How to Increase the Security for Your Website

November 18, 2011 by Dustin

The security of your business’s website should be one of your highest priorities. A secure website is one of the best ways that you can establish trust with your customers. The security of your website will directly impact your number of visitors and has the potential to hinder or boost your sales. With the massive number of website intrusions this year alone, hacking has become a major concern for most online shoppers. Whether it is to protect your website or your customers personal or financial data, a secure website is a must have. The following are some tips for creating a strong and secure website environment for your consumers. Securing Your Website

Use a Strong Administrative and Database Password:

Creating a strong administrative and database password will prevent hackers from accessing the admin interface and from taking over your entire online business. If a hacker does gain entry to your website’s administration panel they can pretty much do whatever they please from defacing your website to committing fraud by pretending to be you or your company. To learn more about creating strong passwords visit Elements of a Strong Password.

Secure Admin Email Address

An admin email address is used to login to your web server, CMS, database. It should be kept private and different from the one that you have on your contact page.

Make sure you have Firewalls Implemented:

Configuring a firewall will help prevent unauthorized access to your site and acts as a filter for the information that is sent to and from your website. You should configure your firewall to the highest security preferences so that it will deter hackers from attempting to gain entry to your site.

Update Your Antivirus Program Regularly:

New malicious programs are created and discovered every day so… Read the rest

Apple Resolves the Issue Plaguing the Battery Life of Their iPhones . . . . Maybe

November 11, 2011 by Dustin

Shortly after the release of the iPhone 4S and the iOS 5 software update many users began experiencing major problems with the life of their iPhone batteries. In our last blog post we addressed these issues and even provided some tips for conserving your iPhone’s battery. In the article we discussed how Apple had announced that their iOS 5 update was at fault and that they were working hard to bring an update to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

full iPhone battery

Image of the iPhones Full Battery Icon

Yesterday, Apple released the new iOS 5.0.1 software update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, the update is supposed to fix the battery problems that a number of users have reported with iOS 5 over the last few weeks. Along with a fix for the bugs that were affecting the battery life, the latest update also added multitasking gestures for the original iPad, resolved bugs with documents in the cloud, and improved voice recognition for Australian users using the dictation feature.

The update is now available in iTunes or also available with the over-the-air function for existing iOS 5 users. Users with the previous iOS 5 can update by going into Settings>General>Software Update to update their device over-the-air. Using the update OTA provides a much faster experience due to the smaller size of the update file. For users who are not operating on iOS 5 they can update their operating system the traditional way by plugging in their device into iTunes.

iOS 5.0.1 update

Image of iOS 5.0.1 update

Although the update has only just been released it has been reported at PCWorld that some users are still experiencing a slightly faster battery depletion rate. One user posted on… Read the rest

Tips for conserving your iPhone’s Battery life

November 4, 2011 by Dustin

A couple weeks ago Apple released the iPhone 4S which is their latest mobile device. Along with the 4S, Apple also released their latest mobile operating system upgrade. The iOS 5 comes standard on the iPhone 4S but is also available as a free download to all compatible iPhone users. Since the release, a small but significant number of users have reported a drastically shortened battery life.

iPhone's Low Battery Display - Tips for conserving your iPhone’s Battery life

iPhone’s Low Battery Display

According to The Loop’s Jim Dairymple on Wednesday November 2, 2011 Apple confirmed that the battery issues were due to a bug in the iOS 5 software update. According to the article Apple reassured users that they have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and will release a software update to address them in a few weeks to help conserve your iPhone’s battery life.

In light of the recent problems surrounding the iPhone’s battery we thought it would be beneficial to discuss some methods for conserving your phones battery life. Although this particular problem was a result of a bug in the software we feel that these tips will still be tremendously useful because iPhones already have a natural short battery life due to its powerful performance and crisp display. The suggestions below for saving your phones battery are applicable to all iPhone models and are designed to ensure that you have the juice when you need it the most.

  • Close Background and Inactive Applications – Double tap the home button to access the list of running applications. Similar to how you would move the apps hold your finger down on the application for a couple seconds and then select close when the app begins to shake.
  • Use the Auto Brightness Feature – Access the settings folder,

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Google Abruptly Changes a Longtime Search Command

October 27, 2011 by Dustin

Saying that Google changed the +Search command may not be the best way to describe Google’s actions. Instead of announcing that they were going to be replacing the +search command they quietly pulled the rug out from under its users and completely removed the Boolean + search command. Google is now ignoring the + symbol without so much as a blog post to let people know.

Although Google has decided to ignore searches with the + command they have expanded the role of the quotation marks to incorporate the + command functionality. After years of performing searches with + commands it will probably take time for some users to get used to the new way of searching.

Old Way: Keyword + Keyword + Keyword

New Way: Keyword “Keyword” “Keyword”

On a Google Help Forum, Kelly an employee from Google offered the following explanation.

“ We’ve made the ways you can tell Google exactly what you want more consistent by expanding the functionality of the quotation mark operator. In addition to using this operator to search for an exact phrase, you can now add quotation marks around a single word to tell Google to match that word precisely. So, if in the past you would have searched for [magazine +latina], you should now search for [magazine "Latina"].”

“We’re constantly making changes to Google Search – adding new features, tweaking the look and feel, running experiments, – all to get you the information you need as quickly and as easily as possible. This recent change is another step toward simplifying the search experience to get you to the info you want.”

Google may have stated that they have made these improvements to help users get to the information quicker and easier but it doesn’t really seem to benefit anyone but them. Some online… Read the rest

Sharing Business Resources without Using Microsoft Exchange

October 21, 2011 by Dustin

File sharing is the storing and distribution of digitally stored information. File sharing has quickly become an integral part of most businesses. With file sharing, companies and their employees can easily share resources such as computer applications, multimedia content, and documents.

Companies utilize a file sharing environment to:


from, Oct 2011

  • Save time
  • Cut costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Organize and centralize information for easy retrieval
  • Make content sharing faster
  • Share of hardware
  • Protect data and make backups
  • Increase the performance of existing PC equipment

File sharing can occur in a couple of different ways, the two most popular being a centralized server on a network and a collaborative cloud based service. Recently more and more businesses have been moving more towards the cloud based services, which is why we decided to look into some of the most popular collaborative cloud applications. The one that stood out the most was Zimbra Collaboration Server. Zimbra is advertised as the leader among open source email and collaboration systems. Zimbra uses a cloud infrastructure as its primary storage as opposed to using the desktop or a network server like Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

Zimbra is a browser based enterprise class open source email, calendar, and collaboration platform that is designed for portability over private and public clouds. Along with its mobility it is also simpler to manage and more cost effective to scale. Zimbra keeps you organized and productive because your information is always assessable.

The Zimbra Collaboration Server offers rich email, contact management, group calendars, Tasks, sharing and document management, mobility, desktop sync, archiving and discovery, and powerful administrative tools. With the free Zimbra desktop client you are able to combine both online and offline services. The desktop client enables users to store and… Read the rest

Simple Tips to Securing Your Laptop

October 14, 2011 by Dustin

Back in 2005 the FBI reported that the losses due to laptop theft were estimated around $3.5 million. They also identified that the average cost associated with a lost company laptop was around $32,000. Since 2005 the number of laptop users has dramatically increased and it has been assessed that one in ten laptops have or will be stolen. Laptop protection has become a major concern for many laptop users. The threat that laptop thieves pose is more than just concern for our expensive devices, it triggers our fear that someone could have access to our stolen and vital personal information.

Kensington Laptop Cable Lock
From , Oct 2011

Laptop theft is a significant and serious threat. Thieves will often target laptops because they are small, easy to grab, easy to conceal, there is a market for them, and they are a quick way to get cash. Most of these criminals target laptops because they know that a property theft charge is a better alternative to a personal robbery charge. Once stolen, a laptop can then be sold to a used computer store or pawn shops for as much as half the original retail costs.

What can you do to secure your laptop? There are two components to laptop security, the physical side and the virtual. Physical protection refers to instinctual protection like keeping your laptop with you, keeping it out of sight as well as purchasing protection devices such as cable locks, laptop safes, and motion detector alarms. Virtual security on the other hand implies defenses such as software protection programs, passwords, and tracking safeguards.

The following guide is intended to identify security techniques and tools to protect you from being a victim of a laptop theft. The tips will cover practical security methods, virtual defense techniques, and physical protection devices. For the best protection it is recommended that you use a… Read the rest

Alternative Defragmentation Software May Not Be the Best Solution

October 6, 2011 by Dustin

from, October 2011

Defragmentation is a process that mitigates and reverses fragmentation. File system fragmentation occurs when the system is unable to maintain the data in a sequential order. During fragmentation data that is in memory is broken into pieces and dispersed throughout the system. One of the major problems that occur with fragmented data is an increase in the time it takes for the system to access files and programs.

Files on a drive are commonly known as blocks or clusters. These files are stored on a file system and are positioned one next to another. When files are added, removed, or changes the amount of space between these files is altered and the system no longer has enough room to hold the entire file. The system will then fill in these small spaces with portions of new files or files that have been adjusted, causing data to become separated from the rest of the file. This separation creates a delay in Seek Time and Rotational Latency. Seek Time is the time that it takes the head assembly to travel to the portion of the disk where the data will be read or written. The Rotational latency is the delay waiting for the rotation of the disk to bring the required disk sector under the head assembly.

The primary purpose of a defragmentation tool is to sort, organize, and compact similar blocks of data in order to reduce wasted space as well as to speed up access time. Windows operating systems come pre-installed with their own “Disk Defragmenter” utility. This utility is designed to increase access speeds by rearranging files contiguously. Many users feel that the pre-installed defragger isn’t the best on the market and have considered using alternative defragging tools. For the most part defragmentation software all does the same thing but it is… Read the rest

Tips for Increasing Productivity by Keeping a Clean and Organized PC

September 9, 2011 by Dustin

It is critical to perform routine maintenance on your PC in order to preserve its performance level. Computers can quickly get bogged down with too much data and the inability to quickly locate your important documents can lead to frustration. The same organizational skills that you practice in the real world should translate over into the virtual space of your computer. Keeping your PC clean and organized will not only help to keep your files easily accessible but it can also reduce your stress and save some time. The following are some simple tips to follow when it comes to organizing your PC files. PC organization

  • Clear up your Desktop:

The desktop is the first thing that a user encounters and should be the starting point for cleaning up your computer. Remove the files or programs that you do not use, leaving only the programs that you use frequently. Attach the most frequently used programs to the desktop toolbar. Create labeled folders and group the files or applications appropriately. The typical icon layout will group the desktop icons along the right side of the computer screen however these icons can be grouped and moved elsewhere if beneficial. Based on their level of usage arrange your icons and folders in an order that makes the most sense to you. Additionally you can use desktop wallpaper that displays a grid so you can group and move icons into particular sections or categories.

  • Organize your media content:

Keep your music with music, photos with photos, and movies with movies. Typically your computer will have preset folders for your media content, however over time it’s easy for these files to be unintentionally scattered and saved in other locations. You can also create your own media folder which holds separate folders for each type… Read the rest

Tips for Properly Cleaning Your Computer and Peripheral Devices

September 2, 2011 by Dustin

In our past blog postings we have talked about computer maintenance issues like performing backups, removing unwanted files or programs, and increasing the speed of your computer. In our posts for helpful hints to extending the life of your computer we have also briefly mentioned external conditions that can impact your computer but we have yet to address how to clean the actual PC and its peripheral components.

Keeping your computer and work environment clean is critical to the operations of your system and it can drastically extend the life of your PC. Dust is a common cause of overheating and the deterioration of important computer components. Computers may have advanced significantly but dust and dirt can still present major issues and glitches for internal elements. It is estimated that up to 70% of computer hardware problems can be attributed to dust and improper maintenance. Computers and external equipment should be cleaned routinely in order to prevent unnecessary problems caused by dust.

Although the fans of a computer are vital for the ventilation and cooling of the system they also provide a perfect opening for dust. Along with the cooling fans any small openings on monitors, keyboards, or any other devices are also dust gateways. In short the dust can settle on internal components and prevent the release of heat, causing the computer to short and overheat.

When everyday household items aren’t enough there are many products to choose from that are designed specifically for PC maintenance. Some of the available products include microfiber cleaning clothes, CD/DVD lens cleaners, anti-static monitor wipes, LCD cleaning solutions, aerosol duster, anti-static dust vacuums, wet wipes, and screen protectors.

Basic tips that you should know before cleaning:

  • Clean the area surrounding the computer before cleaning.
  • Always spray the cleaning solutions on a rag first, never apply directly to

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