PTA to block unregistered phones by October 20 2018

PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) has started an activity to register mobile handsets by asking mobile subcribers to SMS their IMEI number to 8484 as part of a drive against fake IMEIs throughout the country. Millions of handsets, have been smuggled or not registered with the PTA.

How to find your IMEI number?

  1. Enter *#06#
  2. Press the Dial key
  3. You will see the IMEI number on the screen
  4. If your phone is dual sim then you will see 2 IMEI numbers on your phone screen

Why is the PTA doing this?

PTA is doing this to:

  1. Block illegal handsets include those with no or duplicated IMEI numbers
  2. Smuggled handsets
  3. Snatched mobile phone sets
  4. SIM-run devices which send SPAM/malicious messages to other subscribers

What will happen after October 20 2018?

People who do not verify their mobile handsets by October 20 face the danger of having their mobile phones blocked and unusable.

How do I verify my mobile handset?

  1. Send your IMEI number via SMS to 6464
  2. Enter your IMEI number on the PTA website at https://dirbs.pta.gov.pk
  3. Install the Android app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pk.gov.dirbs.dvspublic

What do I do after I verify my handset?

Once you verify your handset using any of the steps above you will receive any one of the following messages

Message Explanation Action
IMEI is compliant This message indicates that the mobile device is PTA compliant. You can use this mobile device and continue receiving network services without any issue. Your mobile device is genuine and no action required to use it.
Device IMEI is Valid. Insert SIM and make a call/SMS to anyone on or before 20/10/18 date for auto registration. This message indicates that your IMEI of your mobile device is valid as it is GSMA approved, but it is not PTA compliant. To facilitate such users, PTA will auto register all such IMEIs which are observed on Network before 20th October 2018 and their status will be compliant after this date. In order to auto-register all the IMEIs related to this mobile device, it is advised to do any revenue generating activity i.e. make a call, send a SMS or use mobile internet before 20th October, 2018 in order to continue receiving network services. In dual (or more) SIM mobile device(s), revenue generating activity must be made through each SIM slot in order to be auto registered.
Device IMEI is non-compliant. Please insert all your SIMs in this device and use them before 20/10/18 date to continue using this device. This message indicates that your mobile device IMEI is either not allocated by GSMA or it is duplicated. To facilitate such users, PTA will auto pair all such IMEIs which are observed on Network with specific SIMs before 20th October 2018. After this date, those users will be able to use these IMEIs with paired SIMs only. In order to auto pair all the IMEIs related to this mobile device, it is advised to do at-least one revenue generating activity from all SIMs on your name which you want to use in this mobile device, i.e. make a call, send a SMS or use mobile internet from your SIM(s) before 20th October, 2018. In dual (or more) SIM mobile device(s), revenue generating activity must be made using all the SIM slots for the mobile device(s) to be auto paired.
Device IMEI is blocked. Reported stolen. This message indicates that your IMEI is blocked as this IMEI has been reported stolen earlier. If you are the one who has reported this mobile device as stolen/lost earlier and now it is recovered, then contact PTA/CPLC to unblock your mobile device.

Hope the above helped

How to upgrade from PHP 5.3.x to 5.5.x on Windows 7 in 4 easy steps

I have been using PHP 5.3.29 on my PC for some time now as many PHP open source frameworks and applications had been supporting PHP version uptill 5.3.X. However with time PHP has progressed and with new and stable versions coming up the benchmark of support has shifted from PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.4 and above. With this, the time had come to bid adieu to PHP 5.3 and move to the latest stable version in the PHP 5.X series i.e. PHP 5.5

Now PHP has stopped giving out windows binary installation files since PHP 5.3 so if you need to upgrade you will need to download the required files from php.net and manually configure the PHP version on your PC.

Step 1

First check the PHP version on your PC. Open the command prompt and write php -ver which displays the current PHP version on your PC.

php 5.3 version from you command prompt

Step 2

Browse over to http://windows.php.net/. Click on the archive link on the bottom left side.  You will reach this page http://windows.php.net/downloads/releases/archives/. Download the latest thread safe PHP 5.5.X version from the list you are shown on the page. I have highlighted the one I have downloaded in this example.


Step 3

After downloading the zip file extract the contents. Create a new directory on any of your drive. I created one by the name of php55 so that I can remember which PHP version this is. I then updated the PATH variable with the location of this PHP directory.

Step 4
After updating the PATH variable I then tried to check whether the new PHP version has kicked in or not. Unfortunately  I received a Windows alert with the following message

php.exe – System Error

The program can’t start because MSVCR110.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

If you receive this message then there is nothing to worry. You just head on to Microsoft website and download and run the executable file from there.

MSVCR110.dll missing file resolution

If everything went correctly then you will see the correct PHP version on your command prompt like so

php 5.5 version on your command prompt
That’s all there is to it for migrating from PHP 5.3.X to PHP 5.5.X version.

Hope the above helped!

How to send email from an external email account using GMail

If you would like to send email from an external email account you own using GMail then please follow the steps below.

  1. Login into your GMail account and click on Settings menu as show in the attached snap shot.GMail Settings Menu
  2. Then click on the Accounts and Import tab on the Settings page.GMail Accounts and Import
  3. Then click on Add another email address you own link as shown in the attached snap shot.GMail Add external email account - Step 1
  4. Once you click on it a popup opens up where you can enter the external email address from which you will send the email from.GMail Add external email account - Step 2
  5. After clicking on Next Step another page opens up which shows the mail server address as well as an option to add the password for that account.GMail Add external email account - Step 3
  6. If you entered the details correctly then GMail will send a verification code on that email address to verify whether you own that email address or not. If you own it then just go into that email account, check your email, copy the verification code sent by GMail in the input box and your account is all set up.GMail Add external email account - Step 4After completing the above steps you will now be able to send email from the email account you have just entered using GMail interface.

Hope the above helped. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

 

 

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How to remove your email from GMail spam folder

People doing email marketing have come across this many a times. Even after setting up your reverse DNS, SPF, DKIM records as well as setting up DMARC policy your email may not be arriving into the user’s inbox. It may be going into the spam/junk mail folder and your recipient may be oblivious to this fact as normally no one checks his/her spam folder for emails. The sender in this case should follow up the recipient via phone/Whatsapp or any other contact method besides email and tell them to check their spam/junk mail folder as well so they don’t miss out on the email.

If your recipient is a GMail user then you can ask them to take the steps below to remove your email from the Spam folder and instruct GMail to deliver the email to the recipient’s inbox.

Remove your email from GMail spam folder - Step 1

Remove your email from GMail spam folder - Step 2

Remove your email from GMail spam folder - Step 3

 Once you perform the above steps the chances of your email going into the recipient’s inbox increases.

Hope the above helped. If you need my help in resolving any email issue then do contact me 

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How to check the headers of the email received to confirm sender

As the internet grows and the businesses associated with it expand so do the security issues and if you are not alert you could end up with serious problems. I would like to share the following which happened to one of our employees and had his customer not been alert he would have lost a lot of money.

The company I work for requests customers to pay the amount for the car they are interested in buying via telegraph transfer. Our sales personnel forward the bank details to their customers so they can make payment. Once payment is received the car is shipped to the customer and the transaction is completed and every one lives happily ever after :).

However one day a customer of one of our sales team contacted him and inquired why the bank details had changed so quickly. The person in question was quite surprised by this and told him that there was no change in the bank details and they are the same. His customer then forwarded him the email which contained the new bank details. When our staff reviewed those details they were indeed changed and we asked the customer to not make any payment to those details. We then asked him to send us the snap shot of the headers of the email he had received.

After reviewing the snap shot of the email headers we found that some one had used emkei.cz to send the email with the new bank details.

If the customer had not been alert and if he had not contacted us he would have transferred the money to the wrong account and would have lost a lot of money.

Here is an example of the headers in the email sent out by emkei.cz

emkei.cz in the email headers

Here is the website itself

emkei.cz website

If you would like to see how many websites allow a person to generate fake emails and fake email addresses then you will be surprised by the numbers.

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How to change server time using WHM

If you are running a dedicated hosting server and you come across a situation where you see that the date time of the server is showing a time different from your regional timezone then you can change it easily from your WHM panel.

Login into your WHM panel and then search for Server in the search box on the left sidebar.

WHM -> Server Configuration -> Server Time

WHM -> Server Configuration -> Server Time

As soon as you type it you will see that Server Time comes up in the results below. Click on the Server Time link and you will arrive at the next page which shows the current time of the server and the timezone.

Current Server Time and Timezone

Current Server Time and Timezone

Now expand the drop down and search for your timezone from the list of time zones available on your server.

Change server timezone

Change server timezone

Once you have selected your timezone then click on the Change Timezone button on the right. The update usually takes a couple of seconds and then WHM displays the confirmation page showing that it has changed the timezone.

Server Time change confirmation

Server Time change confirmation

Now the time on your server should be the same as your timezone. Hope the above helped!

How to remove the PHPList IP address has changed error

If you are a regular user of PHPList then you may have come across the following problem sometime. This error occurs if the IP address through which you are connected to the internet changes any time during your login session in PHPList. If it does then PHPList will end your session and take you to the login screen as shown below with the error message in red “Your IP address has changed. For security reasons, please login again”.

PHPList IP address has changed error

PHPList IP address has changed error

This feature is enabled by default in PHPList and you can change it by downloading the config.php file from the config folder in the PHPList installation directory. Once you have downloaded it then please open it and search for CHECK_SESSIONIP. The value for this setting is set to 1 by default. You can change it to 0 and save the file and re-upload it. Now you will not face any problems related to this issue.

Check session IP setting in config.php of PHPList

Check session IP setting in config.php of PHPList

Hope the above helped.

How to disable IP address validation in WHM so that your webmail session is not lost

If you are using web mail to check your emails on a regular basis and you have multiple ISPs or a single ISP with dynamic IP address then you may have come across the issue of losing your web mail session when the IP address changes for one reason or the other.
Although this is not a major problem but it can be frustrating if you have written a long email to your client and you are logged out from web mail when you click the Send button.

Disable IP address validation in your WHM

Disable IP address validation in your WHM

Fortunately there is a solution to this problem and it is available in your WHM panel (Note: This option is not available in shared hosting).

1. Login into your WHM panel.
2. Proceed to Tweak Settings.
3. Enter IP Address in the search box on the Tweak Settings page.
4. Click Disabled against the Cookie IP validation option and click Save and you will not be logged out from your web mail session from now on.

Hope the above helped.

Why am I getting a 522 error on my website hosted on Cloudflare

If you have hosted your website on Cloudflare CDN then you or your visitor may have experienced the following problem on their browser.

Cloudflare 522 Error

Cloudflare 522 Error

A 522 error happens when a TCP connection to the web server could not be established. To initiate a TCP connection the Cloudflare edge server sends out 3 SYN packets and awaits a SYN-ACK packet in return, if it doesn’t receive one within 15 seconds the connection attempt will fail.

Common reasons for Cloudflare to not receive the SYN-ACK in return:

  1. Our connection attempt was blocked by a firewall/security plugin at the host
  2. Packets are being dropped within the host’s network
  3. The origin server was too overloaded to respond
  4. There was an issue with an upstream provider along the path

The most common solutions to the above problems are

  1. You should whitelist CloudFlare IP ranges to ensure this doesn’t happen. You can check this page on Cloudflare for the list of IP addresses.
  2. Check and lower load of the server if it is too high

Hope the above helped.

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How to remove Yahoo “temporarily deferred due to user complaints” restriction

If you or your company sends out bulk email to your customers frequently then you may have come across a situation where Yahoo may have blocked your emails from reaching its users. Most of the time the problem occurs when customer reports your email to Yahoo for spam. Once a specific number of people report your email to Yahoo for spam then Yahoo blocks your emails from reaching its users.

The bad news is that Yahoo does not notify you that your emails have been blocked and the only way you can check this is by checking your mail logs by logging into your WHM panel or you can use the Trace Email option in your cPanel. Just enter the email address of the customer and the system will display the message given out by Yahoo.

Yahoo temporary deferred message

Yahoo temporary deferred message

The message will most likely be in the format given below

SMTP error from remote mail server after MAIL FROM: SIZE=501178: host mta6.am0.yahoodns.net [98.138.112.37]: 421 4.7.0 [TS01] Messages from [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx] temporarily deferred due to user complaints

Yahoo itself states on its website that this problem is temporary and you should try sending email to Yahoo users after a gap of 4 or more hours however if the problem has not resolved then they ask you to submit a Yahoo Bulk Mail Sender form on their website.

Yahoo Bulk Mail Sender Form

Yahoo Bulk Mail Sender Form

Once you complete the form you will receive an acknowledgement from Yahoo.

Acknowledgment from Yahoo after completing bulk mail form

Acknowledgment from Yahoo after completing bulk mail form

I received a reply from Yahoo after 36 hours which stated that they have removed the restriction and now our email would be delivered to Yahoo users.

Response from Yahoo over bulk mail sender form after 36 hours

Response from Yahoo over bulk mail sender form after 36 hours

Hope the above helped.

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