Cruzio Newsletter - Number 82, January 24, 2005 1. Increase Your Dialup Speed -- FREE 2. Switch to Low Price or Higher Speed DSL 3. Watsonville Store to Open in February 4. How to Recognize Email Scams 5. Fight Spyware 6. Reflecting 7. Second Harvest Drive and Tsunami Relief 8. Watsonville Fire 9. Buddy Bucks 10. Pay Late Fees by Feeding the Hungry 11. About This Newsletter 12. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Increase Your Dialup Speed -- FREE Cruzio is now offering a Dialup Accelerator to non-DSL members who connect via plain old telephone lines, so you can browse the Web up to five times faster. It's simple to use, costs nothing extra, and works for Mac or Windows. Just go to http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/accelerator.html to get started. Enjoy maximum dialup speed! 2. Switching to Low Price or Higher Speed DSL Already a Cruzio member, and want the same DSL deals we offer to new customers? You've got it. Cruzio encourages you to sign up for DSL at lower prices or higher speeds. If you already have Cruzio DSL, you can sign up for a year term at the low sale price. Just go to //signup.cruzio.com/dsl_sale.html If you have an existing DSL term contract with Cruzio, you can renew for low rates at any point in your contract while our current special lasts. If you have a dialup connection and want to upgrade to DSL, the special is available to you as well. Just visit the link above. 3. Watsonville Store to Open in February For years, Cruzio has wanted to open an office in Watsonville. We know that North County customers find our Santa Cruz office very convenient: they can come in and talk with customer service staff, pick up equipment, or drop off a payment. We like contributing to a thriving downtown community, where people can check email on their way to errands or shopping. Cruzio's new location will bring the same convenience to Watsonville. We will be in downtown Watsonville, in the Plaza Vigil on East Beach Street, across from the City Plaza Park in the middle of town. We'll be inside the Plaza, and will be offering rental computers there, as well as events, workshops, and excellent customer service. Our Watsonville opening is scheduled for late February -- we will announce an opening event. Watch this space and our Web site for more news! 4. How to Recognize Email Scams Lately there's been a rash of "phishing" around the Internet: email pretending to be from a legitimate company in order to steal your private information. If you fall for a phishing fraud, it can be costly. For example, we have in hand a recent phish email caught by the Cruzio Spam Filter. Let's be Sherlock Holmes and examine it: The heading says "Subject: Update your Online Banking Records" "From: "Washington Mutual Security Department"
" The address appears legitimate: unfortunately, it is simple to imitate a "from" address. It's a bit unusual to be asked to update information, doesn't the bank already have the information it needs? If you don't have an account at this bank, you'll recognize this email as spam right away and delete it. But suppose that you do have an account there. You may read on. The body of the email refers you to pages on the bank's real Web site, which lends an air of legitimacy. Before long, there is an urgent directive: you are required to "renew your account information" to prevent "account closure." The email warns: "If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise but to temporaly suspend your account..." The unprofessional misspellings are a clue, in this case, if you read carefully. But the accompanying graphics are copied from the bank's real site, and you probably won't look closely enough to notice that, although you're instructed to click a link to go to Washington Mutual's real site (http://www.wamu.com) the link actually takes you to a different Web site -- http://220.127.116.11/wamu/ -- which is *not* a Washington Mutual site at all. (The two different addresses can be seen in the page's source.) By the time of this newsletter's writing, their site is gone and the scammers are probably renting space somewhere else. If you do follow the fake link when the email is new, you'll find a phony page that looks exactly like a bank or credit card company site. You'll be "required" to fill in a form, starting with a login and password and possibly also asking for your bank account number, Social Security number, or credit card number. All this is duly recorded by the perpetrators, who now have access to your accounts and records. Phishing schemes are very convincing and difficult to trace. But you can avoid falling for fakes: -- Use your Cruzio Spam Filter, which blocks out the vast majority of spam, including phishing schemes (and it's free!) -- Be extremely wary of any email requests for personal or financial information, especially if they seem urgent. Call the company involved to double-check if you have any suspicions. -- Don't follow email links to sites like your bank, or Ebay or PayPal. Type in the Web address yourself if you want to check your account. -- If you think you've fallen for a scheme, contact your bank or credit card company right away. -- Scam emails can be reported. Forward suspect emails to email@example.com or report via the Web at http://www.ftc.gov . 5. Fight Spyware Cruzio's $2 anti-spyware CD's are very popular! These CD's contain Windows programs which remove "spyware" -- software that gets put on your computer without your knowledge, records your Web activities, and reports back to a corporate "mothership." Spyware isn't illegal, and it's supposed to be harmless and anonymous, but some folks don't want companies to have this information, or find that poorly written spyware programs slow down their computer, or otherwise object. Cruzio is here to help. Come on in and get the CD if you're concerned. 6. Reflecting The beginning of a new year is a chance to reflect on the last one. For Cruzio, 2004 was a busy year. Please review this list, to make sure you're using all the new Cruzio features that interest you! Nationwide Dialup - By the end of 2004, hundreds of Cruzio members were taking advantage of Cruzio's nationwide access to log on to Cruzio while at work or on vacation somewhere (just about anywhere!) around the United States. (Technically, this was introduced in 2003, but most customers discovered it in 2004.) Cruzio DSL Speed Increases - We doubled our top customer speed twice in the last year and now Cruzio has the fastest broadband you can buy. Cruzio DSL 6.0 is now our fastest speed, at up to 4 times the speed of cable Internet, and it's still reasonably priced! (We just don't sell services that we don't consider reasonably priced.) All DSL speeds are currently on sale. - Most Cruzio DSL customers had their speed tuned up during the year, and are now getting download speeds up to double the previous level at no extra fee. Web Hosting Upgrades - We've increased Web hosting capacity and tripled the amount of traffic our customers' Web sites can receive. If you have Cruzio Web hosting, you now get 24 mailboxes, extra bandwidth, and extra Web space at no extra charge. Cruzio Dialup Improvements - For our dialup customers, we installed a free Accelerator which they can download to increase their Web browsing speed up to 5 times. Cruzio's Cyberhub Program - You can now access Cruzio from many coffeeshops in Santa Cruz County, free of charge. Infrastructure Upgrades and Improvements - Things our customers may not notice, but which make us a stronger and more reliable company: We improved our email architecture; replaced ancient, slow equipment (2 or 3 years old!) with brand new, shiny stuff; and updated our billing system so it can be more flexible. We switched our oldest dialup lines to new equipment. Our number one priority -- this is written in our mission statement -- is to provide excellent service to our existing customers. That's why we're forever upgrading existing equipment and services, while working hard so that the changeovers are transparent to our customers -- you'll just notice that the service is better and better, and that you have more choices. For 2005, we are working on a new, improved Web email program. We are opening a store in downtown Watsonville, for customer convenience. We'll be improving the member services we offer via the Cruzio Control Panels, and we plan to revise our Web site. Your suggestions are always welcome -- we have a "suggestion box" link on our Web site, http://www.cruzio.com , which is reviewed regularly by Cruzio staff. Keep an eye out for this newsletter where we always let you know when we add features to your account. 7. Second Harvest Drive and Tsunami Relief This year members and staff made a record Cruzio contribution -- $5,445.00 -- to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Donations came pouring in, large and small, from $5 to hundreds of dollars per person. We were gratified to log them and match most all of them. Cruzio and the Food Bank thank you, and more importantly we hope that our efforts brought lots of nourishing food to local folks in need. Thank you, everyone. Right after our donation to the Food Bank was completed, the Indian Ocean tsunami resulted in terrible devastation. Since we live in an earthquake zone, we felt a strong kinship with the sufferers in Asia and sent donations (separate from our Second Harvest Food Bank funds) to the Red Cross and to Doctors Without Borders. We hope customers have done so, too. And please read below for a more local cause... 8. Watsonville Fire At one o'clock in the morning on January 5th, the fire alarm at the Wall Street Inn in Watsonville went off. Within an hour, the old building was ablaze. A burning cigarette had turned it into a torch. In a few short hours, every tenant in the building was herded outside to safety. Many residents were elderly; some were medicated or intoxicated. But every resident came out alive, thanks to the brave work of the firefighters and building manager. Jorge Toriz, the building manager, and his wife Sylvia (who happen to be the parents of Cruzio staffer Gershom Toriz) investigated the alarm and alerted frightened and sleepy residents, hustling them down the stairs and out the door. Mr. Toriz's knowledge of the tenants -- who was deaf, who was on medication -- helped the fire department to take special action where necessary. Mr. Toriz stayed on, though injured, to help the fire department until everyone was safe. Bravo! Red Cross has had trouble meeting the demand of relocating the tenants and has sought help from the national arm, and our readers ought to know that they can earmark donations to the Watsonville fire locally. They can call Red Cross at 462-2811 or send donations to Red Cross at 2960 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. 9. Buddy Bucks Our members save money all the time by doing what comes naturally: recommending Cruzio to friends, family, or acquaintances. You'll get $10 credit on your Cruzio account every time a new customer gives us your email address, registration number, or full name when they sign on and stay for 30 days or more. Since Cruzio dialup is available nationwide, you can even reap rewards from recommending us to distant friends and relations. So if your college chum in Chicago needs a reliable connection, or your manicurist from Memphis would like the friendly feeling of Cruzio, send them to us and we'll award you a $10 credit for each one. 10. Pay Late Fees by Feeding the Hungry If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation to hungry folks in our community. We will waive your late fee if you bring 3 cans into our office for our Second Harvest Food Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 11. About This Newsletter Cruzio doesn't like to waste bandwidth with extra email, but we sometimes have events and announcements that users need to know about. This seems like the most efficient way to let people know what's happening. Hope it's helpful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. By the way, we would love to have a regular, predictable schedule for this newsletter...but we simply do not send it unless there is real news enclosed. Thus the haphazard datelines. 12. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and sales information: http://www.cruzio.com/support To dial in to Cruzio, set your software to dial one of the numbers below (note: we've expanded and joined modem pools, so you may be using another number. If so, don't worry, it still works just fine). Dialup: 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 To call Cruzio: 459-6301............Use this number to check Cruzio's system status, pay your Cruzio bill, find out more about our hours and location, or to reach someone in customer service and technical support. To send email to Cruzio, use one of these addresses: email@example.com ......for technical support firstname.lastname@example.org .......for billing and ordering information Cruzio's location: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 10-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday System monitoring, including customer-alerted emergencies, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year (leap years, 366 days) Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Tapati, Alec, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, another Chris, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Jhonee', Derrick and Westi; Tiffany and Asli (our helpful interns); Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) A joke from Jake, age 12: One afternoon, two very stupid Forest Rangers were working together in the woods. "Look!" exclaimed one, pointing ahead. "Deer tracks!" "No," the other disagreed, "those are Elk tracks." "Deer tracks!" "Elk tracks!" "Deer tracks!" "Elk tracks!" They were still arguing two hours later when the train hit them.