Why you must upgrade your Joomla website

If your site uses Joomla version 1.5, 2.5 or an out dated version of 3.5 it is not fully secure.

It's a sad fact of life online that hackers continue to multiply like insects in summer.

In the six month period recently, 100,000 websites were compromised by one single spam attack.

hacker codeAny popular web software is at risk, for example the popular Wordpress is one of the most vulnerable.

What do they do ?

It varies but commonly includes any of the following:

  • Using your website to send out millions of spam emails.
  • Hosting fake bank 'phishing' web pages. These are designed to steal people's bank details.
  • Defacing your website - sometimes with offensive images.
  • Recruit your website to a botnet army. That is, it can be remotely used in a Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack.

Indeed, you may already have been hacked and be unaware of it.

What is the answer ?

As fast as the bad guys hack, the good guys patch. The trick is to stay right up to date with the latest software.

Upgrading Joomla

upgrade joomlaFrom Joomla 2.5 onwards, upgrading to the latest version of Joomla and also the latest versions of any installed components has been made very simple. Often a single-click upgrade is possible from your Administrator area.

Unfortunately, getting from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5 or 3.5 involves a fairly complicated migration.

If you are a confident Joomla user, you may like to just follow these step by step video instructions to migrate from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.

Typically a simple, non-ecommerce website with few additional components will be easier to migrate than a more hand-made site with lots of template and function extras.

A lot will depend on if your installed components and your template are available in Joomla 3 versions.

We are keen to help you upgrade at the best possible cost and we'll give you a fixed price quotation so you can decide what you'd like to do. Just Contact Us here.

So we stick with Joomla ?

The latest Joomla versions are very strong and with the simple upgrade process which now exists, we'd definately recommend you stick with Joomla.

You may decide to use this opportunity to revamp your site.

It's not impossible to recover from a hacking incident but it can be expensive and you may also be added to blacklists. That can really harm your business.

Please do the upgrades yourself, contact your local web developers or ask us to upgrade for you.

Whatever you decide, please don't ignore this.

Finally...

A lot of bad software (malware) finds it's way on to your website via your own computer. It is vitally important to keep your home antivirus and antimalware products right up to date and run them often.

The final piece of the puzzle is to ensure your website is hosted in a secure environment and that it's configuration is optimised for security. We offer a powerful forensic audit service to ensure your website is as protected from attack as possible, please ask us for details.

If you have any questions, or if you have been hacked, please contact us asap.

We will give you fair and genuine advice.

Paul Jenkins. AISweb.

 

 

Your website and emails in the age of hackers

The Risks

  • Your emails will be flagged as spam and not delivered.

  • Your website will be hacked, defaced and suspended until it is fixed.

  • Your website visitors will see a Warning instead of your website.

The Cause

  • Malicious Software (Malware) injected in to your website.

The Solutions

Details.

It is likely that if you have an insecure Joomla or Wordpress website you will be hacked soon.

The hacks fall in to two categories;

1. Defacement Attacks.

Often with an image and slogan connected with the political situation in the Middle-East.

2. Spamming Attacks.

Sometimes with fake bank (phishing) webpages being set up on your account.


We will probably know that you have been hacked before you do and your site will be immediately suspended  for everyone's protection.

You may notice a large volume of bounced-back undelivered emails (called backscatter). If you do, let us know asap as that often means your site has been hacked and is/was spamming.

What should you do now ?

  • Don't ignore the threat.

  • Log in to your Joomla administrator area and check that it is the latest version

  • You must consider migrating your site to Joomla Version 3. More details here
  • Check that if you have the JCE editor installed, it is the latest version

  • Find any other plug-ins, components or modules and ensure you have the latest versions. Uninstall any you no longer use.

  • Change passwords of all Administrator accounts on your website.

  • Change your cPanel (hosting ) password.

  • Delete any old versions of your website which may still exist in subfolders on your website. They are vulnerable too.


More help

If you are worried, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

The AISweb Team 2014 - 2017

 

 

 

 

Divestment Statement

divestmentday

Existing customers will notice that we no longer bank with the Commonwealth Bank.

We decided to divest our modest accounts; business, family and child, our home loan is soon to follow.

Our Super accounts have also been divested.

We chose the Bendigo Bank for our banking and Australian Ethical Super for our family's superannuation accounts. There are many other ethical companies you can choose.

The Commonwealth Bank, amongst others, is heavily engaged in fossil fuel activities which are damaging the Great Barrier Reef and contributing to Climate Change.

We cannot in all conscience continue to support them.

We encourage you to examine what your money is supporting, and perhaps consider divestment.

Paul Jenkins.

Owner, AISweb 

Further information: marketforces.org.au

 

All our Hosting Plans have been upgraded.

 
All our Australian Hosting Plans have been upgraded.We’re happy to announce all our Hosting Plans have been massively upgraded at no extra cost.

  • All plans have been upgraded to Unlimited Bandwidth !
 
Also please enjoy the following free upgrades:

  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Unlimited Subdomains
  • Unlimited Databases
  • Unlimited Parked Domains
  • Unlimited FTP Accounts

 

eCommerce and Jennifer Hawkins: why poor communication is not Lovable.

Not happy LovableHere at AISweb we’ve built many eCommerce/online shop websites for our customers and their success depends on reassuringly professional design, easy navigation and great marketing and SEO.

Recently however, we have had an experience which has reminded us that the best laid plans can come unstuck when one particular component fails.

The human component.

With 14 days to go until a family member’s birthday, we ordered and paid for a pair of pajamas from www.lovable.com.au – the official website of this Australian based company.

We received the usual auto email confirmation the same day, with the line:

Please allow up to 7 days for delivery within Australia

Well, the pj’s didn’t arrive and the birthday came and went.

I’ll spare you the details but needless to say several polite follow-up emails to lovable.com.au has to date* ( 6 weeks after placing the order ) failed to secure the goods.

There may be a genuine reason; they are out of stock ? they lost our order ? some clerical error ?

It should be noted that the pj’s in question are still for sale on the lovable website today.

The problem is, even though we have now secured a promise of a refund, there is still no explanation of what went wrong.

I will certainly be using lovable.com.au to illustrate to our customers this crucial principle of e-Business, that Communication is King.

Had we been informed of a supply problem and given the opportunity to choose another product from the lovable.com.au online shop, we would have cheerfully done so. Instead we are left disgruntled, out of pocket and pajama-less :-(

Perhaps Lovable spent all their budget on their sexy website and the lovely Jennifer Hawkins ?
Maybe there was nothing left in the kitty for staff training ?

There’s an awful sinking feeling when you have bought something online and it doesn’t arrive.
So, as eBusiness people we must ensure we don’t fall into the Lovable.com.au trap.

It’s not enough to have the slick sexy eCommerce website, if the systems fail you, you need to be prepared to engage on a human level.

In an increasingly wired world, reputation is everything.

———————————————————————-
* Update: Full refund has now been received.

How to set up Outlook to read your website emails

Here Paul Jenkins from AISweb answers the most frequently asked question with web site email.

In this example, we’ll be using Microsoft Outlook, but the settings will be similar whichever email software you use.
(We use and recommend Thunderbird from Mozilla)

1.
Open MS Outlook and click Tools/E-mail accounts. Click Add a new e-mail account and click Next>

2.
Choose POP3 and click Next>

3.
Now we are at the TRICKY page.

Carefully check your settings against these example ones, (replace 'yourdomain' with your actual domain name).


Your Incoming mail server (POP3) is mail.yourdomain.com, NOT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your Outgoing mail server (SMTP) is identical to your Incoming Mail Server, mail.yourdomain.com

Your User Name is your entire email address, not just your name.

Your Password is your email password for this email account.

4.
Finally click the More Settings… button and on the Advanced tab, ensure that Leave a copy of message on the server is NOT ticked.

5.
You will also see PORT NUMBERS on this page. They should be:  110 Incoming and 587 Outgoing*

6.
You are now ready to click Test Account Settings… you should get all ticks and then receive the test email.

 

* Note: You may be sending via your Internet Service Provider, e.g. Bigpond, Optus etc. In that case, your Outgoing Mail Server will be different, e.g. mail.bigpond.net and your Outgoing Port Number will be 25


 

Customers of AISweb are welcome to contact us for help.

Australian Government warns against using Internet Explorer

In a move to warm the hearts of people who work in the web industry, many governments around the World including the Australian Federal Government, have recently issued stern warnings against the use of any of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web-browsers.

It has long been a complaint from web-developers that the World’s most used browser, IE, in it’s various versions, is a substandard and potentially dangerous product.

The frustration for the IT community has been getting people to listen. “Who cares what a bunch of computer geeks say about IE ? It works ok for me.”

The fact is that even IE8 is one of the least standards-compliant browsers. The annoying part of that is websites which don’t display properly or give spurious ‘error on page’ messages. The serious side are the security holes which leave users open to possible abuse from cyber criminals.

Many people don’t realise that all the various browsers out there are completely free. It’s akin to being offered a brand-new 2010 Mercedes to replace your old, familiar but flawed Ford. Why wouldn’t you upgrade ?

Here is a sobering passage from the ABC news report today:

The Government is warning that people risk having their computers infiltrated and passwords stolen unless they install temporary fixes from Microsoft or use alternative browsers.

Here at AIS we prefer the Firefox browser, but Safari and Opera are also browsers we enjoy using.
We recommend trying a few and making your own decision about which one you’ll switch to.

Whichever browser you upgrade to, it is important to keep it up to date.

Link to full article: ABC News: Australian Government warns against using Internet Explorer web browsers Jan 20th 2010

 

Meet the team

  • Coreyna
    Coreyna Joomla guru, CSS savant, all round website virtuoso.
  • Andy
    Andy Database supremo, expert coder. 2D and 3D graphics wizard.
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn Financial and admin genius. Colour consultant extraordinaire.
  • Paul
    Paul Head Honcho. Programmer since the days before the internet.
  • Evyn
    Evyn Trainee coder, tester and suggester of great ideas.