Australian Data Retention Laws – Are you protected?

email-privacyAustralia’s new data retention laws start today, and this means that ISPs are obliged to collect and keep records about your digital activities for 2 years, and to make those records available to various government agencies on demand without the need for any warrants or legal oversight.

The good news is that the email services provided by Spiffy Stores and Domain Hosting Shop are not subject to these data retention laws. In basic terms, the law only applies to carriage service providers, which means anyone who provides the physical connection for your home or office to the Internet or telephone system.

We will keep your Spiffy Stores email safe and secure, and you can send and receive email secure in the knowledge that the messages will not be archived and retained in any way, and will not be available to any government agency.

Don’t lose your online store visitors – start a relationship!

Start a relationship with your online store visitors!It’s tough I know, but most of your web visitors won’t buy on the first visit.

They’ll check you out, flick through your products, perhaps compare prices, scroll through your blog and then they’ll be off again. Like ships in the night.

If you’re lucky, they might bookmark your site for a later date, but mostly they will disappear and get on with their busy lives. And bang goes all that time, cost and effort it took to drive them to your store in the first place. Grrrr.

But you can do something to improve your chances of a revisit. If you make it easy for interested visitors to stay in touch with you, they can get to know you a lot better and you can be there when they need you. With a simple but planned communication strategy, these strangers can become brand friends, and friends can become customers.

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Email Marketing Made Easy

Email marketing in your e-commerce storeWe’ve just released a bunch of new features, and this is the first of a series of blog entries to let you know about the changes.

As you’re probably aware, email marketing is an important part of  running an ecommerce site. At Spiffy Stores we’re always on the lookout to find new and better ways to help you run and promote your online store.

The first of these changes is a feature to help you create an email marketing mailing list. To recognize the importance of Email marketing, we’ve added a whole new section under “Marketing” in your store toolbox for the subject.

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Spammers Begone

We recently enabled a small security enhancement to the Spiffy Stores software to prevent a security attack called Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF).

Basically, now an encrypted token is generated and inserted into every form on the store web pages. This prevents a hacker from copying a form from the site and tricking you into executing the form from a fake site, thus giving the hacker access to your account.

Whilst it was extremely unlikely that this sort of attack would work because of the way in which the Spiffy Stores software is designed, it never hurts to improve security wherever possible.

However, it turns out to have an unintended bonus effect!

Spiffy Stores is one of the few ecommerce solutions that has a “Contact Us” form built into your store. This form is generated for you automatically and you don’t need to use a third-party online form service to get something as essential as a contact form.

Now that we have added the Cross Site Request Forgery code, we are seeing instances of spammers who have “copied” the contact forms from various sites and have built them into scripts to try to spam our store owners with fake contact form submissions. All of these attempts are now failing because they are all detected as forgeries, and this means that your inbox will contain less of the spam generated by these pests.

Resending a Lost Order Confirmation Email

Every time a customer places an order, they are sent an Order Confirmation email showing them what they’ve ordered.

From time to time, email messages get lost or misplaced. Now you can resend a lost Order Notification to the customer from the Order page. Just go to the order and you’ll find a new link called “Email Order Notification”.

Just click on the link to resend the lost Order Notification.