Archive for December, 2014

Things To Check If Your Internet Is Blocked On Your PC

December 30, 2014

You might have witnessed times when you are suddenly unable to connect to the internet from your computer system. This could be due to several reasons which most people are unable to detect. Given here is a complete list of the common things to check when you witness internet connection not working on your PC.

Unplugged Network Cable Or WI-Fi Disabled

This is the most common reason why most people are unable to connect to the internet. The connection failure is not due to a problem in the network, but because of Wi-Fi adapter been shut off in the laptop. In home networks, the router might have been inadvertently unplugged by someone.

Rule Out Fake Alarms

Instead of problem in your network connection, there are chances that a particular website may be down. Hence, before assuming any conclusion, make sure you visit several popular websites rather than just a single one.

Avoid IP Address Clashes

If more than one computer is using the same IP address, the clash between them can also prevent the internet connection from working properly. To resolve this issue, you should renew the IP address of any of the computers having confilct. If your network has a static IP address, you can manually change it to any other number.

Check For Faults in Computer Firewall

Firewalls installed on many computers are intended to restrict unauthorized traffic to affect network processes.  Regrettably, due to an error, these software systems can sometimes also block valid internet users. Also, when more than one firewall is installed on the same computer, conflicts between them can also lead to erroneously block traffic. If you have recently updated or installed a computer firewall system, disable it temporarily to see if it has been causing the problem in internet connection.

Check If Wireless Signal Is In Range

If you are on a Wi-Fi network, the performance of the connection will be influenced by the distance between the wireless access point and computer system. Farther the Wi-Fi device, slower will be the internet speed. Determine the strength of your wireless connection to diagnose the problems in your internet.

Changes In Wireless Network Configuration

Wi-Fi networks usually require matching WEP or WPA security keys to connect. If a person changes the password or encryption key at the access point, all the devices will be unable to connect to internet. You can contact the network administrator to confirm if the pin has been changed recently.

If all the above things are working correctly, contact your internet service provider to check if there is an outage in your area. They can also guide you to troubleshoot the connection problem.

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All You Need To Know About VPN

December 24, 2014

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private network that uses the public telecommunication system, usually the internet, to enable a secure network access within an organization. It aims at providing the entire organization with the same network capabilities, but at a much lesser cost. VPN is often used to extend intranets across the world in order to broadcast information to a wider audience. If a user wants to gain access to the network, he must go through an authentication protocol using a username and password.

Types of VPN

  • Dial-up VPN: This is a software based system developed over your existing internet connection. It involves creating a secure channel between the two remote points which allows the users to connect to the network. There is often little or no cost associated with this type of network set-up as you can easily use your existing software and equipment.
  • Site To Site VPN: This type of VPN can be used to connect several computers present in remote locations to a particular network. All the systems connected to the network can have an access to each other.
  • Client VPN: This is an encrypted connection from one remote device to a VPN router. Traffic is channeled from the device towards the router so that the user can access the inside information of the organization.
  • SSL VPN: This type of VPN works much similarly to the client VPN. The major difference lies in the fact that it does not require any preconfigured software to connect to the network. Rather, the web browser performs the function of VoIP software.

Security Tips For VPN

  • Install and constantly update firewalls to strengthen your VPN network.
  • An intrusion detection or prevention system is recommended to effectively monitor malicious attacks on the network.
  • Unmanaged or unsecured systems without any authentication should not be provided access to the network.
  • Remote network servers or computer systems should have anti-virus software installed to prevent any infections.
  • Network administrators should be provided proper training to follow best security measures during the installation and use of VPN.
  • Auditing and logging functions should be present to record any unauthorized attempts to access the network.
  • Guidelines and policies should be provided to the responsible parties to regulate their network use.
  • Unnecessary access to the intranet should be controlled and limited.

Following the above given security tips can help you have a safe and secure network connection in your organization.

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PCI Compliance For Your Web Store

December 16, 2014

PCI (Payment Card Industry) security standards are a set of guidelines aimed towards protecting the personal information as well as confirming security at the time of online transactions using a credit or debit card. If you are in an online retail business you might be involved in financial transactions over the internet. Such dealings are susceptible to a lot of malicious attacks posing a threat for penalties, lost revenue and even credit card breaches.

Whether you have a small or large web store, being PCI compliant is necessary to ensure security for customer related information while processing payments or while handling their data. An autonomous body named PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) was created by the leading credit card brands MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Discover and American Express to administer and manage the PCI DSS (Data Security Standards).

How to be PCI compliant?

There are 5 standards that must be met for a web store to be PCI compliant:

  • Maintain Secure Network: Businesses must ensure that the systems used to store customer data is protected with a firewall. Also, reasonable measures should be taken to safeguard the network to which the servers are connected.
  • Protect Cardholder Data: The personal data of the cardholder should not be accessible to everyone. The credit card numbers must be stored in an encrypted form so that even if someone breaches the database, he would not be able to decode the information.
  • Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program: Keeping your server software, hardware and operating systems updated is another important measure to be compliant with PCI standards.
  • Implement Strict Access Control: Web store owners must assign a unique identification number to each person who has access to the cardholder data. This access should also be provided only to a limited number of employees who need to use it.
  • Regularly Test Networks: The network security processes and measures should be regularly scanned, tracked and monitored to detect any potential security issues. Issues detected should be fixed on priority.

Benefits of Being PCI Compliant:

  • Merchants can protect themselves against heavy fines by preventing data breach.
  • PCI compliant web stores are trusted by the customers. Thus, it helps to increase their business.
  • Being PCI Complaint helps to protect the reputation and credibility of an online retailer.
  • PCI compliance can help online businesses become more secure by decreasing vulnerability to network attacks.
  • Keeping the above benefits in mind, it is important that the web stores should make sure they comply with the security standards of PCI.

We at Centex Technologies provide complete security solution to our clients. For more information, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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Online Marketing Tips For Christmas 2014

December 10, 2014

With Christmas fast approaching, online businesses are gearing up for boom in sales and number of visitors. While most of the businesses are planning to woo their customers by giving out attractive deals, it is equally important to target new customers through a well-planned marketing approach.

Here are some of the marketing tips that must be followed by the online businesses to capitalize during the Christmas season in 2014:

  • Give a Christmas makeover to your website: As Christmas denotes happiness and holidays, your website should not look boring and unadorned in this merry season. Give a complete makeover to it by using different colors and Christmas based design/ banners. You can also go for a customized theme that perfectly describes your website’s focus for this Christmas.
  • Make your website responsive: Majority of people use mobile phones to access the internet. Thus, it is extremely important for online businesses to opt for a responsive website design that can automatically adjust itself to any screen size. This will make it easier for the users to browse and view the products even on a smaller device.
  • De-clutter your home page: Your website’s home page is the first thing that a viewer sees and it can either attract or repel the users. Make sure that you replace all the expired offers and sold out products with fresh and attractive Christmas gifts and goodies. Give your website a neat layout with simple paths to the products and offers. Add categories and sub-categories so that the visitors can easily search for what they want.
  • Use Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are some of the most effective online marketing tools. Many consumers turn to these social networking websites to look for recommendations and reviews of other people. You should make sure that you maintain an active business page that promotes your unique products, discounts, coupons and offers that attracts buyers.
  • SEO: You must modify your SEO plan according to the searches relevant to Christmas. For instance, consider using keyword like ‘Christmas deals’, ‘cheap Christmas gifts’, ‘Xmas gifts for him/her’ in your website content. Optimize your website content as well as product descriptions according to the targeted keywords. This will help you get a higher ranking of your website for Christmas related search terms.

Using the above given tips can definitely help you increase you return on investment (ROI) this Christmas.

We at Centex Technologies provide complete Online Marketing solutions for businesses. For more information on our customized SEO and Internet Marketing plans, please call us at – (855) 375-9654

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