Telecom has started contacting select Xtra email users, as together with service provider Yahoo it applies the latest in a programme of security enhancements to the Xtra email platform.
The telco giant says an additional encryption setting called ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ (or ‘SSL’), will soon be the new standard default connection for all Yahoo Xtra mail accounts.
As a result, Telecom will be assisting users who access the service via a ‘third party’ email client, such as Microsoft Outlook for PCs or Android for mobiles, to update their settings.
SSL secures a user’s information and email messages making communications more private as they move between the user’s browser/device and Yahoo’s servers, to and from the destination.
This enhancement secures the email while helping prevent interception or the compromise of emails, which is especially important while on an open public WiFi connection (such as those available at cafes and airports).
Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin says that while Telecom is working hard to improve the service for dedicated Xtra email users, it’s important that customers take their online security as seriously as possible.
“Despite what has been a troublesome time with Yahoo Xtra, the majority of our users choose to retain their Xtra email address and many tell us that their email address is as much a part of their personal identity as their Facebook profile picture, phone number or home address,” he says.
“We’re continuing to look at what we can do to enhance Xtra mail so our users can have more confidence in the service to get on and do more online.
“That said, while we’ll do all that we can to keep customers protected via their email portal, these security updates will not prevent the ongoing circulation of spam.
“Nor will it prevent Kiwis from clicking suspicious links contained in emails which can perpetuate spammers’ activity. Together, we need to work to keep all of us safe online.”
The company warns that maintaining a secure online profile extends even further, and email users should be careful to regularly update account settings with a strong, difficult to predict password and refrain from using the same password for their online banking, their email and their Twitter account.
Emails containing suspicious links should be immediately deleted, even if they’re received from known and trusted contacts.
For more information on the SSL update, Xtra users can go to www.telecom.co.nz/ssl or for more helpful information for staying safe online is available at www.telecom.co.nz/techinasec or via Netsafe at www.netsafe.org.nz