, said in a statement:

The new pricing structure will standardise the price of all .UK domain names (including .CO.UK, .ME.UK and .ORG.UK) to around £6.99 a year, regardless of the length of registration period.

But what does this mean for you?

These domain price changes will not come into effect until renewals due 1st March 2016. This means you can take the opportunity to review your existing domain names and look into renewing early to take advantage of the current pricing scheme. With this in mind, you may also want to purchase any new domain names you’ve been considering now, at the current lower prices.

If you renew your domain names now, before the 27th February, you can lock in your domain name at its current yearly price for as many as 10 years.

We know that price increases are an inconvenience for our customers, and as such we are committed to ensuring that you will still receive the excellent service and value for money you are accustomed to.

Best Regards

Alan
(Surfpoint Web Solutions)

Protect your brand from shady sites

December 11, 2015

With the wide range of Top-Level Domains (TLDs) now available, it only stands to reason that some would be dominated by particularly shady customers. Creating scam sites, launching malware, spamming, and more, these sites can wreak havoc with customers' computers, and if it's your brand name attached to one of these sites, then it'll wreak havoc with your business as well.

The security firm Blue Coat just recently released a study where they studied the web requests from their 75 million users, seeing where their users went and what was on those sites. The report, "Do Not Enter" , lists the best and worst TLDs for "shady" websites, and suggests steps system administrators and IT professionals can take to avoid them.

Cover of the Do Not Enter report by Blue Coat

Blue Coat evaluated the websites their users went to, matching them to their list of "shady categories", which includes spam, potentially unwanted software, malware, botnets, phishing, and scammer sites.

The 10 safest TLDs were:

Rank TLD Percentage of Shady Sites
1 .mil 0.24%
2 .jobs 0.36%
3 .ck 0.52%
4 .church 0.96%
5 .gov 0.96%
6 .gi 1.26%
7 .tel 1.60%
8 .kw 1.61%
9 .london 1.85%
10 .jp 1.95%

Of course, many of these domain extensions have been limited by the registries as to who can purchase and use them, such as .mil and .gov, which were reserved for the US military and government, respectively. But it is interesting to see both .jobs and .london on the list.

The 10 worst TLDs were:

Rank TLD Percentage of Shady Sites
1 .zip 100%
2 .review 100%
3 .country 99.97%
4 .kim 99.74%
5 .cricket 99.57%
6 .science 99.35%
7 .work 98.20%
8 .party 98.07%
9 .gq 97.68%
10 .link 96.68%

With tens of thousands of websites already existing for these domain extensions, you run the risk of your brand name already being part of this network.

Warning page from Chrome

How can you protect yourself from being affiliated with a suspicious website?

You don't have to buy every domain name extension for your brand, but if your company focuses on a particular product or area, it might be wise to buy that extension. For example, if your business is a link between two communities, you'll want to make sure that the .link extension for your site isn't snatched up by a spammer.

You should also look at purchasing the domain name extensions that are listed as the "safest", as it is likely that attackers will focus on those in the future. .jobs would be a convenient way to direct potential employees to your job listings, and if you're based in London, a .london is a wise investment in general.

Of course, having that domain name will not protect you if your website isn't protected. Make certain that your content management system is always updated to the most recent version, that your passwords are secure, and that you keep your important data protected either through not being accessible on the web or only accessible through an SSL certificate.

Many suspicious websites only become so after being hacked, so keep up to date with the latest security patches and fixes - not just for your computer, but for your website and server as well.

Just remember that it's always easier to patch potential problems than it is to try and repair the damage after the fact. Make sure your brand is protected, and you can take comfort in knowing that you'll never appear in one of these reports.

By Lucy Knight

Five fresh free WordPress themes

December 10, 2015

Frost is appearing on the leaves, stores have had their Christmas displays for at least two months already, and distracting yourself with a WordPress theme is the best way to avoid the crush of holiday shoppers.

We've found five cool, clean, and crisp free themes that remind us of frosty air, snow-covered meadows, and that perfect stillness on a cold winter's night.

Exposition Lite

Screenshot of the Exposition Lite WordPress theme

http://themefurnace.com/exposition-lite-theme/

Perfect for long-form articles and full-page photographs, Exposition Lie is responsive to look great on tablets and phones as well as desktops, with plenty of whitespace to really make your words and images stand out.

Felynx Forest

Screenshot of the Felynx Forest WordPress theme

https://wordpress.org/themes/felynx-forest/

Green, austere, and beautiful, Felynx Forest gives you a responsive theme that gives you a gorgeous background matched with excellent whitespace, making it ideal for blogging and brochure sites.

Snowblind Pro

Screenshot of the Snowblind Pro WordPress theme

https://themes.bavotasan.com/themes/snowblind-pro/

Modern, professional, and crisp, Snowblind Pro has the classic blog style with stylish font choices, easy to read spacing, and unique flair to make your site stand out.

Franz Josef

Screenshot of the Franz Josef WordPress theme

http://www.graphene-theme.com/franz-josef/

Built for businesses and individuals equally, Franz Josef is a big, bold, and beautiful theme designed to be fully customisable. Created using the Bootstrap framework, Franz Josef is responsive and matches clarity with readability for ultimate style.

WinterDream

Screenshot of the WinterDream WordPress theme

http://www.tomastoman.cz/winterdream/

Minimal, responsive, and with crisp blues and whites, WinterDream isn't just ideal for a wintery blog, it's also built to be fully compatible with WooCommerce for stylish and beautiful e-commerce sites.

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