Bruce Schneier, a well-respected expert in the online security industry, discussed the Heartbleed bug on his blog and described the devastating effects of the newly discovered security hole as, “On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.” Sadly, Schneier was not exaggerating. The extent of the security threat is huge. Netcraft estimates that the bug affects roughly half a million websites, including Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. 

What Is the Heartbleed Bug and Why Is It a Cause for Concern

heartbleed daytona beach First publicized on April 7, 2014, Heartbleed is an OpenSSL flaw, a bad code that may have been inadvertently introduced by the developers of OpenSSL. It has existed since December 2011.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the encryption protocol used for securing the data transmitted between the browser and the Web server. OpenSSL, on the other hand, is the open-source deployment of SSL and TLS (Transport Layer Security). Popular among web administrators, the OpenSSL implementation can be found running on 66 percent of the web.

The Heartbleed bug wreaks havoc by allowing a remote attacker to read the Web server’s memory, which could likely include the private encryption keys. This means the attacker can simply lift data that is supposed to have been secured via the SSL/TLS encryption protocols. According to the Finland-based software security company, Codenomicon, which first discovered the bug while working with a Google researcher, Heartbleed can leak usernames and passwords, files, instant messages, and email messages.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Personal Data

Don’t scramble to change your passwords–not yet, anyway. Wait until the service provider has successfully patched its website, according to an email sent by Codenomicon’s Ari Takanen to PC World. If you change your password before the patching is completed, you could end up contributing to the leaked server information that can be stolen.

There are online checkers available if you want to check whether or not the website you are using is still infected by the bug. These three Heartbleed checkers can help you: filippo.io/Heartbleed, lastpass.com/heartbleed, and ssllabs.com/ssltest. If the website is still not patched by the server, don’t use it until it’s clear for you to do so. The Heartbleed bug can only expose the information on the Web server’s memory. So, it is best not to introduce new data that can be potentially intercepted, most especially your new password. In case of an attack, your data has to be contained in the Web server’s memory for it to be exposed. Now that the bug’s existence has been widely publicized and attackers may be taking advantage of the websites that have yet to issue patches, changing your password on an unpatched site can be more disastrous than taking no action.

The presence of an encryption error like Heartbleed should make you more security-conscious with your online data. Consider these two effective means to lock down your online accounts: a two-factor authentication and a password manager.

A two-factor authentication necessitates entering a code before gaining access to your online account. This code is normally generated through a smartphone app or an SMS text message. With a two-factor authentication, you add a layer of security to your online account because the extra login step is difficult for an attacker to duplicate.

Another smart way to protect your various online accounts is to use a password manager. Examples of password management services include Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass. Equipped with secure notes and auto-fill capabilities for completing online forms, a password manager simplifies the task of regularly randomizing your passwords and keeping track of them.

New Nas

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March 6, 2014

N16000_ANGLE_LARGE1

Yesterday we purchased a new NAS box by Thecus.  Testing last night went well.  
We continued to work on routing changes around 2am this morning to prevent further attacks like the NTP DOS one on saturday.  

Ormond Beach Computer Repair

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January 6, 2014

ormond beach computer repairThere are many reasons that your computer freezes . It can be very difficult and frustrating to try to fix it. An ormond beach computer freezes for several reasons but the most common is because of the Windows registry. In many cases it is full of too much data that is not needed, or the important data has become jumbled with the unwanted data. This data inevitably ends up in the registry over time, but there are several things you may be doing that are making you say “My ormond computer is slow.”

. Too many tasks – Flooding your computer with too many tasks can cause computer freezes. To prevent this you should reduce the number of programs that you’re running at one time.

. Overheating – If your ormond beach computer feels hot it could be overheating and causing the problem. Try cleaning out the fan area, or if the problem persists you should take the computer in for repairs.

. Websites – Sometimes certain website will cause problems. You can either not use the website or try to pull it up in a different internet browser.

. Viruses and Spyware – Sometimes viruses and spyware are the culprits. Spyware is hard to detect through normal antivirus protection. You will want to make sure your antivirus and spyware programs are properly installed and updated.

. Internet Connection – Sometimes it is not your computer at all that is causing the problem. Your internet service provider may be working on the connection which may cause your internet to freeze up or act slow.

It is likely that the ormond beach computer freezes or works slowly due to one of these situations. There are several different ways a computer can be frozen. Sometimes a specific piece of hardware is frozen, like the mouse or keyboard, and sometimes just a certain application will be frozen. Once your computer has frozen there are a few things you can do.


Step 1: First check the hard drive light, it will have a can shaped symbol next to it. If this symbol is blinking you need to wait until it has finished. If it’s been working for more than a minute then you will have to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Press (ctrl + alt + delete) all at the same time. If your computer responds to this it will bring up the task manager window. From here you can click End Program on the program that’s not responding. Continue doing this until your computer is unfrozen or you have ended all of the running programs.

Step 3: If this doesn’t work you will have to restart your computer. Either press (ctrl + alt + delete) twice in a row or hold down the power button for 5-10 seconds. Allow your computer to sit for about a minute before you restart it.

It’s possible that your ormond beach computer freezes because the registry needs to be cleaned. Windows registry cleaner sorts through all of the information in the registry and gets rid of files that are not needed. There are many free Windows registry cleaner programs online that you can download to fix a Windows registry. You should run a Windows registry cleaner once every couple of weeks. This will help speed up your computer as well as prevent freezes.

3 Gifts To Get Your Business This Year

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December 20, 2013

3 Gifts To Get Your Business This Year

Finished with your holiday shopping?  Have you even started?  It is fun to shop for the important people in your life; however, what’s on the shopping list for your business?

2013 was another year that social media proved it isn’t a passing fad.  Consider mastering social media marketing.  A social marketing presence is a gift you can give your business that will continue to reward.

Net Works, Inc. recommends 3 gifts to help your business engage and grow in 2014.

  1. Social Media Marketing Strategy

    Businesses are jumping into social media to grow their community, create more brand awareness and more opportunity. You know the need for social media, but do you know how to use it effectively? 

    Decide what your social focus is, what your goals are and how you plan to achieve those goals.  Give your business the gift of developing a social media strategy this holiday season.

  2. Dedicated Social Media Work Station

    Social media is about engaging your community and staying consistent.

    Buy a social media dedicated tablet or smartphone for the office.  Let your community know the people behind your business.  Let them feel like they are part of your business.  Use your dedicated tablet or smartphone to take photos, make updates and have conversations. 

    Use the 80/20 formula for updates. 80% of your updates should be about engagement; fun, relevant, valuable content such as videos, photos, articles, and questions to engage your audience. Only 20% should be about selling. 

  3. Social Media Management

    The gift of social media management will help any business grow in the New Year.

    Partner with a professional social media company to help develop and implement your social media strategy.  Net Works, Inc. is proud to partner with Social Coaches to help our clients succeed with social media.  Services are available from one-time coaching sessions to complete social media management.

This holiday season, make sure to give your business a gift that will generate interest and qualified leads throughout the year.

Tips to secure your computer from virus infection

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November 19, 2013

daytona_beach_virus_removalThe sinking feeling of recognition when you realize that your computer has been infected is as familiar as it is unwelcome. But it’s important to remember that there is no way to avoid viruses and other malware completely. Like a good doctor working with a patient, you can only give your computer the tools to avoid bad health by following good habits and using the right set of products.

1. Anti-virus and anti-malware

The last line of defense against viral annihilation is a good anti-virus program. Anti-virus programs scan downloaded files for viruses and monitor your machine for infection. Paid anti-virus programs are available, but there are also many free options as well. Make sure you know every anti-virus and anti-malware program you have on your computer. Fake anti-virus programs known as rogue programs have become prevalent in recent years. If you don’t recognize a supposed anti-virus program on your computer, it may be a sign of infection.

2. Block those scripts

A large amount of infections come from malicious scripts being run when a user goes to an infected website. These so-called cross-site scripting attacks can be blocked by disabling scripts from running on non-trusted websites. Script blockers are available for most browsers. Firefox users rely on NoScript, while fans of Chrome use NotScripts or ScriptSafe. These script blockers allow users to block suspicious scripts and allow safe ones to run, preventing infection to their machines.

3. Keep up-to-date

Popular products are a huge attraction for people who profit from viruses and other malware. The more people that use a product, the more people they can infect when they exploit the holes in said product. Programs like Java, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player are the most commonly exploited applications. It is absolutely vital to keep them up-to-date. Several free programs like Secunia and File Hippo Update Checker will automatically check for outdated versions of these products. In addition to applications, it is especially important to make sure that you maintain current updates to your operating system. Avoid the temptation to close the window when that annoying Windows update notification pops up.

4. Avoid risky behavior

One of the easiest ways to prevent infection is to avoid risky online behavior. Sites for cracks, warez and keygens are notoriously dangerous. Other sites to avoid are those offering free porn. Torrents are also hazardous to the health of your machine. Once the malware is on your computer, it can be very difficult to remove. However, don’t assume that a trusted site will be completely secure. Reputable sites are sometimes infected. Websites for both “The New York Times” and The London Stock Exchange have served up malware to unsuspecting visitors.

 5. Don’t be dumb

In the fight against infection, the greatest enemy is yourself. Phishing schemes are designed to exploit your inattention and ignorance. Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. It’s best to rely on your instincts. If a doubt about that strange Facebook link is in the back of your mind, don’t click on it. If you can’t remember shipping anything recently, do not open fishy e-mails from UPS. Google is your friend. If you feel doubtful about the origins of an e-mail or instant message, do a quick Google search. Most phishing schemes have been tried on thousands, if not millions, of people before, and the victims talk about them online in great detail. It only takes a second to verify a vague uneasy feeling, while it could take days and a large amount of money to rid your machine of a virus.

Dell Computer Repair

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September 10, 2013

Daytona Net Works is your #1 resource for all of your Dell laptop and Desktop Repairs. If you are having any problems with your Dell computer, be sure to contact us via e-mail or directly at 386-248-0000 to repair your Dell PC. Diagnosing your computer problem is the first step to finding a respective solution. Let the professionals at Net Works Computer Repair Center diagnose and repair your Dell computer system quickly and efficiently!

Dell is a leading manufacturer of computers and computer related hardware. Net Works Daytona Computer Repair Center can help you diagnose your Dell laptop or desktop issues.

4 Common Windows 8 Annoyances and How to Fix Them

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September 5, 2013

windows-8-logo-originalAs with any other major overhaul of an extremely popular product such as Windows, Windows 8 comes with its fair share of controversies. Windows 8 has been accused by numerous people for being heavily biased towards touchscreen computers such as tablet devices. For desktop and laptop users, the new interface can take a bit of getting used to. However, while the new interface is by far the most talked about annoyance with Windows 8, there are a number of others too. This article takes a look at some of the most common gripes that people have with Microsoft’s latest operating system.

1 – The Start Menu Has Gone

Replacing the start menu entirely is the new start screen, a full-screen, touch-friendly interface that might look good on tablet computers, but not so much on the traditional desktop or laptop computer. It was possible in some of the earlier pre-release versions to get the start button and menu back through a simple registry tweak. However, the start menu and button was completely removed shortly before the launch of Windows 8, and there is now no way to get it back without using third-party software. There are a number of free third-party programs available to restore this feature, including Start8 and Pokki. An upcoming update for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, will put the start button back, but clicking on it will still only take you to the start screen.

2 – Hidden Shutdown and Restart Functions

Have you just started up Windows 8 for the first time and found yourself wondering how on Earth you are supposed to shut down or restart the computer safely? You are not the only one – in a highly frustrating oversight by Microsoft, they have effectively hidden these two critical functions in the Settings menu of the Charms Bar. Even once you have found it, it is still a longwinded way of switching off or resetting your computer. To overcome this, you can create your own shutdown and restart shortcuts in File Explorer and pin them to the start screen. To do this, create shortcuts with the commands ‘shutdown /s /t 0′ (without quotes) and ‘shutdown /r /t 0′ for shutdown and restart respectively.

3 – Windows Mail Doesn’t Support POP Email Accounts

POP (Post Office Protocol) is a common protocol used by email accounts. However, the built-in Windows Mail app in Windows 8 does not provide support for this protocol. The only way around this is to reconfigure any email accounts which use this protocol to use the IMAP protocol instead. Fortunately, the vast majority of webmail services provide support for both protocols, and you should be able to change between the two in the settings page of your email account.

4 – Longer Login Process

When you lock your computer, you cannot simply enter a password to get back in again. First, you need to slide the screen upwards to reveal the password entry box. Many people find this to be a major annoyance. Fortunately, there is a quick fix available for this. Start the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing the Windows key and ‘R,’ entering gpedit.msc and pressing Enter. Navigate to Computer Configuration, Administrative Tools, Control Panel, Personalization and enable the “Do not display lock screen” feature.

Why Your Business Needs a Proxy Server

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August 2, 2013

iStock_000009559918XSmallWe all know the internet is a dangerous place, full of viruses, malware and hackers. Often overlooked in a small business is one of the most costly issues, social media, and the loss of productivity while your employees are entranced in it. We’ve all been guilty of wasting too much time on the internet, getting sidetracked by one link or another. But when your staff is surfing and socializing on the clock, it is costing your business money.

What is a Proxy Server?

Think of a proxy server as the guardian of your network. All traffic outgoing and incoming flows through this device and it has the ability to allow or block any content you choose. It typically sits between your internet connection (cable modem, dsl, etc.) and your network switch. Proxy Servers perform the following tasks :

  • Privacy – When an internal user requests a Web page, the request goes through the proxy server so that it appears to the Internet to be coming from the server – from its IP address (or one of them) – and not the user’s device. This anonymity provides an important measure of security by reducing the amount of information about a network and its users easily accessible to hackers on the Internet.
  • Caching – If your users frequently need to access certain pages on the Internet, the server can download and store copies on its hard drive. It will also continuously monitor the page for changes and download them, so the cached page is always up to date. If another user requests the content, the proxy server will send it directly to the user, without ever needing to access the internet. This can dramatically increase internet speeds and decrease bandwidth usage.
  • Content Filtering / Blocking – Requests from inside your network to different content can be managed. Different policies can be defined for this purpose so that the access to the data is according to the authority of the user. All users access the Internet from the proxy server, so network administrators can block certain pages and limit the amount of accessible websites. This type of filtering is usually done to limit websites either individually or through categories. For instance, some proxy server software blocks whole categories such as entertainment, pornography or gaming sites.
  • Monitoring – Whether for legal compliance or for sales and customer service improvement, sometimes it is necessary for management to monitor employee internet access (emails, instant messaging, website usage). A proxy server will give you this ability. You will be able to watch incoming and outgoing communication on your network, all in one place.
  • Malware / Virus Protection –  A proxy server protects the network from malware, which is installed on users’ computers when they access an infected website. When the malware is installed on the user’s machine, it can spread to other machines on the network. This is a security risk for the company. Documents can be stolen and passwords can be compromised, giving others unauthorized access to the network. Proxy servers can block and monitor web traffic, so the administrator detects suspicious activity even if the user is unaware of the problem.

Conclusion

From our years of experience servicing business computer systems, the biggest 2 costs employers are worried about are wasted manhours (employees on facebook, youtube, pinterest, craigslist, twitter, etc) and repairing / removing viruses and malware from their computers. As a simplified example, if you consider each employee spends at least an hour each day surfing non-productive content at an average salary of 30k/year. Each employee is wasting 250 hours a year * $15/hr = $3750. Now multiply that by the number of employees you have and the cost to setup a proxy server and yearly antivirus/malware subscription is a no brainer. Imagine how much work would get done if each employee had an extra 200 hours each year to work.

Proxy Servers come in all different sizes with different feature sets. Give us a call today to get a free estimate on setting one up in your business.

 

The GROWTH model is designed to generate actionable metrics for organizations that use social media. By coming up with specific and repeatable actions or processes, the model provides start-ups and large businesses with the tools they need to develop effective social media strategies. The model has been developed in response to the challenges that many corporate bodies face when trying to design efficient and focused social media campaigns. Without reliable metrics to guide them, they are frequently forced to use guesswork, an exercise akin to a man groping in the dark.

 social_media

The GROWTH model is split into several steps, each of which analyzes a specific aspect of an organization’s social media framework:

1. (G)et in: This is the point where a new member joins an organization’s virtual community. Of interest to the model is how people locate the company’s social media page. Do they tend to come from a particular website? Are they referrals from other members?

2. (R)aise: In this step, new members confirm their email addresses and complete the process of filling out their profiles. This step is designed to uncover a variety of patterns. For instance, aggregated data may show that an organization tends to attract people from particular occupations, cohorts, geographical locations or cultural backgrounds.

3. (O)perate: This is the point where a freshly-minted member begins reading other members contributions regularly. The definition of ‘regularly’ will probably vary from one organization to another. This step is meant to uncover several trends, such as the kind of topics that newbies tend to prefer.

4. (W)rite: This is the point where new members start sharing their opinions with the rest of the community. The model may bring a number of trends to the surface. For instance, are they always comfortable with what other members discuss, or do they tend to strike out in new paths?

5. (T)ease: This is the stage where new members begin to engage with others actively. The model may reveal several patterns. For example, what do they tend to complain about?

6. (H)ire: This is the point where the now settled-in member refers others to the community. In this stage, the model seeks to find out several things. For instance, what channels do most members use to invite others?

 

The GROWTH model then aggregates the data captured, making it easy to analyze and tease out patterns that can bring focus and efficiency to corporate social media strategies. Ultimately, this has a positive effect on an organization’s image and bottom line.

 

Why It Is Important To Have Fresh Quality Content

The main reason most people get online is to find information and to search for content. Whether it is a video, article, product review, product description, or news. As a business you want to draw people into your website and keep them there as long as possible. The longer a visitor spends on your website the more interested they will become, and the more likely they will be to pull out the credit card to make a purchase. In this article we will examine exactly why fresh, quality content is so important. You will also learn some helpful tips for when you are creating content for your website.

The Importance Of Fresh Quality Content

As you learned earlier the longer someone spends on your website the more likely they will be to make a purchase or sign up for an offer. Providing content that is informative, funny, or even controversial can be a great way to build and maintain interest in people visiting your website. It is also good for search engine optimization to have quality content, and to update it regularly. Search engines will crawl your site every so often to make sure your content is being updated. The more you update your website the better it looks to search engines.

Another important thing to remember is people love sharing content that catches their attention. By adding the ability to share your content on popular social media websites you add a viral effect to your content. Plus search engines will reward you when they see your content being shared.

Using Video As Content

There are many strategies that can be used when creating content that will dramatically improve your business online. One of those strategies is using video. Video has become an important part of the internet and can be a great way to get your message across. You can visit sites like Fiverr.com to find someone who can create an interesting and eye-catching video for you. You can find someone to write a script if you are not a good writer. You can find someone to do a professional voice over for you. Finally you can find someone to create an animated video for you. You can also record a video yourself and download a free video editor to add transitions, text, and music to spice it up. Video is guaranteed to catch and hold someone’s attention better than text. 

Making Your Content Social

People love sharing stuff online. Whether it is a picture, video, a brand new product, or an interesting article. This is why social media sites have become so popular. On top of that, a person is more likely to take an interest in something that is suggested to them by a friend or family member. That is why it is very important to make it easy for people to share your content. You do this by adding social media buttons on your website. The easier you make it for them to share your content the more likely they will be to share it.

Structuring Your Content For Maximum Effectiveness

There are several key things you can do with your content that will help you draw prospects in and convert them to buyers. First you need to recognize and address a specific need or problem that may be affecting your prospect. You then must assure them you have a clear and simple solution to their problem. You then present them with the solution.

When creating your content it is important to be positive and upbeat in your message. People in general have a negative outlook on life and will be quick to judge your content harshly. Add words and phrases that create an over all positive vibe for your content.

Last but not least it is extremely important to add a call-to-action. This is where you simply instruct the prospect on what to do after viewing your content. You can instruct them to go ahead and make a purchase or fill out a form. You should also try to add a sense of urgency. Inform them they should take action now and not hesitate.

Conclusion

So there you have it. We covered why it is important to have high quality, informative content, and to update it regularly. We also covered some great tips you can use when creating new content. Creating quality content that your visitors will love does not have to be difficult. Simply put yourself in their shoes. 

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Heartbleed Bug Aftermath: How You Can Protect Your Online Accounts

Bruce Schneier, a well-respected expert in the online security industry, discussed the Heartbleed bug on his blog and described the [...] more

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