January 2008 News

In this issue of WebWidgets News, January 2008... 

  • Beware Paypal Email Phishing Scams or any email asking you to login via a link from an email.
  • Dual screens are easy on most computers and increase productivity
  • Website management and maintenance tips
  • Website of the Month 

Beware new email scams involving Paypal Security Center

Even we were almost convinced of a recent phishing attack, purporting to be from Paypal. The email looked exactly like other emails we had received from Paypal Security Center, informing me a recent payment was reversed and asking me to login with the link provided. However, by habit I always login to any website by typing the known web address into the browser address bar. It wasn't until after I had checked through my Paypal account that I discovered the email was a fraud. I never even suspected it before logging in, but I was saved because of my best practise habit of always typing the web address into the browser address bar.

We realise that we also occasionally send emails to our members with links to our login page. However when we do this, we provide your username and password at the same time, so you can be pretty sure those emails are from us. A phishing scam would never know your password.  That's why they ask you to login but provide no login details. You should never trust an email just because it looks normal, or never trust any links within the email just because the destination website looks normal. You can normally find the URL behind an email link in the status bar. Always check this before continuing. Or if you did click the link in the email, have a quick look at the web address in the address bar. It should start with the known webaddress. Some scammers try to include the known webaddress in the middle of their webaddress, so always check the very start of the webaddress to be sure it is legitimate.

Dual screens increases your productivity

Dual screens enable you to work faster and smarter by having your email and calendar on one screen, while using web widgets or office applications on the other. One screen becomes your reference screen, the other your work screen. But how can you afford this without buying an expensive new computer?  Easily, due to the fact that many computers up to three years old support dual screens, and LCD monitors are getting cheaper by the day.

Most notebook computers also have an external monitor port, where you can plug in an inexpensive 2nd lcd screen to increase your productivity. Just plug it in, and wait about 30 seconds for the computer to notice it. By default, it might show the same output at the notebook screen. To make your computer dual screen, close all windows so you can see your desktop. Right click then select "properties" or "personalize". Then select "display settings". You should see 2 screens there. Click on the second screen, then tick the option that says "extend the desktop onto this monitor". Then click OK.

To plug a 2nd screen into your desktop computer, you typically need to buy a small $5 DVI adapter plug. Look on the back of your computer next to where your 1st monitor plugs in. If you see a second plug right beside it, you know you can support a second screen, perhaps by using just a DVI adapter plug. This DVI port looks a bit different to your other monitor port. If there is not a second port, you can probably still support dual screens by purchasing a cheap AGP card. For less than $400 you should be able to purchase a second screen and get the AGP card installed at the same shop if needed. The AGP card may even improve the quality of your graphics and increase the resolutions capable.

Website management and maintenance tips

Implement these time-saving website management methods to allow for more time to enjoy the summer.

  • Check your website-related emails in bulk at set intervals throughout the day.
  • Allocate a set period of time per week for website maintenance - eg. an hour a week to review your site, check all links work, check stats, refine keyphrases update content and products.
  • Use bulk email to contact your customers directly to advise them of hours of business during the holiday season.
  • Batch your website maintenance tasks to save you time - eg. do all your product updating at one set time, all your content management at one set time, manage and deliver orders at one set time.

Website of the Month

The Cancer Society of NZ Taranaki Centre provides support services to people with cancer and their families, as well as cancer prevention programmes to the people of Taranaki. They also run a number of major fundraising events – including Relay For Life.  The website http://www.taranakicancersociety.org.nz/ acts as their main communication tool to their members and those who use their services.  It is used to publicise up coming events, to provide information on services, and also as a fundraising and marketing tool. 

Andy Gowland-Douglas is the centre manager of the Cancer Society of New Zealand Taranaki Centre Inc.  He explains; "We had an old website that we were not able to update as the ownership was with a web design company who had become dormant.   But we did not wish to take the site down without something to replace it. WebWidgets allowed us to take the ownership and control back - all for a very small hosting fee, and get the site back up super fast."

Andy chose WebWidgets because it was easy to use, is NZ owned and operated and offers one flat fee for the CMS and the hosting.

"Intially we were just going to go with a basic static site but the Web Widgets product had so much functionality and was so easy to implement that it was like being a kid in a candy shop- I did not quite know what I wanted to add next!  I found it easy to incorporate standard design elements, web banners to advertise various events and we love being able to upload photos or even videos immediately after our events as slide shows.  I am slowly trying out all the different functions and know that there is so much more we can do to develop this site.  We really want to get more interactive with online secure discussion forums for people with cancer- then geography is no barrier and if people can't make it to support groups they can still access some peer support.  They don't even have to be from Taranaki and could be from anywhere in the world.  I used to be embarrassed about our website and so never promoted it to anyone – but now we advertise it everywhere and have enjoyed all the positive feedback from the public and other centres within the Cancer Society."

Andy found it very useful to draw up a site plan - "so I knew all the content areas I wanted to include and the basics of what the content would be. The stats are also great – and are a great tool for tweaking the site.  You soon see which pages people find the most useful by the number of hits they get."

Check out http://www.taranakicancersociety.org.nz/ to find out more about the Cancer Society of NZ Taranaki Centre.


Best regards

Albie, Auvasa, Emma, Natasha, Phil and Reuben (The WebWidgets Team)

Posted: Mon 21 Jan 2008