Thousands of Xtra customers have had to change their security
settings by today, in order to continue accessing their
accounts though third-party software.
An additional layer of security was being rolled out this
afternoon across the Xtra email system by Telecom and Yahoo,
following a spate of security issues.
Customers had been contacted via email, phone, or text
message since February and the security settings came into
effect at 3pm today.
Users who did not update their settings by the 3pm deadline
may find themselves locked out when trying to access their
email through third party software such as Microsoft Outlook
or through Android devices.
Around 140,000 users - a third of Xtra's customer base - had
accessed their emails through such software in the past 90
days, a Telecom spokeswoman said.
It was currently unknown how many had changed their settings
before the 3pm deadline.
All customers were still able to access their accounts using
webmail at xtramail.co.nz.
"We have had a really good response from customers over the
weekend changing their settings,'' the spokeswoman said.
"It only takes about five minutes and there are really clear
instructions on our website. However, customers will need to
be aware that they'll have to do it for all of their
Users who have already changed their settings to SSL (Secure
Sockets Layer) or who use their account via webmail or Yahoo
mobile applications do not need to change.
The added encryption is designed to make the email service
more secure, particularly on public wifi connections.
Xtra was plagued by spammers last year, with more than 60,000
users sent malicious spam in one attack. Another attack
forced some email accounts to be locked until users changed
* Customers can visit www.telecom.co.nz/SSL for
detailed instructions on making the setting change, or call
0800 268 268.
* For more information on the SSL update, go to www.telecom.co.nz/ssl.
* Information for staying safe online is available at
or via Netsafe at www.netsafe.org.nz.
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ