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IHUG issues e-mail security caution

One of the country’s largest Internet companies, Ihug, is urging New Zealanders to become more security conscious when sending important information by e-mail.

The company says anyone sending commercially sensitive information should consider using an encrypted (secure) format to guard against e-mail ‘hackers’ and ‘snoopers’.

Ihug Director Nick Wood says his company has today opened a special website information page (, where customers can access free downloads of encryption software.

Mr Wood says the security reminder has been prompted by the increasing popularity of high-speed satellite services.

“The Internet is simply a loosely structured organisation of networks,” he says. “At any point of interconnection of those networks, someone can look at the traffic and read your mail.

“We’re concerned that satellite technology – now used more by than 200 Internet service providers throughout Australasia – is particularly vulnerable to ‘snoopers’ armed with sophisticated monitoring devices.

Mr Wood says Ihug has a team of engineers constantly monitoring it’s own network for security breaches. The company is aware of at least one person who claims to be illegally viewing satellite data streams.

“Encryptions will soon be a routine necessity for anyone sending important information by e-mail. New Zealanders must remember that e-mail is like a postcard – it can be read by others.”

“Our advice to anyone concerned about e-mail privacy is to explore the encryption options which are now freely available and easy to install.”

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