Namecheap Blog

New Namecheap iOS App

Posted by Kate on 22nd September 2014

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You’re on the go, so you need to be able to handle business on the go. We get it. Our new iOS app provides the mobile freedom you crave: Use it to register domain names, manage settings, add funds to your account, even submit support tickets, all from your iPhone or iPad.

And for a limited time, you can register or transfer your .com domain for only $5.88 when you download the free Namecheap app. First, visit the Apple App Store and download it. Then, use the app to register or transfer your .com and enter coupon code NCIOS at checkout. Head to the app store now!

Dear FCC: Please Don’t Flush Away Net Neutrality

Posted by Kate on 2nd September 2014

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Here at Namecheap, we believe strongly in free and open Internet for all – and that’s why we think it’s vital to spread the word about net neutrality before it’s too late. Read on for more info!

What’s net neutrality?

Net neutrality is about equal treatment for all Internet users. It’s the idea that everyone should have equal access to all content on the Internet. We believe that Internet service providers should not be allowed to discriminate when it comes to content delivery.

Who’s this FCC?

The FCC is the Federal Communications Commission. They are the US government agency in charge of regulating wire, radio, TV, and cable communications for the nation.

What’s the problem?

Lately, the FCC seems intent on creating an Internet “fast lane.” This means that broadband providers like Comcast and Time Warner would be allowed to offer big companies faster content delivery, leaving smaller startups and individuals in slower tiers.

So let’s send the FCC a message!

If you think a slow lane is wrong, and if you want to continue having full access to the Internet you know and love, then help us tell the FCC not to flush away our rights. Visit netneutrality.com and…

• Check out the music video posted there – it’s a message for the FCC.  Watch it, share it, sing it in the shower.

• Help us raise funds for online freedom fighters Fight for the Future – and get a fab deal on a domain name at the same time. One-year transfers $3.88 and first-year registrations $5.88!

• Sign the petition to preserve net neutrality.

The fight is far from over. Stay tuned to Namecheap for more opportunities to take positive action on this important issue.

Urgent security warning that may affect all internet users

Posted by Matt Russell on 1st September 2014

Welcome to September. It’s a new month and this yields another security and hacking incident.

Back in August, The Register reported that the largest ever quotient of email addresses, usernames and passwords had been put together by groups of Russian hackers. You can read their full report on this here.

These hackers collected this data over many months, gaining access to these user credentials through vulnerable/poorly secured databases and backdoors/malware installed on insecure computers around the world.

Overnight, our intrusion detection systems alerted us to a much higher than normal load against our login systems. Upon investigation, we determined that the username and password data gathered from third party sites, likely the data identified by The Register (i.e. not Namecheap) is being used to try and gain access to Namecheap.com accounts.

The group behind this is using the stored usernames and passwords to simulate a web browser login through fake browser software. This software simulates the actual login process a user would use if they are using Firefox/Safari/Chrome to access their Namecheap account. The hackers are going through their username/password list and trying each and every one to try and get into Namecheap user accounts.

The vast majority of these login attempts have been unsuccessful as the data is incorrect or old and passwords have been changed. As a precaution, we are aggressively blocking the IP addresses that appear to be logging in with the stolen password data. We are also logging these IP addresses and will be exporting blocking rules across our network to completely eliminate access to any Namecheap system or service, as well as making this data available to law enforcement.

While the vast majority of these logins are unsuccessful, some have been successful. To combat this, we’ve temporarily secured the Namecheap accounts that have been affected and are currently contacting customers involved requesting they improve the security for these accounts.

If you receive an email alert from us stating that your account has temporarily been secured, don’t worry. We’ve proactively taken this step as a security measure to help defend you against this attack. We will need you to verify your identity to us and we will then issue you with new login credentials, including a new, stronger password.

Once verified, you will regain access to your Namecheap account. Now is a very good time to enable 2 factor authentication. You can get help doing this from this knowledgebase article – https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/9253/45/how-to-two-factor-authentication.

I must reiterate this is not a security breach at Namecheap, nor a hack against us. The hackers are using usernames and passwords being used have been obtained from other sources. These have not been obtained from Namecheap. But these usernames and passwords that the hackers now have are being used to try and login to Namecheap accounts.

Our early investigation shows that those users who use the same password for their Namecheap account that are used on other websites are the ones who are vulnerable.

If you haven’t been affected by this but you know that you use the same username and password on multiple websites including Namecheap, now is a very good time to go in and update your password to something more secure.

This attack serves as a timely reminder that as netizens, we constantly face new and evolving security threats. There are groups out there whose sole intent is to steal our identity, gain access to our bank or credit card information or defraud us. And this is a problem that isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

As a netizen, you can make all of your internet presence more secure, including your Namecheap account, by practicing a number of simple yet effective precautions:

  • Choose strong, hard to guess passwords. Don’t go for a dictionary word and include numbers and symbols. If it’s hard to remember, use a secure password manager such as LastPass.
  • Do not use the same username/password for multiple websites. We believe that the small number of accounts that were accessed due to them sharing the username/password with other, third party sites.
  • Change passwords frequently (at least once per month). While this is an inconvenience, it is much less of an inconvenience than someone stealing your account, your identity or your credit card information.
  • Enable 2 factor authentication wherever possible. Your Namecheap.com account supports 2FA, as do most other service provider accounts.
  • Practice good local security. Scan your PC/Mac regularly for malware. This malware often sits quietly in the background, waiting for you to login to a website then capturing these credentials and sending them back off to hacker home base.
  • Use encrypted, SSL connections for all of your websites. SSL certificates are inexpensive and make obtaining that username/password hash much, much harder to obtain.
  • When you’re in Starbucks on an unsecured, open wifi hotspot, don’t login to anything unless its via a https:// connection. Ideally, use a VPN to further tighten up security when on an open hotspot.

At Namecheap, we remain committed to practicing good security while also being open about the threats that we face. All passwords we store are encrypted, using the highest security encryption methods. We run a multitude of firewalls and intrusion detection systems and constantly review our defense mechanisms.

We’ve chosen to go public with today’s incident to try and generate greater public awareness of the security issues that stem from areas outside of our control. Good security is a joint effort between service provider (us) and customer (you). Following the recommendations I made above is a very good start to practising better security.

We hope this serves as a both warning and heads up to other service providers and anyone that guards customer data that you too may be at risk from this mass of compromised account data. Now is a good time to challenge customers to update their credentials or enable two factor authentication. And the time is now for us to work together in defeating these security breaches. To back this up, we’re willing to share a list of the “bad IPs” – the IP addresses that we believe the perpetrators are using to try and gain access to accounts with us, and elsewhere. We will be releasing these at our discretion. Please contact [email protected] if you’d like to request this list.

Matt

IMPORTANT: If you are a customer that has questions about this issue, please contact our support team through the usual channel.

Save $ and Elephants When You Transfer

Posted by Kendra Hayes on 8th August 2014

What do domain transfers have to do with saving elephants? Not much. But here at Namecheap, we can’t help it. We love Planet Earth and all its inhabitants. We know it’s our responsibility to care for the world we live in. That’s why we recycle everything that can be recycled, in all our offices. That’s why we help raise funds for conservation organizations every year on Earth Day. And that’s why we’re honoring World Elephant Day this year.

World Elephant Day is August 12, 2014. Every day, 96 elephants are killed in Africa. We think that needs to stop. So, between August 12 and August 15, we offer this: Use coupon code SAVEDUMBO to transfer your .com, .net or .org domain to Namecheap for only $7.88 for the first year. We’ll give you the best customer service you’ve ever experienced in your life, and we’ll donate $1 to Save the Elephants for every transfer.

Click here to learn more. And thanks for helping Namecheap help wildlife.

Auto-Renew Works for You

Posted by Kendra Hayes on 8th August 2014

It turns out that even an awesome company like Sony can overlook important-but-mundane tasks, such as renewing their domain registrations. The company’s gaming website recently went offline (temporarily, of course) because the domain expiration notices were landing in an unread email box. Click here to read the full story.

It can happen to anybody. So, we offer this friendly reminder: Set all your domains to auto-renew. It’s easy. Have a look at our Knowledgebase article to learn how.

It’s Official. Using SSL (https://) helps your SEO Ranking

Posted by Matt Russell on 7th August 2014

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Today, Google officially announced that using a secure https:// connection (achieved through the use of a SSL Certificate) increases the ranking of your site in its results.

For some time, many in the SEO community have suspected that using a secure https:// connection had benefits. Matt Cutts, the head of the Webspam team at Google, and currently on extended leave, previously suggested he’d like all sites to use a secure connection where necessary. And this announcement, just a couple of months later, proves that Google is starting to use the presence of a secure https:// connection as a ranking factor.

Namecheap is one of the leading SSL retailers globally. And we’d like to see you get a SEO boost for your websites by installing one of the certificates that we provide.

To this extent, we’re offering a limited time promotion on our Comodo Positive SSL certificates. Using the coupon code ‘SSLRANK’ you can get one of these certificates for just $4.99 for the first year. The coupon code is valid though 31st of August, 2014.

To order one of these certificates and take advantage of our promotion, please visit https://www.namecheap.com/security/ssl-certificates/domain-validation.aspx

 

CISPA is Back

Posted by Kendra Hayes on 14th July 2014

Privacy-invasive legislation has come back from the dead. This week marks the US Congress’ fourth attempt in four years to pass “cybersecurity” legislation. The recently introduced Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) strongly resembles 2012′s CISPA, which Namecheap customers helped fight and defeat.

CISA goes even further than CISPA did, granting companies more power to gather user communication data and turn it over to the government without a warrant, including sending info to the NSA. CISA also gives companies broad immunity to spy on and even launch countermeasures against potentially innocent users.

Want to get involved? Click here to read EFF’s full article on the issue and/or click here to email your US Representatives and let your voice be heard. CISA is moving through Congress right now – there’s no time to waste. Thanks for joining the fight for our online privacy and internet freedom.

New for July: a domain and email for $0.98

Posted by Tamar, Namecheap Community Manager on 2nd July 2014

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Innovation needs people who dare to take the first step to do something great, and July is a month famous for innovation. It was 238 years ago that John Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence, and 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon.

Don’t wait to be great.

We want to help you take your #GiantLeap online. For the month of July (this offer is now expired!), you can get a .US domain name and 1 year of private email for $0.98. See the details here https://www.namecheap.com/promos/2014/giant-leaps.aspx

Tweet us @Namecheap to show us what you are up to, and we will share the best right here.

Happy leaping.

Nathan, Namecheap Marketing

Get Your Biz Online for $1.99

Posted by Kendra Hayes on 16th June 2014

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Got a head for business? Then you’ll love our new business package: a .biz domain with Business email plan, for just $1.99 for the first year.

The .biz domain extension was created for business clients. It’s instant, powerful protection for your brand – users immediately know your site is all about business. And because it’s less popular than .com, your preferred domain name is more likely to be available.

Our Business email plan is also great for business use. It features ample storage on our private cloud, plus collaboration tools and full mobile support.

Restrictions apply. Click here to see the details and purchase your $1.99 business package.

June 10: .uk TLD + Hosting for $1

Posted by Tamar, Namecheap Community Manager on 10th June 2014

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Are you one of the many who owns a .me.uk, .org.uk or .co.uk? Have you been waiting for .uk as a top-level domain? Here’s some exciting news: Today, June 10, Namecheap is beginning to offer .uk as a direct extension. We’re pleased to be one of the largest US registrars to offer .uk.

To strengthen our friendship with the UK business sector even more, we present a hosting deal to go along with your new .uk domain. If you register your .uk with Namecheap, you’re eligible to receive one year of our Value hosting plan (hosted from our UK datacenter) for only $1. Second-year renewals will be available at the regular rate.

All .uk domains and new UK hosting plans are backed by the same powerful Namecheap guarantee, service and support you’ve come to depend on.

Find and register your .uk name here.

Click to view Value hosting plan specs.