Archive for October, 2013

How To Protect Your Computer From Viruses Or Other Security Issues While Traveling

October 29, 2013

A vast majority of virus attacks on personal computers happen while traveling, which emphasizes the need to adopt security measures while using your computer on the go. Thankfully, it just takes a few simple steps to significantly increase your computer’s protection, and keep it safeguarded from viruses and other internet bots. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to keep your computer safe from viruses and other security issues while traveling:

  • Do not update software on public Wi-Fi systems: Before setting out on your trip, make sure that you have updated the operating system and software on your computer. Do not carry out any updates while accessing the internet through a public Wi-Fi hotspot, such as that in a hotel room. This could lead to cyber criminals installing malware that grants them access to all the data on your computer. Some of these programs can even enable the hacker to turn on the webcam on your computer and monitor all your activities.
  • Make sure you have an antivirus system intact: As obvious as it might seem, a large number of people tend to overlook the need for installing antivirus software on the computers. While this is important for your computer’s security in general as well, it is especially important for the increased protection you need while traveling.
  • Have a data backup: It is always a good idea to ensure that you have a backup for all the important data you need, before travelling with your computer. This data can be stored on the cloud or in a hard drive, and can be easily retrieved in case your computer gets stolen or gets infected with a virus.
  • Only use WPA2-encrypted networks: Before using a hotel network, make sure that it is encrypted with WPA2. You can easily tell whether a network is WPA2-encrypted or not, while adding the password for the network in your wireless settings. WEP and WPA networks are best avoided, and should be used only if you have no other option and desperately need to access the internet.
  • Use VPN to access your company’s network: If you need to access your company’s network while travelling, it is a good idea to do so through the VPN, or Virtual Public Network. Since VPNs only allow authenticated remote access, this will keep your private information protected.

For planning your office network and to know more about how to keep your computer secure, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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Google Mugshot Update

October 24, 2013

The NY times article titled “Why Google Should Crack Down Harder On The Mugshot Extortion Racket” by Jonathan Hochman served as a “major spark” for Google’s latest update, the Mugshot update, according to Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts. The algorithm, which was released on Thursday, is Google’s attempt to take action against rampant mugshot sites, which are structured in a way that made them rank at the first position for search results of the names of people whose mugshots have landed on these sites.

These websites work by gathering information of convicted individuals from law enforcement websites and government databases, and publishing these arrest details and photographs on their landing pages. In most cases, the arrests do not lead to guilty charges or trials, but this information is not included on the mugshot sites. This leads to a paid unpublishing scam, since when the individuals in question search for their names on Google, and see these results coming up, they are often ready to pay huge amounts to bring them down. This procedure involves paying multiple “mugshot removing” websites amounts ranging from $30-$400 to have the information removed, which is a clear violation of the personality rights of these individuals.

The update is causing these mugshot sites to lose a huge amount of their traffic, and search results for names of affected individuals no longer include the mugshot sites. This comes as a huge relief for people who have their mugshots online, since this came in the way of everything, right from getting a job to renting an apartment. What was worse was that several people reported that their mugshots became available on several other mugshot sites after they paid to get them removed from one.

Google’s mugshot update will go a long way in giving these people, many of whom were found innocent, had charges dismissed, had committed a minor crime, or had their record expunged on completing a treatment program, a second chance at a normal life. Before the update, people had to worry about being tainted online long after they were declared clean by the law. Even though several states including Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Utah have been trying to pass laws against what is rightly described as the “Mugshot Extortion Racket”, most of these laws are still hanging midway, awaiting court rulings. Google has successfully managed to bring an end to the long wait, solving the problem in a single sweep.

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How To Use Trending Data From Twitter To Promote Your Business

October 17, 2013

As a business owner with an online presence, you are probably aware of the impact that trending hashtags have on the online world. For the uninitiated, a hashtag is a phrase or a word following the symbol “#”, which gained immense popularity on Twitter, and have now spread to other social networking sites like Facebook and Google Plus. So how can you use these trending topics to promote your business? The first thing that you need to understand is that trending hashtags change in real time, which is why it is important to keep track of what is trending at a certain point, before using it to promote your business.

When you notice a trend that relates to your business, you can participate in it by using this tag. Having a trending tag in your content update helps you to spread your message to a wide audience, spreading beyond your fans and followers. While this is a great way to get your few invaluable seconds of fame on the web, you need to pay heed to social media etiquette while using trending tags to promotes your business. As a ground rule, you should never spam trending hashtags by over-posting trending tags, or posting tags that are not related to your business.

At present, Twitter and Google+ are the only social networks that allow you to view trending topics on their sites. However, the trends on these websites are easily transferable to Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest, making it possible to integrate this marketing strategy on all your social media networks. Apart from viewing trending topics directly on Twitter and Google+, you can also make use of other online resources to explore more in-depth trending tag opportunities. Some such websites include Trendsmap and Hashtags.org.

The effective use of trending data on Twitter and Google Trends for your business can help to gain followers on these sites. However, remember to stay away from political or news-related hashtags, as even though these might result in increased traffic for your website, they are sure to generate an equal amount of negative publicity, leading to the backfiring of your marketing strategy. Even if you must choose a trending tag that does not directly relate to your business, do so smartly.

Centex Technologies provide Internet Marketing Services to its clients. For more information on how to use Twitter in your marketing strategy, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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Tips On Planning A Big Office Network

October 8, 2013

The first step while planning a big office network is to evaluate the capacity needs of your current network. For this, you need to perform an inventory of all your network locations, which should include the available internet bandwidth, internet access type (VPN, DSL, etc.), and the location name. It is also important to take into consideration the building blocks of your office, which might influence the strength of a wireless network. You must consider the number of access points and bandwidth that your business will need to achieve the expected productivity gains. Along with this, you must also take into account the long-term maintenance of these access points, through centrally-managed controller appliances.

Once you have decided on the number of WLAN access points for your large business, you need to determine the power requirements of these access points, which is usually less than 15 watts. You can consider using power injectors placed along the line within 100 meters, as these provide greater flexibility than conventional power sources.

The next important consideration should be the security of your network. This is critical, considering that you depend on your network for a vast majority of your business functions, including communication, billing, inventory, sales, and trading. A network security breach could cost you heavily in terms of lost revenue and customer litigation.

While it is important to ensure that your network is highly secure, you must ensure that the security of the network does not come in way of its usability. Having a well-drafted network security plan is a good way to ensure effective network security. This should include all the major aspects of network security, such as email and communications activities, identity policy, remote access policy, encryption policy, password policy, antivirus policy, and acceptable use policy. Your network should be equipped with security technologies like firewall, Virtual Private Network (VPN), identity management, content security, and compliance validation.

Avoid interchanging home access points with multiple access points at the office. Even though these might be cheaper, they are likely to interfere with the seamless connection required at the workplace. Also, remember that just because an access point is at an easy location, does not mean it is the best location.

We at Centex Technologies design and implement computer networks for medium and large businesses. For more information call us at – (855) 375-9654

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