Friday, August 31, 2012

Network Security: 4 Common Breaching Methods And The People That Use Them

VPNs still remain the single best way to insure that your business network is safe from prying eyes and thieves. But in spite of being one of the best methods there has been a few high profile cases that have given cause for us to question their effectiveness. Studies have shown that in most instances of security breaches, the breach could have been averted if the administrator would have known of the 4 most common methods used, and who the threat could have potentially come from.

4 Perpetrator Types

Often, knowing where your potential hackers could come from enables you to avert the situation long before it becomes damaging. These are the 4 most common types of people that could potentially hack your network:

Script-Kids - These hackers only want the bragging rights, but don't underestimate their power. Even though they won't steal everything that isn't nailed down, they will brag about the fact that they did it, and how they did it.
Political Maniacs - These guys want to either destroy your reputation, or possibly use your network to further their goals.
Monetary Thieves - These guys will want every credit card, bank accounts, and any other financial data. They will spend like madmen until you discover their hack.
Revenge Seekers - This category includes current and former disgruntled employees that want to get revenge on you and your company for whatever reason.

The 4 Common Hack Types

Security breaches can be avoided if you know how thieves gain access to your network, before they get started, according to experts. It has been reported that the 4 most common methods of gaining entry is:

Man-In-The-Middle Attacks - This hack requires the hacker to listen, (also called snooping or sniffing), for a client to log into the network. The hacker will then use the authentication packet gained to glean the log-in credentials.
Physically Accessed - When a device or machine is stolen that is network enabled. The device may have the passwords stored in a file, or even have the automatic log-in enabled. Even if the auto-log isn't enabled, hackers can decrypt the password files to get access.
Passing Information - Getting access to a specific network often happens due to an employee talking... in many instances this is a disgruntled employee. In the last few years this has become more prevalent.
System Exploits - Almost every hacker keeps up with system bugs and flaws in OSes, and security clients. This is because updating and upgrading systems can be a hassle, and often time consuming. Firmware, software, and security certificates are the mainstay of this category, and once a flaw is found, it is quickly passed around to the community.

It's Up To You

It's easy to see how these types of breaches and hackers can easily be thwarted, once you know the who and how. Security experts all agree that updating systems at least once per month, and if an employee is released, immediately eliminate log-in to your network, will eliminate most of thee threats. They also recommend changing passwords on a regular basis, and in the event a device is lost or stolen, change log-ins for that account.

Fields Marshall specializes in internet security, and advising people on VPN's, security technologies, and related services. He writes informational and educational articles for VPNReviewz, to learn more, visit

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Are SSL Certificates? Why Is It So Important For Every E-Merchant To Have Them?

The SSL cert is the simplest and fastest way for anyone who promotes the sale of goods or services online to protect customer transactions from conniving, credit card pilfering hackers and the malware they devise to help them in their sticky-fingered criminal endeavors. And this makes equipping your site with SSL Certificates vital. Because shopper apprehension of credit card stealing hackers is the No.1 reason why e-merchants lose sales! - Otherwise known as Shopping Cart Abandonment.

Top SSL Certificates give you quick online issuance, advanced encryption, 24/7 e-merchant support, and strong warranties. But most important of all, an SSL Certificate helps you create a secure e-business environment in which sales can proliferate. The best SSL Certificates are designed with a 2048 bit signature, and are recognized by 99.3% of all Internet Browsers. This helps maximizing the reach of your e-business.

Most top SSL Certificates also feature another safeguard called "Point-to-Verify Site Seal Technology." Point-to-Verify Site Seals, or trust marks, verify the steps you've taken to keep customer transactions secure. These steps are publicly displayed whenever a site visitor hovers their mouse cursor over a seal.

Now you know what an SSL Certificate is and how it will help you and your online business thrive. But one important question remains. Of the three most powerfully used SSL types, which one is right for you? Let's find out.

The most basic SSL Certificate you can deploy is the DV SSL

DV SSL stands for Domain Validation Secure Sockets Layer. When your Website employs a DV SSL, its Certificate Authority has confirmed that your site is owned by an individual with a specified and fully registered email address. Top DV SSL provide your Website with Interactive Trust Marks site visitors can hover over to read the actual authentication information the Certificate Authority offers.

An even more popular, basic SSL Certificate is the OV SSL:

OV SSL stands for Organization Validation Secure Sockets Layer. When an e-merchant chooses this more advanced basic SSL Certificate, his Certificate Authority has confirmed both that your Website is owned by an individual with a specific email address, and that your Website is linked to a fully registered brick and mortar address. Top OV SSL provide you with floating and anchored trust marks to display throughout your Website. These increase customer confidence because their interactive capacity allows your potential buyers to hover over or click on them to read the kind of authentication information about you, your Website and your company that is very reassuring.

The most advanced SSL Certificate is the EV SSL:

EV SSL stands for Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer. And the technology built into an EV SSL definitely supplies your Website's customers with extended validation! The EV SSL validates the security and integrity of your site and the location and identity of your company. But that's not all. Once you purchase an EV SSL, two things happen as soon as an online shopper types your URL into their computer's address bar. FIRST; their address bar turns green, alerting them to the fact that yours is one of the most secure, high quality e-merchant sites on the Web. Then SECOND, their view of both your Home Page and the Site Pages that follow includes floating and anchored trust marks. These insignia announce that your customers' credit card transactions are fully protected and can not be hacked. Finally, top EV SSL are bundled with tools that scan your Website for malware. You are also provided with the PCI Scan Compliance Reports you must submit to banks and credit card companies quarterly. And, of course, the best EV SSL come from Certificate Authorities that provide impressive Warranties and 24/7 technical support services.

So now you know why you need SSL Certificates and all about the types there are to choose from. Want a tip? If you're an e-merchant attempting to make site sales without the help of SSL, you're doing your company, your customers and your bottom line a disservice. Look into getting the right SSL Certificate today.

COMODO provides the top EV SSL Certificates and ot Wildcard SSL

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Cyber Criminals Leverage Olympics for Phishing

As the 2012 London Olympic Games are underway, headlines are going to flood the media with each passing second. The Olympics will most certainly take center stage as the most talked about, tweeted, and shared event over the next couple of weeks, and millions of people will follow the Games online. It is an exciting time for sports enthusiasts, and though it may come as a surprise, probably even more delightful to cyber criminals. It's not because of the athletic events and the excitement they bring, but because of the sheer number of people the Games themselves bring into their world. Sure, for all we know, the king fish of all cyber criminals may just be the biggest Michael Phelps fan there is. But what he really cares about is how many times he can use the name Michael Phelps and convert the people searching for him into another infected machine. For the convicts of the digital world, the Olympics just equates to more people to victimize, for greater phishing opportunities. Their jobs just got a lot easier, at least for the next week and a half.

It goes without saying: cyber criminals would not be half as successful if we were not so gullible. At least partly, their success is directly proportionate to how cautious the rest of us are. Cyber criminals are not as much innovators as they are crafty, situational, and "trend" shaping. They take advantage of our nosiness, so to speak-our basic human need for information. They manipulate the effect that sensational news has on us. They prey on our unyielding desire to be cognizant of all of the major events that matter to us and the people we like to keep up with-unfortunately for us, the Olympics contain a lot of both. They exploit the fact that the web has overwhelmingly become our mechanism for everything social-social engineering, in fact, is the term for it-and they are leaping at the chance to engineer whatever it takes to get a hold of your intellectual property.

Phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book. In the simplest of explanations, it usually involves cyber criminals leveraging "trending topics," either by borrowing upon factual current events (i.e. presidential elections, government scandals, sporting events, holidays, celebrity gossip) or totally making them up (hence the term social engineering). They frame it as if it is a news headline and create a hyperlink to what is actually a disguised malicious website that when accessed, initiates a drive-by download and infects visitors' computers with malware. Cyber criminals blast these phishing emails, trying to hook you with their bait. They generate websites on certain topics as they go, and insert executable code within them. This may be done in many forms with several different types of exploits. And just when we thought we knew what they were up to with these generalized, random emails, they got smarter. Another form of phishing, appropriately termed "spear phishing," is when the message is personalized to you. The bad guys research information about you and then tailor the email to suit your interests and there you have it: a trending-topic attack, made specially just for you. They use topics that are relevant and probably seem important. We have seen cyber criminals take advantage of a celebrity death, a scandal, or even Black Friday to send these phishing emails. They also use what is called "black-hat SEO," the dark version of SEO. Cyber criminals will SEO their malicious sites so that they outwit search engines and climb the page ranks as if they were normal sites, avoiding the hassle and inefficiencies associated with emails. They'll even purchase keywords to ascend to the top of search results quicker, increasing the chances of your Google search for Jamaica's Usain Bolt ending with a virus.

Why do people click on these links? Why haven't we got smarter? And what are they after? People click on these links because we're naturally anxious to see the breaking news or capitalize on the great specials, discounts, or shocking pictures that they promise. Cyber criminals are always using the freshest news to lure us in, wherein lies the strength of this tactic. We have a natural tendency that makes us want to engage and be impressed, or at the very least informed, so we have something to talk about. Cyber criminals are after information, in hopes that it leads to more information, which leads to money. Maybe they can hack and infect your business computer and come away with all of your R&D documents, so they can build off of your work and make something better to commercialize. Or maybe you have your online banking credentials stored on your computer somewhere that they can penetrate and steal. They either get to your bank accounts themselves or sell your information on black markets for someone else to do it. Think about it: they wouldn't go through so much hard work if they weren't smart, if it did not work, or somehow make them richer in the end. Think of the whole process as a fishing analogy. Once you click on the link, you are a fish that just got hooked, and once the malware is in, they start reeling in their rods, picking up on all the extras as they reel in your information.

Suffice it to say, while we are dazzled by the athletic feats of our favorite athletes competing for the pride of our countries, cyber criminals are hard at work, competing for your information, probably with the use of these trending topics that the Olympics will constantly provide, in order to socially engineer an attack. While search engines ramp up their defenses and algorithms to weed out these fake sites, it's important that we as users protect ourselves as well, especially now that we are aware. There's anti phishing software out there that makes safe web browsing easy. It's difficult to know whether you have clicked a malicious link until it's too late, but there are tools that can warn you ahead of time. Enjoy London 2012 and access legitimate sites for updates on medal counts, scores, and highlights... not the ones that come through your email. Don't bite the bait!

Fortunately, there are companies out there committed to preventing the spread of phishing, like KaspAV, a division of Guardian Network Solutions and authorized Kaspersky reseller. KaspAV specializes in providing the ultimate anti-phishing solutions in order to prevent harmful types of malware from lodging itself into your system and facilitate safe web browsing.

Reprint Terms: You're welcome to reprint these articles on your website and in your e-newsletters free of charge, provided that you do not change the article in any way and you include the byline, phishing.

In doing so you agree to indemnify Guardian Network Solutions and its directors, officers, employees, and agents from and against all losses, claims, damages, and liabilities that arise out of their use.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As Internet Monitoring Becomes More Prevalent, More Internet Users Turn To VPNs For Privacy

Over the last few years there has been an increasing push by governments and corporations globally to monitor and control the content that is being seen, used and downloaded on the internet. This has become painfully obvious with the recent Mid-Eastern conflicts. In most cases the censorship and monitoring is extreme, and very obvious, but in other cases the invasion into citizen privacy isn't quite as obvious.

Legal Invasions

In the US, there was SOPA, PIPA AND CISPA. In the EU it was ACTA. Fortunately all these draconian laws were rejected in the legislative processes. But in the US, the entertainment and internet industry corporations are risking the possibility of running afoul of the Consumer Privacy protections, and in the UK, the courts have already issued ISP's blocking and monitoring orders on specific websites. What is all this monitoring and blocking for? And just as important, what exactly are they looking at and recording? Well, Anti-Piracy, child pornography, and counterfeit drugs/products, are among the biggest items that are being sought out.

But, What Are They Monitoring And Recording

In the US, the ISPs that enlisted to monitor their customers activities and report possible illegal activities through the newly developed Copyright Alert System, (CAS,) claim that only file sharers, P2P, and Torrent users will be affected the most. They also claim that any information shared with the Center for Copyright Information, (CCI,) the authority behind the CAS, will be stripped of any information that could possibly identify the person, or customer. ISPs already collect every activity on the internet of every customer. Every website, password, log-in, instant message... all of it. They keep these records for a short time, mainly for law enforcement in a database that each of the ISPs have.

Who Has Access To This Database

Until recently, access to the customer information databases has been extremely limited. Access was granted to only the highest levels in the company, and then only when a warrant was issued by a court. But because of recent legislative and corporate administrative events, access to the database has been brought into question. FBI national security letter requests, and the lack of governmental oversight into the CAS has many people wondering what they can do to protect their right to privacy on the internet. They are concerned that more unscrupulous employees will gain access to the database and exploit customer information.

How To Keep Private Stuff Private

In the Mid-East, when the dictators closed the internet off, and started monitoring what little they left their internet denizens, they learned that VPNs, (Virtual Private Networking,) would cloak their activities. And while the VPN encoding could eventually be broken, it would take a lot of time. The rest of the free world is now slowly waking up to this fact. Using a VPN insures the privacy of the connection using encrypted dedicated tunnels, and many will encrypt the data payload... further insuring privacy. VPNs have been used for years by businesses to ensure their customers privacy, and now more and more, internet consumers have been turning to private VPNs for the same insurance.

Fields Marshall is a specialist in internet security, and advises many people and enterprises on VPN's, security related technologies, and other related services. He writes educational articles for VPNReviewz, to learn more, visit

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Improving Your Cyber Security - A Beginner's Guide

A recent Eurobarometer poll revealed some relatively alarming statistics. Firstly, that around 10% of all European internet users had experienced online fraud and/or identity theft in some form, and that 74% of those quizzed believed cyber-crime to be an 'increasing risk'. Secondly, that only just over 50% had some form of anti-virus software installed on their computers, and that 57% would open emails from addresses they did not recognize.

McAffe, in a separate study, has recently published a list of what it considers to be the foremost online threats in the coming year. Amongst the risks, it mentions employees of companies being targeted as 'doorways' past security and more advanced viruses designed to steal banking information. This, coupled with the findings of the Eurbarometer poll, presents a worrying risk to European citizens. If those quizzed were aware of the inherent risks posed by the internet, and yet did not take moves to protect themselves, then there are only a small number of possible reasons why. Firstly, that they did not feel threatened by cyber-crime, however, given the 10% that had been victims of said crimes, it is unlikely that this is a universal principle. The second possibility is that there is a widespread lack of awareness when it comes to protection. The study found that even the most basic of security protocols were being ignored, so we shall therefore examine some security tips for the beginner.

Antivirus software - While your operating system of choice may have built-in software for dealing with certain threats, without a full, dedicated antivirus program installed, it can be hard to get frequently-updated protection against the ever-changing world of viruses. Many such programs can be bought cheaply, and charge an annual fee, but if you cannot afford them, then there are plenty of reliable providers with a free version of their product. Any protection is better than no protection.

Common sense - As a general rule-of-thumb, do not open emails that you either were not expecting, or that are from addresses that you do not recognise. However, be cautious using email, regardless of source. Some viruses are able to access your friends' email accounts, and use them to forward virus-riddled spam messages to everyone in that address' directory. If you receive a message out-of-the-blue from a friend, perhaps just quickly check that it is a genuine one.

Caution in security - Many websites and online services require users to register an account and provide a password, which is a good thing: they are being protective of your details (and whatever else you keep there). However be cautious about having one 'universal' password. If a hacker were to get hold of it, then they would have access to everything, and could even use it to change your details, and lock you out of your accounts. Repairing such damage would be very time-consuming.

Be wary of 'Cloud Storage' - Cloud Storage is a form of data-storage conducted solely online. It offers users either free or cheap use of its servers, and many people use it to 'file' documents and the like. It is an innovative and useful service. However, be wary of storing anything containing personal or confidential information in 'The Cloud', as it has gained a reputation for not being totally secure.

For more online security tips, as well as technology and search engine news, visit Their dedicated team of writers is always updating the site with the latest news and advice.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

What Are The Benefits Of An SSL Certificate?

SSL is the abbreviated form of Secure Socket Layer. For ecommerce websites this certificate offers safety on the network. On a protocol on the internet, this is one particular component that is very important for safeguarding the client's information. Legal aspects of the server of a site are verified by the SSL certificate.

Data that is sent out is encrypted and integrity of the data is well protected during particular stages when transmission takes place. After this the information that is sent out, is decrypted on its landing on SSL secure server. For any of the stores on the internet, this is one certificate that is vital since assurance is offered to customers that all their information will be retained in a safe and secure manner.

Safety from Hackers and Identity Thefts
Identity thefts and hackers on the internet are a common threat due to which the SSL digital certificates prove to be very vital. Before certificate installation, one of the most essential things is deciding upon the server type that is processed by the website. An Apache server is employed by websites in most of the cases which necessitates an secure certificate of the Apache type.

Digital certificates are provided by the certificate authorities when the certificate is purchased by an ecommerce site. This ensures certainty that the information of the website possessor is broadcast and maintained securely by a server that is legitimate. Protection of data to the server is maintained due to which it does not land into wrong hands.

Types of SSL Certificates
SSL certificates are available in different kinds which comprise the dedicated, shared, wildcard, and free SSL. Benefits of different kinds are offered by these certificates. Diverse websites share the SSL as revealed by the name. As compared to a dedicated SSL certificate the diverse certificate is less expensive. Just one domain utilizes the dedicated web certificate.

If in case sub domains are held by websites then the wildcard SSL website certificate serves as a better option. The main domain and the sub domain are safeguarded by the SSL certificate. If you are looking for an alternative that is least costly, the free SSL certificate is a better alternative.

Superior Quality Security
However there can be risks related to security in such an alternative. Security offered is of superior quality if the Apache SSL certificate cost is superior. A lot of benefits are offered by the SSL certificates to stores on the internet. Server verification is one of the advantages. A pledge is offered by the certificate that everything about the server is legal.

The website certificate encrypts credit card numbers, information that is personal and passwords. Decoding of data takes place when in the protected SSL secure server, landing of data takes place. The secure socket layer certificate helps in website verification and determines trustworthiness of websites. Storage of data on the internet is possible in a secure manner. The best way to gain trust of customers is to consider the SSL certificate and draw a larger number of customers.

Jass Sawhney specialises in writing for services in the IT sector. He has in-depth knowledge and experience in the field of security certificate, domain registration and web hosting services among others.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Overhauling Your PC With Next Generation Security Defence

You know there is something wrong with your computer when it suddenly runs slower than how it usually is. A PC that used to be responsive and robust when it comes to performing the most basic tasks becomes slow and sluggish.

Bogging down your system is a nuisance and in some cases, can actually cause more trouble than you can expect. The problem lies in your system and the best solution is installing a dynamic anti malware software. If your concern lies in protecting important documents, files and your business in general, you can take the proper initiative to prevent future loses. With a next generation antivirus program, which can be easily installed, you will receive the ideal security needed to protect yourself against malicious invasions that will wreak havoc on crucial data.

Anti malware software incorporates protection against the latest and harmful security technology, which ensures that your business is not vulnerable to cybercrime. Here are few benefits of installing virus protection software:

1. Whenever you are online, browse and check your emails, whenever your antivirus software gets active. An antivirus is tasked to keep a check on outgoing and incoming information from unknown sources and email attachments. Few antivirus programs get integrated with web browsers to ensure they are available whenever you are online.

2. A full- fledged antivirus program provides a very strong protection against malicious threats such as Trojans, key-loggers, adware, root kits, worms and viruses to name some few. You can anytime adjust the sensitivity of your antivirus program in order to get good virus scan for your system.

3. Phishing has become the major approach of hackers online as one can see the widespread of threats all around. A cloud antivirus program can be easily installed on your PC in order to keep distance from phishing. The best program integrates itself with the web browser to provide a link scanner easily.

4. According to hackers it's their goal to breach your system's security and access various files, which tend to deem necessary for their benefits. It's important to block access to your personal information as antivirus program tends to offer it completely.

5. Irrespective of any attack from spam emails to Trojans, one should be assured of having frontline of protection.

6. With increase in utilization of cloud base softwares, it's important to protect your gadgets and computers from any unknown access.

It's not necessary to possess an expensive antivirus protection but it should assure you of privacy. Say goodbye to various online threats and virus programs and malware infections and let the right antivirus do its job.

Get windows free antivirus software and protect your system from virus attacks. Always use official or reliable websites to antivirus software download.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Purging Virus Threats From Your PC for Better Protection Online

Protection from virus threats can be a never ending process as virus attacks are largely present online. Even if you keep a sharp watch on threats you may find yourself overlooking one at some point in time.The best way to deal with it is to install a robust antivirus program and keep it updated against the latest online threats. Adware, spyware, malware and Trojans have never ending effects on our daily schedule online thus it seems difficult to keep a track over vulnerable activities. It's an obvious fact that you won't like to install such programs on your PC thus it's important to understand the complexities involved with such threats.

It's certainly more critical to understand which malware is dangerous and which is easy in purging threats from your system. Users start experiencing certain hassles while operating a system without computer virus protection, which may result in slow down of system, crash, data corruption, pop-up windows and slow internet speed. In the worst cases you can even lose your personal information, which is likely to be used for malicious purposes. Online security from spyware and Trojans are the example of some of the few solutions offered by experts.

Such assistance helps an individual to engage proper techniques in order to store and wait for total repair. So be it computer spyware removal or PC diagnostic, dynamic antivirus protection software downloads can help fix the problem efficiently. Viruses manifest themselves with different applications and can destroy the entire system badly. It's essential to stay vigilant all the time whenever you are online as spyware program may use other application in order to perform unauthorized functions. An antivirus program can be a better option as it can really help you detect all the hidden threats and it certainly comes for free. These antivirus programs can be updated for free as there are various versions you can choose from online. Free antivirus programs are good enough to make arrangements for your own system. A real time antivirus program provides automatic protection against database updates, on-demand system scanning, removable media checking and download monitoring very well. The best antivirus program works usually strong and can very help you update the database as the paid ones. Various defense systems can be bundled together to receive the features of the best antivirus protection.

It's important to make informed choices and check the reviews of other various best antivirus software online. Take the most of your virus protect software and solve your purpose perfectly as safety is the basic concern online.

Install a strong cloud anti virus protection software in your PC and protect your system from malicious virus attacks. There are many websites available on Internet that offers best free antivirus download services safely.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

The SSL Certificate and How Crucial It Is To Every E-Merchant

The SSL Certificate is the quickest and easiest way for anyone who sells goods or services online to protect customer transactions from dangerous, credit card pilfering hackers. One of the most prevalent problems on the Internet today.

Top SSL certs offer you fast online issuance, high level encryption, dedicated customer support and a strong warranty. In other words, an SSL Certificate will help you establish a highly safe and secure e-business environment that promotes increased sales, all within minutes. And, simultaneously, it will help greatly reduce the effects of a serious affliction that attacks every online business during tough economic times. Shopping Cart Abandonment.

The best SSL Certificates are designed with a 2048 bit signature because that is the most advanced technology available today. Top SSLs are recognized by 99.3% of all Internet Browsers, as well as the virtual entirety of the Internet visiting population. This means the 2048 bit signature does the best job of maximizing the reach of your business. And that's crucial, because converting a prospect on the Internet is all about making them feel safe, gaining their confidence and winning their trust. And reaching the greatest number of customers to convert.

You see, in today's highly competitive e-commerce world, building a sense of trust, safety and security in the minds of as many website visitors as possible is key to converting more of them to paying customers.

That's why most top SSL Certificates also feature another safeguard commonly referred to as 'point-to-verify' site seal technology. Point-to-Verify site seal technology shows your customers real-time verification of your website's security whenever a customer hovers his or her mouse cursor over the seal. It tells your customers about your company as well as the degree to which you ensure the security of their credit card transactions.

Most top SSLs also come with 24 / 7 technical support. As a valued customer, you should expect prompt telephone and email-based support for any questions you have during the application, installation and lifetime of your certificate's term.

Top SSL Certificates are not costly. In fact many first-time users begin by Googling Cheap SSL to find out more! And the purchase price of top SSLs often includes unlimited re-issuance, a 30 day no-questions-asked full refund, as well as unlimited server licenses.

So here's a tip: If you have a Website that sells anything that requires customers to engage in online credit card transactions, you owe it to the success of your online business to look into an SSL Certificate today.

Comodo SSL Certificates are the quickest and most cost effective way for any online businesses looking to protect customer transactions with high assurance SSL security.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some Tips on Protecting Your Password Security

All your many accounts you use everyday online are open to threats, whether that be your email accounts or social media security. And the most common and easy way to hack your account is by accessing or guessing your password. So we would like to offer a few recommendations to protect your privacy, date and online security.

Firstly, it is strongly recommended to use a mix of upper and lower case letters in your passwords. Also be sure to make use of spaces, numbers and symbols. You would be surprised how many people do not bother with this first and easiest way to personalise your access to your online accounts. Do try to make your chosen password longer than eight characters too. Longer words mixed with a variety of characters that only make sense to you will greatly increase the security of your online actions. It may sound obvious but you will be surprised how many people do it: do not spell your name, address or spouse's name backwards as an attempt to be cryptic.

We understand it is easier to remember if you have one or a few default passwords. But do be careful with this. Once your cookies or online history and most visited sites or social media platforms have been accessed, cracking one password can make it too easy to violate other accounts. It is therefore a good idea to change your default password when you sign up to a new site so as to create higher protection for your other accounts.

Many sites and email providers offer an option to store answers to security questions, should you have a problem recalling your password or if further checks of identity are necessary. These can be a common place to make a fatal mistake in terms of your online security. Providing easy answers that are linked to your private information or personal identity date is one such mistake. If someone has managed to break into your account then there is a good chance that they could also easily find out and pertain access to other personal information about you. So do not use your birthday, birth date, or information about your spouse or family members. Even you mother's maiden name is said to be high risk information so is therefore best avoided too.

Hackers are very clever at breaking into data and computer systems so it is important to be vigilant and take easy precautions to protect your online and social media security. With a little know how you can guard yourself and your business from cyber hacking and other forms of social media abuse.

Treble9 group offer a range of services and training courses on managing your online security and using social media safely.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steps to Secure Home Computer Security

Implementing a computer security on your home system plays a great role in protecting your PC from various online threats like spyware, malware, virus, worms and many more. Everyday, new and more aggressive viruses get launched on the Internet, and while you do your best to diligently update your anti-virus, do not ever underestimate the kind of havoc it will wreak on your system. Bottom line is, whether you use the Internet or not, you will still need an efficient antivirus software that will detect each and every virus infecting your system.

How can you maintain a good antivirus program?

First you need to buy or download an antivirus protection for your system from the huge range of antivirus software available so as to ensure that your PC is little protected. Then it completely depends on you what all benefits you are using out of it for protecting your system. You should always scan your programs, files, and folder once a day to detect the entire virus, but most of the antivirus comes with Auto generated scan so that whenever you start your computer it will automatically start scanning your each and every folder and throw the detrimental viruses out of your system.

Avoid opening a wary and unknown folder

Be aware of the folders or emails which can put your Personal Computer in trouble by just opening it. This might sound tricky, but it is true. Many hackers endeavor to hoax you by fetching the sensitive date in the middle before reaching to the desired position. The best thing you can do is delete the email which is not being sent by the known recipient and always try to read the information sent by known person before clicking on the attached files. If you face any doubts regarding opening up any attached file then you must contact the person who sent that file to you at that moment only for betterment of your system.

How can you boost the security of home computer?

If you are using windows in your computer system then you must be thinking of getting windows updates for your Personal Computer. Many developers create patches for the windows to make it run efficiently without any intrusion. You can also twirl the option of automatic updates so that your computer starts downloading and establishing whenever you indicate it. You can even check their website for the most up-to-date program updates.

Protect your home computer with best cloud antivirus protection software. There are many websites available on Internet that offers best free antivirus protection download services safely.

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Tips to Stay Safe and Private Online, Particularly When Shopping!

Along with good internet security software, your level of safety when surfing or shopping online depends on maintaining good browsing habits, controlling what information you share online, and reducing the information others collect about you. Here are some simple but important ways enhance your online security and privacy.

To a significant extent, how how safely and privately you browse and shop depends on careful viewing and computer maintenance habits.

Make Sure Your PC, Laptop or Handheld Devices Always has Appropriate Security Software with the Latest Security Updates

Forget about how rushed you are! Always take the time to update your security settings. Depending on your computer use, this could be once a day or once a week.

There are also times that you should double-check that all of your security is the latest available:

Always check for security updates before going online for any online financial transaction, or a transaction when you will be providing personal information, such as renewing your licence or automobile registration
If you get have access to a new application, update your security settings before downloading it. This will lower the chances of downloading an app with nosey or malicious code embedded into it.

Watch Your Cookie Settings

Most everyone needs to use cookies: many sites won't work without them, including's search engine.

Most cookies are innocuous, but many companies not only information about where you may have visited any given day, other cookies can track your surfing habits for as long as they remain on computer.

It's no coincidence that search engine results ads and sometimes results often mirror the site's you've recently or regularly visited. Some companies maintain tracking data for several years based on a cookie that may have been on your harddrive for only a few hours. It's called data mining and the databases are stocked fill with information.

Here are some ways to reduce how much your activities are tracked online:

Limit your Cookie Settings

Most browsers give you the option of downloading "all cookies," "no cookies," or a combination of "First Party" and "Third Party" cookes. First Party cookies are generally used by the primary site, but you should turn off automatic download of Third Party Cookies. Most of them are downloaded by advertisers or affiliated parties of the site you visited.

Regularly clear out your internet cache, which includes deleting all cookies, every time you initiate and right after you complete an online purchase or online banking or payment transaction.

It's a good idea to just delete all cookies every time you close a browsing session. These cookies just clutter up your computer and provide additional information to others. They have no positive impact on you in any way.

Even though regularly cleaning out cookies vastly reduces the amount of information anyone can learn about you, computers around the world (and most certainly at Google) know a lot about your viewing patterns.

This includes what sites you visit, how often you visit, what news sites you like, and your general age, location and sex. And if you've ever provided it to anyone, they may also know your average household income.

Which brings us to the next good security habit: be vigilant with your personal data.

Use Caution When Giving Out Personal or Financial Info

They can ask whatever they want, but you control your answers. Think before you disclose information. Once you give it out, it could be available to a variety of parties for a very long time.

Think about who you are giving the information to.

Why do they want it?How will it be used?With whom can this information be shared?Do they really even NEED this information?

Bottom Line: Unless there is a legitimate and business reason that a company needs information (such as a store needing your credit card data, address, phone number and email) don't provide it.

And, you should NEVER provide information that makes you the least bit uncomfortable. Some information is necessary, most is not.

For example, lots of sites such as Facebook and email services, ask your age. This makes sense because there are age limits for services.

On the other hand, you'll often be asked for information that service providers and marketers would love to know. But, you don't need to tell them and they can't make you.

If you look closely at any online registration form, you'll note that some questions are subtly marked as required, the others are subtly marked as optional.

The optional information is not required, but many people just fill the answers in without thinking about what will happen to the data. Here are some examples of common questions you should think about before answering.

Ethnicity or religionMarital /Relationship StatusSexual PreferencePersonal or household incomeNumber of children in the homeHousehold education levels

Other information that you should be very wary about sharing includes your social security number, or any banking information.

There are very few things online that can only available in one place. Any information requests that make you uncomfortable mean it's time to leave the site. And make sure you delete your cookies after you do!

Submit Financial or Private Info Only on Secure Sites with HTTPS Prefix

This one is pretty easy if you look at the address bar of your browser.

Servers with secure socket layer protection, encryption and other critical measures that protect your information as it flies through cyberspace should start with HTTPS.

Here's an example: you are viewing a website and for most of your visit the browser begins with "HTTP." When you choose your product and start entering your purchase information, look back at the address bar to make sure that the new address begins with "HTTPS."

Note: Merchants that process payment cards are severely limited to the information they share about customers. Along with stringent security measures, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) require that merchants protect information such as customer names, payment preferences, addresses and email addresses, for example.

Don't Expect Your Emails to Remain Private

No matter how secure your computer, email is inherently an unsafe way to transmit certain information. The most extreme caution: never put anything in an email that you wouldn't want your boss, mother, son, or husband to read.

On the serious side, some things just should not be transmitted or stored in emails. These included:

Banking information, including routing and account numbers, but especially online banking user names and passwordsCredit Card information, including numbers, expiration dates or security codes and passwords to your other email accountsPasswords to any online accounts.

Another note: many faxes these days actually end up in an email inbox, which may or may not be better than laying on an unattended desk.

If you're faxing information, know who is monitoring the machine at the other end and ask that they call to let you know they have safely retrieved and stored the information transmitted.

If they can't do this, send the information by certified mail or FedEx.

Don't Stay Logged to Online Sites Or Store User Names/Passwords Online

It's sure convenient to stay logged into to your favorite sites without having to remember your user name and password on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, it's not that safe and it's a habit to avoid. Hackers and others can piggyback these accounts, and take advantage of any lapses in your security to access other accounts.

Know Who You're Doing Business With

Alway be especially cautious when you provide information to any site that does not provide contact information clearly on their website. (Our recommendation: if they don't give you a name, email or phone number, don't give these to the site.)

And don't rely on a contact form. Make sure you see a telephone number and an email address.

Never worked with the company before? No big deal, just email them or give them a call and see what type of response you get. A company you want to do business with will gladly speak with its customers, before and after any sales.

If you're calling a smaller store, you may not get in touch with a human right away, but odds you'll hear from their soon enough and should be able to answer any questions you have about the products you're buying and why they need any information that you might not usually provide.

And if you don't like what you hear, just move along.

AM McElroy has over 20 years experience in corporate communications, technical writing and marketing/sales within the banking/US payments, civil/environmental engineering, internet security, and natural sciences (physics) arenas.

She has an e-commerce sites, and a blog on solar and other renewable energy

Copyright 2012, AM McElroy, SolarFlairLighting and SolarLightingSmart.

People may copy article in whole or in part from ONLY if, in accordance with policy, this full Author's Resource box is included with the article, including working links to the two sites noted above. Please note that she aggressively protects her copyrighted articles. Violators will be notified and legal action will be taken when necessary.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Search Your Name Online: Be Prepared for a Shocking Discovery

Come on, admit it. You've Googled your name. Actually, it's a good idea. You should know what is on the Internet about you.

Usually you'll find such things as what you've written, where you've worked, your Web site, speaking engagements and your blog.

Some say it's just an ego trip.

I disagree. You also want to see if something is inaccurate or downright nasty. If it is on a public site, you might be able to do something about it such as comment.

Nevertheless, there is a lot more about you online than just what you wrote or where you worked

Google is not going to tell you the details of your personal life. Beyond the various free people searches are details you normally wouldn't make public, but they are there for anyone to find.

It's downright scary. Forget about privacy. It's long gone.

I've found people I didn't know except for a first and last name. I had no address, age range, names of relatives, nothing. I performed this questionably ethical process using my home computer and available public free people search engines.

Many think the information is inaccurate. I'm here to tell you most of it is true, current and very, very personal. I know because for this exercise I used myself as the subject.

Below is a list of some popular search engines that you can use for free:

· -Need age, gender, year of birth, etc. Very little without these details.

· - Mostly accurate information on city only and one "association" with my husband.

· CVgadget: - Will give you a list of a person's social networks

· PeekYou: - Very little information beyond name and city.

· Pipl: - The most comprehensive information for free. Photos, profession, employer, city, state, phone numbers and age.

· Searchbug:- No information available

· Spokeo: - Very limited, but accurate information with a map. Just name and city.

· White Pages: - Name, current and old addresses. Others with similar name and sometimes age. No email or phone number. Will refer user to paid companies.

· Wink People Search: - Very little accurate information beyond name and city.

· Yahoo People: - Mostly a Google search. One address.

· Zaba Search: - Some accurate information on street address, city, state, and age. No email or phone number.

Fee based people search sites:

Several of the free sites will refer to a paid site for more information.

Below are several paid-based sites and what you can find out.

· Intellius is the largest paid people search engine online. It allows a free search that lists name, city and relatives. Many of the free sites offer more information for a fee. Once you click on the additional information they link to fee level. Intellius offers six different services ranging from $.95 cents to $50.00.

· USA People Search: Starts with free list of names and city. For more information, it offers a limited, time-based option such as a 24-hour, 7-day or 30-day subscription.

· US Search: The free portion gave accurate information on city, state, parents and education. The fee portion offers three different pricing options and services from $.95 cents to $40.00.

I paid the $40.00 to see what kind of information would come back.

- Name, aliases, all previous & current address, current address, phone numbers and my age.

- Relatives, property values, bankruptcy and criminal records.

- All relatives, ages and social network associations.

- Property information including lot size, finished size, house type, tax assessment year, year built, Zillow estimated value, and valuation change from two years ago.

- Available criminal Records. If the records you want are from out of town, you can pay $15 and the site will send a person to retrieve court records and send them either by E-mail or by fax.

There are sites to look up specific criminal records, arrests, sex offender sites, and "skip tracing" for missing people.

Pretty much whatever you are searching for on anyone, it can be found using an online search engine.

Happy hunting.

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