Thursday, August 9, 2012

Please create safer passwords

Thanks to HP for the great article!

If juggling a ridiculous amount of passwords for your various online accounts is driving you crazy, you’re not alone. For security reasons, passwords are required for everything from email to social media networks to online banking and shopping accounts, and even logging into your computer. But if you aren’t careful about how you choose your passwords or where you store them, the very thing that’s supposed to your make personal information secure might actually be putting it in jeopardy.
How to choose a secure password

Using the same password for multiple accounts or choosing a word or phrase that’s easy to remember (such as a house address, birthday, last name) is very common—and a big mistake. Those kinds of passwords happen to be the easiest for hackers to crack. There are several things to consider when creating a password that will keep your information safe.

Choose passwords that use a variety of letters, figures, symbols and cases. Try putting your hands on the keyboard and just typing randomly—a gibberish password can be very secure.

Use similar-looking substitutions to create alternatives for words that you remember easily. For example, the number zero can replace the letter “O” and the dollar sign can replace the letter “S.”

Phonetic replacements are also a good idea (e.g., “Luv2Laf” for “Love to Laugh”).

Avoid including personal information, words or acronyms that can be found in the dictionary, phrases that can be tied back to you, sequential numbers and repeating characters.

Many websites will let you know whether your password is safe when you’re in the process of choosing it. Pay attention to that, and if the site indicates that your password is not secure, pick a different one.

To keep your passwords safe, never send them to anyone via email—even yourself. It’s also recommended that you change passwords every 30 to 90 days and never write them down or keep them anywhere near your computer.

How to remember your passwords

So when you have a variety of passwords composed of random characters that you’re not supposed to write down and that (should) change every few months, how on earth are you supposed to remember all of them?

There are several password management solutions online that are secured by one ultra-strong password and can store all of your passwords for you and recall them as needed. They range in price from free to varying monthly and yearly fees. Many of them have enhanced mobility so you can access your information from anywhere on a smartphone.

While password security may eventually give way to more precise and manageable ways to keep data secure, it’s still unavoidable right now. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind the various strategies to limit the vulnerability of your personal information and remember what’s at stake when you’re creating your passwords.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Post - Facebook Lockdown Guide

Just a quick heads up from the folks at They put together a very comprehensive overview of Facebook and how you can secure your account. Check out their page at the link below. Facebook hacking and password security are becoming more and more of a problem, so please make sure to read this carefully if you have a Facebook account.

From CNet...
"New Year’s resolutions are among us, though voluntary and often roll over from year to year. This time around, though, take one New Year’s resolution as a wild card, and lock down your Facebook profile like your own personal Fort Knox, and get it out of the way for the year ahead.

The bad news is that damage could well have already been done, as some features are hidden away and are difficult to find. But, don’t panic. You will be surprised how much you can recover in the space of five or ten minutes of clicking on a few buttons."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Orlando Family Attorney Rhonda Parnell

We just finished up the new website design for Rhonda Parnell's law office. The site color scheme was based on Rhonda's office just outside Orlando in Winter Park. We think the site turned out great!

When you get a second, check out the site and leave us a comment.

Google Analytics and your website.

If you've talked to us before about building a website, you've probably heard us mention Google Analytics at some point. Google Analytics is the free suite of tools that we use to track visitors to your website. Think of it like the turnstalls at Disney, only more accurate. With Google Analytics, we can not only track who comes to the site, but also how long they stay, what they look at, where they live, and alot more.

If your website doesnt have Google Analytics monitoring, you need to call Hughes I.T. Solutions soon. You'll never know how your website is doing, or what it could be doing without this information. Our Search Engine package includes the setup of a variety of Google tools, along with link building and other SEO changes to your site. We make sure that your website is as Google "Friendly" as possible.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why am I getting viruses on my computer?

I've had a handful of clients who asked me similar questions. They are always curious how these viruses get onto their systems. One of the tacticts used to get viruses on your computer is called "Malvertising". It's a technique where a advertiser pops up an ad that looks like it's a security warning about your computer. When you click on that "warning", the virus or scareware is installed.

This technique is becomming more common, with a recent study concluding that 1.3 million ads are viewed per day. 1.3 MILLION!!

Here's some more information below from the ZDNet article that I read.

New research released by Dasient indicates that based on their sample, 1.3 million malicious ads are viewed per day, with 59 percent of them representing drive-by downloads, followed by 41 percent of fake security software also known as scareware

The attack vector, known as malvertising, has been increasingly trending as a tactic of choice for numerous malicious attackers, due to the wide reach of the campaign once they manage to trick a legitimate publisher into accepting it.

More findings from their research:

•The probability of a user getting infected from a malvertisement is twice as likely on a weekend and the average lifetime of a malvertisement is 7.3 days

•97% of Fortune 500 web sites are at a high risk of getting infected with malware due to external partners (such as javascript widget providers, ad networks, and/or packaged software providers)

•Fortune 500 web sites have such a high risk because 69% of them use external Javascript to render portions of their sites and 64% of them are running outdated web applications

The research’s findings are also backed up by another recently released report by Google’s Security Team, stating that fake AV is accounting for 50 percent of all malware delivered via ads.

Thanks to Dancho Danchev  for the great article.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Which web browser should I use? Not IE6

Afternoon Gang,

As web developers, the one thing that drives us nuts is the amount of users still using old web browsers. They fail to provide security and a rich experience online, and they're just plain out-dated. You just dont know what your missing when you're browsing the web. When I can across the IE6 funeral page, I couldnt help but post it up here.

Check out the Funeral site at the link below.

If you're still using IE6, please visit this site and upgrade your browser today. You wont lose any settings, and your experience online will be improved dramatically, both in security and content richness!

Thanks for stopping by,

Hughes IT Solutions

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Designing with HTML 5 - What it means now.

Since Steve Job's announced to the world that Apple would never support Adobe Flash on it's mobile devices, the design world has become energized by the concepts of HTML5 and CSS3. I've seen more articles on the subject in the last 2 weeks than I've seen in the last 6 months. This momentum is slightly premature, because the majority of older browsers simply don't work with HTML 5.

Where this new standard in web design comes in handy though is when you are developing for mobile users. For the most part, modern smart phone browsers will support HTML5, which means that you can encode video on your websites that your mobile visitors should be able to watch without the use of Flash. This has been on of the biggest complaints amongst mobile users (and iPad users).

There are some extra bits of code that need to be included on the site in order to make this work, but this is just the beginning. When all the grandparents of the Internet switch from their outdated Internet browsers to something a little more up to date, I hope to see a real change in the way we view our browsing experience. It's going to be really amazing!

Hughes I.T. Solutions will be there on the forefront of HTML5 and CSS3, designing sites that are modern and standards compliant. We look forward to making your design ideas a reality. Give us a call anytime to discuss your needs and how we might be able to help!


Dave Nevill
Hughes I.T. Solutions Inc.