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20 Common Types of Viruses Affecting Your Computer

gg1 - 20 Common Types of Viruses Affecting Your Computer

When we talk about computer security, the virus is the leading threat. It can destroy a single program or the whole computer system instead. The very first virus was created in the 1970s and was called the Creeper virus, affecting computers on the ARPANET. In 1981, the first hacker-made virus came into existence and spread through Apple floppy drives.

According to Information-Technology Promotion Agency, the numbers of viruses ballooned to 52,151 in 2004. However, due to certain programs that completely eliminate viruses, their numbers decreased to about 14,000 in 2010.

57% of the threats affecting your computer security is viruses. Other threats include Trojans, adware, worms, and malware, among others. Now, viruses are still widespread, affecting PC performance. Viruses are also tools of hackers to gain unauthorised access to your system and steal private information. It is important that you are aware of the different types of viruses that are affecting your computers.

Resident Virus

Resident viruses live in your RAM memory. It can interfere with normal system operation which can lead to the corruption of files and programs. The most popular examples of resident viruses are CMJ, Meve, MrKlunky, and Randex.

Multipartite Virus

This type of virus can easily spread in your computer system. It is very infectious, performing unauthorized actions in your operating system, in folders, and other programs on the computer. They have the ability to infect both the executable files and the boots sector.

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Direct Action Virus

Direct action viruses attack certain types of files, typically .exe and .com files. The main purpose of this virus is to replicate and infect files in folders. On the lighter note, they do not typically delete files or affect PC performance and speed. It can be easily removed by antivirus programs.

Browser Hijacker

This type of virus infects your web browser in which it will bring you to different websites. Typically, if you key in a domain name in the internet address bar, the browser hijacker will open multiple fake websites that may harm your computer. On the other hand, most trusted browsers have built-in features to block them ahead.

Overwrite Virus

From the name itself, this virus overwrites the content of a file, losing the original content. It infects folders, files, and even programs. To delete this virus, you also need to get rid of your file. Thus, it is important to back up your data.

Web Scripting Virus

This virus lives in certain links, ads, image placement, videos, and layout of a website. These may carry malicious codes in which when you click, the viruses will be automatically downloaded or will direct you to malicious websites.

Boot Sector Virus

Boot sector viruses affect floppy disks. They came to existence when floppy disks are important in booting a computer. Although they are not very common today, it is still causing other computer units, especially the outdated ones. Some examples include Polyboot.B and AntiEXE.

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Macro Virus

Macro viruses target applications and software that contain macros. These viruses can carry out series of operations affecting the performance of the program or software. Some examples of macro viruses are O97M/Y2K, Bablas, Melissa.A, and Relax.

Directory Virus

Directory viruses change file paths. When you run programs and software that are infected with directory viruses, the virus program also runs in the background. Further, it may be difficult for you to locate the original app or software once infected with directory viruses.

Polymorphic Virus

Polymorphic viruses use a special method of encoding or encryption every time they infect a system. With this, antivirus software finds it hard to locate then using signature searches. They are also capable of replicating easily. Polymorphic viruses include Satan Bug, Elkern, Tuareg, and Marburg.

File Infector Virus

This virus also infects executable files or programs. When you run these programs, the file infector virus is activated as well which can slow down the program and produce other damaging effects. A large block of existing viruses belongs to this category.

Encrypted Virus

This type of virus uses encrypted malicious codes which make antivirus software hard to detect them. They can only be detected when they decrypt themselves during replication. Although they don’t delete files or folders, they can badly affect PC performance.

Companion Virus

This is a type of virus that doesn’t survive without accompanying an existing file or folder. In order to carry out damages, the file or folder being accompanied by companion viruses should be opened or run. Some examples of companion viruses include Terrax.1069, Stator, and Asimov.1539.

Network Virus

Basically, this type of virus spreads out through Local Network Area (LAN) and through the internet. These viruses replicate through shared resources, including drives and folders. When network viruses enter a computer, they look for their potential prey. Dangerous network viruses include Nimda and SQLSlammer.

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Nonresident Virus

Nonresident viruses replicate through modules. When the module is executed, it will select one or more files to infect.

Stealth Virus

Stealth viruses trick antivirus software by appearing like they are real files or programs and by intercepting its requests to the OS. Some antivirus software cannot detect them. Sometimes, it temporarily removes itself from the system without deletion.

Sparse Infector

Sparse infectors use different techniques to minimize its detection. They are viruses that infect “occasionally”. For example, they may only want to infect a program every tenth execution. Because they are occasional infectors, antivirus software has a hard time detecting them.

Spacefiller Virus

Also known as “cavity” viruses, spacefillers attach themselves to the file and can alter the start of the program or change the encrypted code. They also implement stealth techniques so that users cannot determine the increase the file code. The most popular Spacefiller is the Lehigh virus.

FAT Virus

Basically, this type of virus ruins file allocation system where the information about files, including the location, exist.

Others

Other threats are not technically called as “virus”, but they also have the same damaging effects as viruses. This includes worms, adware, malware, Trojan, and ransomware.

To prevent these viruses from affecting your computer, it is important that you install the best and the most competitive antivirus software that can detect, block, and eliminate all types of computer viruses.

Computer Basic 101: How to Take Care of Your Computer?

kk1 - Computer Basic 101: How to Take Care of Your Computer?

Almost all households in the world have their desktop computers. In the modern world, computers are very important – education, business, research, and other functions. In the United States, 85.1% of the American households have personal computer, according to 2016 statistics. Of course, as computer users, we should take care of our computers. In this article, we will discuss the basic care and maintenance of your computers.

Keep your software up-to-date

Your computer will prompt you if there are software updates. It is important that you keep your software up-to-date, including your operating system to fix bugs, glitches, and vulnerabilities of the previous version. They also strengthen the security of your computer. Some computers perform automatic updates.

Install antivirus software

A computer virus is a primary threat to computer health. They damage not just certain programs and software in your computer, but your system as a whole. It is important that you keep these viruses from entering your computer. Install antivirus software that will detect, block, and eliminate all types of viruses. There are dozens of competitive antivirus software available on the internet.

Secure a backup of your files

Sometimes, computer problems and issues come unexpectedly. This may be due to cyberattack or power outage. It is best to be secure your files and documents in advance. There are two ways in backing up your data. First, you can use cloud storage in which you can upload copies of your files and documents through the internet. The second one is through external storage devices. Make sure to have multiple backups.

Defragment your hard drive

Part of computer maintenance is by defragmenting your hard drive. Usually, computers are equipped with disk defragmenters. You just need to go to the system tools and run the disk defragmenter. In cases you do not have this, there are dozens of disk defragmenting programs and software that can be downloadable.

Get rid of unused programs

Make it a habit to declutter your PC. Get rid of old files and programs that you do not need anymore. This will lessen the burden of your PC from running them in the background. The best way to do this is to install and run a disk cleanup program that deletes temporary files and clean your registry.

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Activate the Firewall

Viruses can penetrate your computer systems through the internet. It is important to activate your firewall. A firewall acts as a gate or barrier that filters data from gaining unauthorized access to the computer system. Typically, computers have a built-in firewall. But if you want to strengthen security, install a third-party firewall that provides maximum internet protection.

Safely remove devices

Most of you are guilty of this one – not safely removing external devices. It is a must that you eject devices, drives, and other media in a safe mode. This prevents corruption of data both in the computer and on the external drive.

Consider reformatting

If your computer is really full of viruses and loads, affecting PC performance, consider reformatting. Of course, to do this, make sure you back up your files. Reformatting will bring back your computer the way it is before. However, we recommend that you let PC technicians do this for you.

Clean your computer screens

When we tend to overuse the computer, we forget cleaning the computer externally, especially the screens. Like any other appliances, computers need regular cleaning. We advise that you use a soft cloth or special wipes in cleaning your computer screens and some other external parts of your computer. Get rid of dust, smudge, dirt, etc.

Invest in cooling pads

Another factor that affects PC performance is overheating. When you use your computers for a longer period of time, consider buying cooling pads. Cooling pads are external devices that prevent computers from overheating. Apart from cooling pads, you can use fans. But if you want it to be easy, avoid using your computers in an environment with extreme temperatures.

Take care of your battery

Laptop batteries do not last a lifetime. But you can extend its lifespan by taking good care of your battery. Avoid overcharging your battery. If it reaches 100%, make sure to unplug it. If you are not using your laptop, it is also recommended to remove the battery pack.

Use a surge protector

Surge protectors are special appliances or devices that protect appliances, including the computer from voltage spikes. They limit the voltage supply, by blocking or shorting, to avoid the power from exceeding a safe threshold. It is a safe practice for your laptop or computer, especially when they are plugged into the power supply.

kk1 - Computer Basic 101: How to Take Care of Your Computer?

Protect your desktop

When we say “protect”, we meant literal protection. Buy cases or bags where you can safely store your laptops especially when traveling. Moreover, cover your desktop computer with a cloth. This can keep your computer away from dust.

Avoid eating near computers

This is a must! Avoid eating near your computers, or better, do not eat while using your computer. Food crumbs or pieces may get into your keyboard and other parts of your computer which will attract ants, termites, and other insects. If this happens, the insects might destroy some internal parts on your computer.

Consult a PC expert

Lastly, always ask a PC technician about your computer health. If you want to be 100% sure that your computer is doing okay, bring your unit to your favorite PC technician. Let them do the rebooting or reformatting, defragmentation, troubleshooting, and complete computer maintenance. If you are an owner of a website, make sure you consult an IT expert to make sure that your websites are safe and secure.

Basic care and maintenance for your computer are very important. It prevents certain factors and issues from arising, affecting the PC performance. If you take good care of your computer, you can get rid of viruses, malware, and other threats in advance. Invest in software that protects your PC from viruses, cleans up drives, and performs overall PC maintenance.

5 Best Gadgets to Keep Your Laptop Safe While Travelling

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Traveling is such fun. Even work trips can be exciting if you love your job and your accommodation is nice. But one thing that stresses everybody out is having to keep their laptops and other gadgets safe during this time – whether you’re working or playing games on online casinos like Casumo. A laptop with work information, for example, can be extremely stressful to look after.

Not to mention the fact that, at times, you have to work and you expose yourself and the valuable data. Here are some of the gadgets you could use to keep your laptop safe during travel.

A little forward thinking never hurt anybody, and while these preparations may seem to take up more time, you will come to understand that safety is more important than anything.

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TOP 5 GADGETS THAT KEEP YOUR LAPTOP SAFE WHILE TRAVELING

1. A USB Wi-Fi Adapter

Your computer is more vulnerable when you connect to random Wi-Fi networks. And since little can be done nowadays without a good Internet connection, it goes without saying that you will have to go online at some point. Therefore, in order to keep safe, it would be best to get a USB Wi-Fi Adapter. It can be purchased before you travel and you can even check your own data provider’s offer for these devices.

This will be particularly useful when traveling to a country known for cybernetic attacks. Some of them can mimic the Wi-Fi connection in a location and can gain access to your computer, to your personal and work data.

2. A burner

Sometimes, the best way to keep your laptop safe is to leave it at home. This way, you can buy a cheap, second hand laptop you would not cry over when lost. If you are going on a business trip, you can only keep the necessary information at hand and you will have something to work on. Should you need some more information from your other computer, you can always ask a trusted person to send you an email with shared documents or files from your personal laptop.

Although it is not a security device per se, in the sense that it does not have a function that protects your laptop when turned on or attached, having a spare laptop can actually save you the headache of losing important data. And this stress-free situation can even be more valuable than the fact that you have easy access to some information.

3. A device tracker

This is not a gadget per se, but a software you install on your gadgets to find them. They are a great investment for moments when you are simply stressing about not being able to locate your laptop and it has only been misplaced, and moments when your laptop has actually been stolen.

Depending on the type of system you are getting, it can either locate your device or completely delete everything on it. Technically, this service is good for when the damage has been done and you need to do some damage management.

A Kensington lock

You might have seen some people leaving their laptops on desks like other people leave their bikes: secured with some sort of cable. That is the Kensington lock. The system is used to secure the laptop shut and to keep it tied to a larger object.

This way, if you are working in a different place instead of your own office, you can still go to the bathroom or leave your laptop unsupervised without being afraid of anyone getting access to your information.

kensington

Removable media for important information

Similar to the burner method, another useful way of protecting your data consists of keeping all the more sensitive information on a removable media. This way, you can leave your laptop, but take the hard disk away with you. What is more, this creates a great diversion as anyone looking to steal information will most likely look for the laptop. This way, worst case scenario, the data will be safe.

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Conclusions

Information is now the most valuable thing in the world. No wonder people are trying hard to keep it safe. And although we talked about business information you may have been entrusted with from your work place, your personal information is just as important. Here are the best ways to keep personal stuff away from prying eyes.

The 16 Most Common Types of Cybercrime Acts

z3 - The 16 Most Common Types of Cybercrime Acts

Cybercrime is any criminal activity that takes place in the cyberspace. One of the earliest and the most common types of cybercrime activity is hacking. It roughly started in the 1960s. It involves stealing identities and important information, violating privacy, and committing fraud, among others.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 170 million personal records were exposed through 780 data security breaches in 2015. The global cost of cybercrime is expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021. 30 to 40% of businesses are affected by cybercrime. From 2017 to 2021, businesses are expected to spend more than $1 trillion for cybersecurity.

Every country in the world has their varied laws and rules against cybercrime activities. In the United States, they have substantive cybercrime laws that prohibit identity theft, hacking, intrusion into computers, and child pornography, among others. In the next section, we will determine the most common types of cybercrime activities.

Most Common Types of Cybercrime Acts

Cybercrime involves the use of computer and network in attacking computers and networks as well. Cybercrime is obviously a criminal offense and is penalized by the law. Cybercriminals devise various strategies and programs to attack computers and systems. These are the most common types of cybercrime acts:

Fraud

Fraud is a general term used to describe a cybercrime that intends to deceive a person in order to gain important data or information. Fraud can be done by altering, destroying, stealing, or suppressing any information to secure unlawful or unfair gain.

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Hacking

Hacking involves the partial or complete acquisition of certain functions within a system, network, or website. It also aims to access to important data and information, breaching privacy. Most “hackers” attack corporate and government accounts. There are different types of hacking methods and procedures.

Identity Theft

Identify theft is a specific form of fraud in which cybercriminals steal personal data, including passwords, data about the bank account, credit cards, debit cards, social security, and other sensitive information. Through identity theft, criminals can steal money. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), more than 1.1 million Americans are victimized by identity theft.

Scamming

Scam happens in a variety of forms. In cyberspace, scamming can be done by offering computer repair, network troubleshooting, and IT support services, forcing users to shell out hundreds of money for cyber problems that do not even exist. Any illegal plans to make money falls to scamming.

Computer Viruses

Most criminals take advantage of viruses to gain unauthorized access to systems and steal important data. Mostly, highly-skilled programs send viruses, malware, and Trojan, among others to infect and destroy computers, networks, and systems. Viruses can spread through removable devices and the internet.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most destructive malware-based attacks. It enters your computer network and encrypts files and information through public-key encryption. In 2016, over 638 million computer networks are affected by ransomware. In 2017, over $5 billion is lost due to global ransomware.

DDoS Attack

DDoS or the Distributed Denial of Service attack is one of the most popular methods of hacking. It temporarily or completely interrupts servers and networks that are successfully running. When the system is offline, they compromise certain functions to make the website unavailable for users. The main goal is for users to pay attention to the DDoS attack, giving hackers the chance to hack the system.

Botnets

Botnets are controlled by remote attackers called “bot herders” in order to attack computers by sending spams or malware. They usually attack businesses and governments as botnets specifically attack the information technology infrastructure. There are botnet removal tools available on the web to detect and block botnets from entering your system.

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Spamming

Spamming uses electronic messaging systems, most commonly emails in sending messages that host malware, fake links of websites, and other malicious programs. Email spamming is very popular. Unsolicited bulk messages from unfamiliar organizations, companies, and groups are sent to large numbers of users. It offers deals, promos, and other attractive components to deceive users.

Phishing

Phishers act like a legitimate company or organization. They use “email spoofing” to extract confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security number, passwords, etc. They send out thousands of phishing emails carrying links to fake websites. Users will believe these are legitimate, thus entering their personal information.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a method in which cybercriminals make a direct contact with you through phone calls, emails, or even in person. Basically, they will also act like a legitimate company as well. They will befriend you to earn your trust until you will provide your important information and personal data.

Malvertising

Malvertising is the method of filling websites with advertisements carrying malicious codes. Users will click these advertisements, thinking they are legitimate. Once they click these ads, they will be redirected to fake websites or a file carrying viruses and malware will automatically be downloaded.

Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking involves following a person online anonymously. The stalker will virtually follow the victim, including his or her activities. Most of the victims of cyberstalking are women and children being followed by men and pedophiles.

Software Piracy

The internet is filled with torrents and other programs that illegally duplicate original content, including songs, books, movies, albums, and software. This is a crime as it translates to copyright infringement. Due to software piracy, companies and developers encounter huge cut down in their income because their products are illegally reproduced.

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Child Pornography

Porn content is very accessible now because of the internet. Most countries have laws that penalize child pornography. Basically, this cybercrime involves the exploitation of children in the porn industry. Child pornography is a $3-billion-a-year industry. Unfortunately, over 10,000 internet locations provide access to child porn.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is one of the most rampant crimes committed in the virtual world. It is a form of bullying carried over to the internet. On the other hand, global leaders are aware of this crime and pass laws and acts that prohibit the proliferation of cyberbullying.

The “Why” and “How” of Hacking in the Digital World

n2 - The “Why” and “How” of Hacking in the Digital World

Hacking is one of the major threats in the cyberspace. It attacks not just your computer, but even your activities and transactions in the online world. About 32% of the websites on the internet are hacked. Based on a study, the total cost of damage caused by cybercrimes, including hacking will rise up to $6 trillion by 2021. In 2017, over $5 billion is lost due to global ransomware.

Computer hacking started as early as the 1970s. But the question is: “Why do hackers hack computers and websites?” Let us get to know in the proceeding section.

7 Reasons Why Hackers Hack

These are the most common reasons why some programmers and cyber experts hack computers, systems, and websites:

Scan Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability scanning is a security technique in which a computer program assess or evaluate computers, systems, or networks for some weaknesses. On the other hand, hackers take advantage of this technique because they want to know the weak points of networks so they can easily penetrate the system.

Disrupt Server

Most hackers just simply want to disrupt servers or networks for whatever motive they have. Usually, they disrupt servers of service providers. They deploy botnets to overload a server until it completely shuts down, and become not operational.

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Steal Money

This is the reason why users avoid online transactions because hackers are everywhere. Cyber thieves penetrate online banking, booking, shopping, money transfer, and any other transactions that involve the exchange of money between two parties, to steal money.

Leak Data

Another motivation for hackers is to expose information, especially the most important data. In most cases, hackers get access to your passwords, social security numbers, bank accounts, and other important information. In rare cases, hackers hack government and corporate websites to gain valuable information.

Destroy Website

The simplest motivation for hackers is to destroy the website. Most entry hackers engage in website vandalism in which they destroy websites without any reason, just to prove that they are good or knowledgeable of hacking.

Execute Unauthorized Code

In this case, hackers send malware or Trojan in your system. These will take control of your system or your computer without your knowledge. It will executive unauthorized codes and actions that may affect normal operations or the performance of your system or website.

Form of Rebellion

Lastly, a certain group of hackers hacks systems and websites as a form of rebellion. They are driven by their stands and idealism in life. This is sometimes called “hacktivism”. In 2008, a group known as “Anonymous” rise to fame when they started hacking websites and accounts of religious groups and government to promote certain agenda.

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12 Common Ways of Hacking

Hackers use various methods and procedures to hack systems, networks, and websites, among others. These are as follows:

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

The DDoS is the most common type of attack. It temporarily or completely interrupts servers and networks that are successfully running. When the system is offline, they compromise certain functions to make the website unavailable for users.

Remote Code Execution

In this method, hackers attack vulnerable components including libraries and remote directories that are less monitored. Hackers usually send scripts, malware, and small command lines to invoke any web service even without permission.

Cross-Site Request Forgery

This is the reason why you should always log your accounts out. If remain logged, hackers can send forged HTTP request to collect cookies.  The cookie stays valid as long as the account remains logged and will access important data and information in your system.

Symlinking

Symlinking sends a special file that occupies a hard link on a file system. Through this, users may think that they are accessing the right file or application when they’re really not. This gives hackers the opportunity to gain important data directly from the users.

Social Engineering

This happens when hackers pretend like they are providing customer support from a certain company, including banks, insurance companies, auto dealers, and organizations, among others. They will send you emails asking for certain information. They usually appear legitimate when in fact, they’re hackers.

DNS Cache Poisoning

Also known as DNS spoofing, hackers divert traffic from real servers to fake websites. This form of attack easily replicates itself from one DNS to another, literally poisoning every path. One of the greatest DNA poisoning attacks happens in 2010 compromising the Great Firewall of China.

Clickjacking

Clickjacking is when the hacker fills a legit link with so many layer links. If the user clicks the opaque link, it will redirect them to fake websites. The layers that hackers use include frames, text boxes, and stylesheets, among others.

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Cross Site Scripting (XSS)

Known as the XXS attack, hackers send an app, URL, or file packet to the web browser which bypasses the validation procedure. Users will be deceived that the compromised website is legitimate.

SQL Injection

Injection attacking happens when there vulnerabilities in your SQL database or libraries. Users will also be deceived to open “credible” files with hidden SQL injections. This will allow hackers to gain unauthorized access to your system.

Google Hacking

Usually, Google hacking happens on websites with vulnerabilities. Again, users may click websites with hidden SQL injections providing access to the hackers.

Authorization Bypass

Authorization bypass happens in poorly-developed websites. Hackers will find weak targets, view the source and delete the authorization javascript for them to gain access to the admin backend.

Password Cracking

Lastly, hackers can simply hack your website, server, system, or computer if they have your password. There are software and tools use to decipher password. In this case, always use a strong and hard-to-guess password. Also, remember to change the password once a month.

According to Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, hacking will remain the greatest treat in every company in the world. Thus, it is important that everyone in the world will double or triple their effort in protecting their computers and websites. There are various ways on how to protect your website from being hacked. Again, do not let hackers get an opportunity to hack.

12 Easy Steps to Protect Your Website from Hackers

hacke2 - 12 Easy Steps to Protect Your Website from Hackers

There are over one billion websites on the internet today. Based on the Web Server Survey by the NetCraft. These websites are from businesses, organizations, and individuals of different niches, fields, and sectors.

However, websites are also under threat from millions of hackers. Highly-skilled programmers use various methods and strategies to hack websites and steal essential data and information. Based on the ITRC Data Breach Reports, almost 200 million personal records were exposed through 780 data security breaches in 2015. 40% of the target of the hackers were businesses.

As website developers or owners of certain websites, it is important that you triple your efforts in preventing hackers from hacking your website. Here are 12 easy steps to protect your website from potential hackers:

Choose Your CMS Wisely

There are dozens of Content Management Systems used to develop and organize digital content. The most popular CMS includes WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Weebly, and Magnolia. Most CMS have their unique security features that can contribute to your website protection. Moreover, it is important to keep track of the latest updates and patches of your chosen CMS to keep your site secure.

Sign Up for a Web Host

Web hosting allows developers to post their web content into the internet. There are many excellent web hosting providers, including SiteBuilder.com, Host1Plus, iPage, and Bluehost. Apart from CMS, web hosting providers are also equipped with server security features which can protect the data and content you upload on the internet. Also, check if the web hosting provider provides Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) which triples the security of the data uploaded.

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Integrate Security in Design

Aside from aesthetics and user-friendliness, you should also consider security in designing and developing your website. To be more secure and safe, tell your web developer to minimize add-ons and plugins to avoid easier entry of hackers on your website. Basically, the design should be text-based in which products, design, and images are presented clearly. Simplicity is the key!

Apply a Web Application Firewall

A Web Application Firewall or WAF monitors HTTP traffic to and from a web application. It is oriented towards specific web applications, unlike firewall that serves as a barrier between servers. By monitoring HTTP traffic, SQL injection, XSS, security configurations, and file inclusion will be blocked and prevented from attacking the website. Most reliable WAF includes Cloudbric, Incapsula, and CloudFlare.

Add Secure Sockets Layer

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate to ensure that no third-party programs can hijack or shut down any transactions performed between your website and clients’ devices. SSL certificates create an encrypted connection to make sure that online businesses and transactions are secured. With this, online customers can feel that they are safe in making purchases or other online transactions. One of the most popular SSL certificates is the GlobalSign.

Validate Server Side

It is vital that you validate forms and servers. Browsers can catch failures on the internet, including mandatory fields that are empty. You should make sure that you perform deeper validation. If you fail to validate these server sides and forms, it may lead to malicious code or scripting code and can cause destructive effects in your website.

Strengthen Passwords

It is crucial that you use strong passwords for your website admin area and even your server. Hackers can send viruses or malware that can track web activities to steal personal information and details, including your password. It is advised that a password shall contain uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, at least eight characters. Passwords shall be stored as encrypted values. In cases that the password will be stolen, use hashed passwords beforehand to reduce damages. Moreover, make sure that you regularly change your password once a month.

Upload File Carefully

Some websites allow their users to upload files. Most common avenues where users can upload their files are changing their avatars, uploading file support, etc. However, this activity translates to a big website security risk. What can you do to prevent this? By default, web browsers don’t execute files with image extensions. First, you can rename uploaded files to ensure the correct and secure file extensions. You can also change the file permissions in which only a few uploaders can access depending on the settings. But the ultimate recommended solution for this is to completely restrict users from uploading any files. If you have a page that requires users to send samples or any file, you can direct them to an online drive or database. You can also ask them to send files to your email.

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Use Website Security Tools

Another effective means of protecting your website is through the use of certain security tools. These web security tools can do testing of certain security risks and threats. There are commercial and free products that can assist you with this. Netsparker provides a free community edition and trial version. This is good in testing XSS and SQL injection. OpenVAS is one of the most advanced security scanners perfect for testing vulnerabilities. To install this, you need an OpenVAS server. SecurityHeaders.io quickly reports security headers. Lastly, Xenotix XSS Exploit Framework tests a huge selection of XSS examples.

Always Update Software

As mentioned earlier, it is always a must that you keep your software, anything related to your website up-to-date. This includes servers, web hosting providers, content management systems, and even your web browser and computer system. Updates are made to correct any deficiencies or loopholes in the current system. If you miss to update, you are clearly providing hackers easier access to your system and to your website.

Install Security Plugins

You can enhance your website security through plugins. There are free plugins available in certain content management systems. Some of the most reliable sources of free plugins are iThemes Security and Bulletproof Security.

Use Parameterized Queries

Another method to prevent SQL injections is to use parameterized queries to ensure that your code has enough parameters to prevent hackers in messing up with your website.

We hope that these tips can help you protect your website. If you are still struggling to keep your website safe and secure, ask an IT professional or an expert who can help you with website security.

 

2017’s Best Antivirus Software For Your Computer

virus2 - 2017’s Best Antivirus Software For Your Computer

Computers are like humans. They will not function properly if there are viruses attacking the system. Thus, computer health is very important. Computer users should practice basic computer care and maintenance. This includes performing preventive measures that get rid of viruses and other security threats from entering the computer system. One of the most effective ways is to install an antivirus software.

What is a Virus?

The human immune system is vulnerable to certain viruses that cause illnesses. In computers, viruses also affect the performance of computers. Viruses are infectious and can affect the entire computer. Viruses come from malicious programs that are written and created by highly-skilled programmers to purposely attack the system and steal private information. Most criminal programmers use viruses to steal cash or money.

If viruses enter the system, it can paralyze computer operations. It makes PC run slowly. It also prevents computers from booting up. If the viruses are not treated, they can damage parts of the system or even change how the system works without the knowledge of the owner. They will also steal personal information, including passwords in your email, social media accounts, and bank details.

virus - 2017’s Best Antivirus Software For Your Computer

Viruses are really destructive. In most cases, they are hidden. They destroy your computer in the background. There are many forms and types of viruses. The most common are worms, malware, and Trojans. Worms replicate themselves to other computers on a network. Malware is a software used to spy on computer activities and collect personal information. Lastly, Trojans manipulates certain computer operations without the knowledge of the owner.

The best way to fight against viruses is by installing a software that prevents computer threats from entering the system. If the virus gained access to the system, they can also fix, quarantine, or eliminate the viruses to prevent from duplicating all through the system.

The Best Antivirus Software of 2017

There are hundreds of antivirus software on the internet. There are free and paid software. Both do the same protection but paid software perform more extensive searching of viruses and protection of the system. Remember, viruses can enter through external devices or through the internet. Apart from the computer, the Internet should also be protected. In this section, we list some of the best antivirus software that you can install on your PC:

BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2018

This entry from BitDefender is the most accurate and reliable antivirus around with excellent virus detection rates. It has an anti-phishing module that alerts users when there are malicious links in your search engines. It is also equipped with a password manager to keep your online financial transactions safe and secure.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is more focused on antivirus fundamentals. It comes with real-time virus and malware protection, detecting and eliminating all types of viruses including the “ransomware”. It also has modules to prevent attacks using malicious scripts. Moreover, it has URL filtering feature to block malicious sites.

ESET Internet Security 10

Another entry from ESET is the Internet Security 10. It is more focused on internet protection. It blocks malicious and phishing sites. It automatically scans your email and blocks spams. Moreover, it has botnet and webcam protection.

F-Secure Antivirus

F-Secure Antivirus is one of the most user-friendly antivirus software. It comes with real-time browsing and antivirus protection. It doesn’t have any special features but it is very easy to use in which users can just leave the app to do real-time protection. Moreover, it doesn’t conflict with our security apps.

Kaspersky Antivirus 2017

Apart from its user-friendly interface, Kaspersky Antivirus 2017 offers the best performing security packages. It comes with antivirus engine that detects and removes threats. It also has web filtering features, smart monitoring technologies that track malicious actions, parental controls, and password management, among others.

McAfee Total Protection 2017

From the name itself, McAfee offers “total protection” in this software. It has antivirus scanner and web protection. It is equipped with a WebAdvisor tool that scans downloads for malicious payloads and blocks malicious URLs. It is also known for the best email protection.

Norton AntiVirus Basic

This is one of the simplest packages from Norton, but it is one of the best. On top of its features is its virus and malware detection that blocks even brand new malware. It also has one of the best URL blockers with excellent monitoring scheme that gets rid of malicious websites.

Panda Antivirus Pro

Panda Antivirus Pro is a user-friendly antivirus software with lots of features. It has virus and malware real-time detection. It also has speedy cloud-based scanning and web URL scanning. Its application control system blocks brand new malware.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

You can get maximum protection at an affordable price in Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security. It has an effective “Folder Shield” module that blocks virus and malware, especially the ransomware. On the other hand, running this antivirus software may slow down your PC during scanning.

Webroot SecureAnywhereAntiVirus

This antivirus is very easy and fast to install. Apart from its user-friendliness, it also comes with core antivirus protection. It also has smart behavior monitoring, real-time anti-phishing, network connection monitoring, and enhanced anti-ransomware, among others. This software is also very lightweight, barely occupying 2MB of your hard drive.

Trend Micro Internet Security

As we all know, Trend is one of the oldest antivirus companies. In this latest offering, Trend Micro Internet Security offers real-time protection from viruses, malware, Trojans, and most especially, ransomware. You can also see a “shield” logo in your folders indicating that the files within the folder are being protected. It also comes with an excellent password manager.

AVG Ultimate

AVG Ultimate focuses on computer system and web protection. It has Web TuneUp that improves web browsing by ultimately blocking malicious components that slow down internet activities. It also has a Turbo Mode if you want to achieve the best performance of your PC. Moreover, it has a Real-Time Outbreak Protection to warn you of potential new threats coming.

Most of these antivirus software provide you a free-trial period in which you can try their antivirus services for a short-period of time. If you wish to use them permanently, check out their packages.

16 Effective Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe and Secure

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Computers are created to increase productivity – personal or business use. Automation is possible through the use of computers and the internet which make everyday operations and transactions more efficient and more accurate.

However, there are threats to the health of computers. Virus, malware, and other forms of threats are anywhere in the digital environment. Based on the 2016 statistics, about 40% of computers in US households are affected by viruses. In the world, over 30% of computers are under threat. Just recently, at least 150 countries are affected by a cyber attack in a form of “ransomware”.

More than treatment and troubleshooting, it is best to be cautious at all time. Every user should prevent various types of computer threats and risks from attacking their computers. Follow these 16 effective tips to keep your computer safe and secure:

Install Anti-Virus Software

It is a standard that you install an anti-virus software on your computer. There are many free anti-virus software available on the internet. Apart from the virus, there are other software that specifically target other threats including malware, spyware, and Trojans, among others that slow down the performance of your computer.

Update Your OS & Software

Keep your computer up to date. Check from time to time if there are updates on the operating system and software available. The updates will help fix certain irregularities in your system that may increase the risk of threats entering your computer.

Check Your Firewall

The firewall acts as a barrier between the computer and any unauthorized programs trying to access the system through the internet. Most computer systems, especially Windows have built-in firewall hardware. Check if it is turned on. You can also install firewall software for more security.

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Back Up Your Data

Make sure that you back up all your data to an external storage. Backing up can be done online or through an external storage device. You can send all your data to online cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive. This is important in case your computer crashes due to power outage or cyber attack.

Always Scan

You cannot prevent other devices from connecting to your computer – flash drives, external storage devices, and smartphones. Make it a habit that you thoroughly scan these external devices before accessing them to avoid entry of viruses.

Protect Your Email

One of the favorite entries of viruses and other forms of security threats is your email. Make sure that you enable spam filters or you add anti-spam or virus extensions that regularly scans your email for some threats.

Don’t Click Mail Links

Some emails may still enter your inbox. When you open them, avoid clicking the email links especially if the email sender is unfamiliar to you. Most of these are fraudsters and phishers. Usually, they come in form of banks, insurance companies, promos, games, lottery etc.

Use Trusted Browsers

Use browsers that are common and are known to be safe and trusted. The most reliable browsers available are Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. These browsers have built-in security features that minimize the risk of your computer from acquiring viruses, malware, etc. You can also check the security and privacy settings of the browsers where you can manage certain areas in the browser that strengthens the security.

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Check Website Security

As you access a website, view its site information. In most browsers, you can see it beside the URL. Basically, it will tell you if the website is “Secure” or “Not Secure”. But even “Secure” websites are not 100% secure because they may use cookies that will invade your privacy.

Be Selective of Sites

In connection to the previous tip, make sure that you use your judgment and be selective of the websites that you open. Open websites that are familiar and are trusted. Avoid opening porn sites, gambling sites, promo sites, etc. as they are the favorite hosts of viruses.

Filter Downloads

Some browsers have a security feature that asks you if you want to continue a download. They may prompt you that the file you are going to download contains materials that may harm your computer. Moreover, before opening the downloaded files, make sure you scan them first as they may carry viruses as well.

Manage Your Passwords

It is best that you choose the strongest passwords that you can think of. Don’t use the same passwords for different accounts. Avoid using birthdays, name initials, and other easy to guess passwords. Moreover, it is important that you regularly update your passwords once a month to tighten the security.

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Add Site Blockers

Apart from the built-in security features browsers, there are also site blockers available on the web. Site blockers block potentials websites that may contain or may be involved in fraud, phishing, scam, and other threats. You can also program these site blockers to block certain sites with certain keywords. They can also help in blocking pop-up ads and sites.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Do not easily trust public Wi-Fi. Anyone malicious in your surroundings may be secretly accessing your accounts or stealing your passwords through the Wi-Fi. We suggest that you use a Virtual Private Network or VPN that encrypts your connection by connecting to a safe and secure server in the middle.

Don’t Be Fooled by Online Deals

On the internet, there are many ads and deals everywhere in a website and a page. Most commonly, they appear to be so enticing and attractive. Well, they are purposely created to appear like that. As much as possible, avoid clicking online deals or any ads that are not familiar with you. Usually, they will redirect you to a website that hosts hundreds of viruses.

Disconnect

If you do not need an internet connection, make it a habit to disconnect. This is a preventive measure that will help you avoid security threats from entering your computer through the internet.

Apart from these preventive measures, ask a PC technician or IT expert to check your computer if there are signs of viruses, malware, etc. inside the system.

Top 11 Criteria in Choosing the Best VoIP Service Provider

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More businesses now are switching from the traditional telephone system to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications. According to statistics, approximately 31% of businesses in the United States are using VoIP systems to increase their efficiency and productivity. In this digital era, everything is really reliant on internet connection. Like VoIP, calls are basically done using the Internet.

There are several reasons why most businesses shifted to the use of VoIP systems. First of all, it is cost-effective. Imagine, businesses can save up to 75% in using VoIP systems. Second, it is also convenient for business operations. You can take calls as long as you are connected to an internet hotspot. The use of VoIP system is also flexible. You can use it even if you still use conventional phones. Lastly, it is multi-functional. Most VoIP service providers allow you not just audio calls, but also video conferencing and file sharing, among others.

There are hundreds of VoIP service providers available in the web. They have varied offerings and features. As a business owner, you need to make sure that the VoIP service provider that you are going to use can really help your business be productive.

In this section, we will discuss the top 11 criteria in choosing the best VoIP service provider for your business:

Price

The first thing you have to consider is your budget. Choose the VoIP provider that you know your business can afford in the long run. The prices of VoIP service providers vary from each other. Usually, they range from $20 to $50 per month depending on the plan and the features. Some VoIP ask for extra charges if you want additional features. Some are only geared toward video conferencing, so basically they ask less.

Service Plan Programs

Service plans vary from one VoIP service provider to another. It is best that you inquire about their plans. The differences in plans include features, capacity, and other offerings. In order to know about the uniqueness of their plan programs, refer to this site.

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Smartphone Integration

Not all VoIP service providers provide mobile applications that are as efficient and productive as desktop apps. Those systems that do not have custom applications cannot create a log for calls and cannot produce voicemail transcripts if the call is unanswered. However, smartphone integration is not a standard among VoIP service providers. But since most people have smartphones now, it would be helpful if you consider this criterion in choosing a provider.

Call Management

A quality VoIP service providers include conference calling system. But more than this, they should also be equipped with call management features. This allows the user to do call forwarding, call waiting for service, and other calling options. These options are very convenient especially when a user wants to forward a call to another representative. It can also be helpful in holding calls while certain operations are done.

Integration with Productivity Apps

This is one of the most important criteria in choosing your VoIP service provider. Businesses switch to VoIP for productivity. On the other hand, so much more productivity can be achieved if the VoIP system can be integrated with third-party productivity apps. These can help your sales or service representatives be more efficient. Most of the trusted VoIP providers can be integrated with dozens of extensions, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Desk.com, office software, and so much more.

Unified Communications

Communication is the vital purpose of VoIP. Basically, they convert analog audio signals to digital so they can be transmitted to the internet. The earliest forms of VoIP only cater to voice calls. Now, they can be equipped with email, video conferencing, and so much more. Some VoIP service providers have this what we call “unified communication”. This allows all means of communication to be integrated into one system – email, phone calls, video calls, voicemail, and conference calls, among others. This is more efficient than opening separate apps, windows, or platforms.

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24/7 Customer Support

Business operations should never be delayed. In case you encounter difficulties or problems in using VoIP, there should be a customer support that can answer your queries 24/7. Only a few providers have 24/7 customer support available for all plans and bundles. For some, they only provide if you applied to plans with two or more users or usually at high tiers. Customer support can be in form of email, phone call, or live chat.

Satisfaction Guarantee

It is important to choose a provider that offers you somewhat like a “trial period” in which you are allowed to decide if you are satisfied with their service and continue your subscription.  Mostly, 30-day satisfaction guarantee is given. Within this, you can terminate service without penalty. If you subscribe, they will require you to sign a one-year contract and a penalty agreement in which you will be penalized if you discontinue using their service.

Company Size & Reputation

The company size can tell the credibility and the reputation of the VoIP service provider. It is much safer to choose the frontrunners in the industry than smaller companies. This is to avoid risks of losses and to ensure quality service. Their years in the industry should also be considered. Moreover, do a little research about how many servers are supporting their system to determine how reliable their connection is.

Local Area Codes & E911

Choose a service provider that support local area codes. If they don’t offer local area codes, people in your area who might be contacting you will be charged when they call you using a traditional telephone. Most especially, make sure that the provider offers e911 service. The enhanced 911 allows your details to be given to the local dispatch for emergency purposes.

Reviews

Surf the web for reliable websites that provide helpful reviews about the VoIP service providers. These include personal experiences from companies and businesses. Their feedback will help you in deciding what VoIP provider you will choose.

If you have questions or concerns about a particular provider, do not hesitate to reach out to their customer service.

 

The 13 Best VoIP and Digital Communication Providers of 2017

img2 - The 13 Best VoIP and Digital Communication Providers of 2017

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been widely accepted by most homes and businesses now. It is a revolutionary technology that continues to redefine communication. It uses a software or hardware that converts analog signals to digital data that are transmitted over the internet. There are hundreds of VoIP and digital communications providers available on the web. Some of them are stand-alone products while some are bundled with popular web browsers. In this article, we list the best VoIP and digital communications providers of 2017:

RingCentral

RingCentral remains to be the frontrunner in the VoIP provider industry. It continues to provide cloud communications and collaborations solutions to the global business industry. According to their website, more than 350,000 organizations use their cloud-based communication platforms. PCMag stated that RingCentral Office (for Business) is one of the best providers of all-around office communications solutions.

Jive

Jive is also one of the most competitive players in providing business-oriented communications solutions. Jive provides small businesses a VoIP technology that is flexible, with a good combination of basic and advanced calling features. However, it follows certain features from RingCentral, PCMag reviewed.

8×8

8×8 offers cloud-based voice, video, mobile and unified communications solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. They provide a good selection of basic and advanced features as parts of its base pricing bundle. According to 8×8, they have more than 1 million business users. The only con with 8×8 is that it lacks open API which is used for app integrations. Overall, it is a great choice for small and midsized enterprises that are in need of flexible VoIP telephony services.

Nextiva

More than 150,000 businesses rely on Nextiva as their primary provider of business VoIP communication solutions. They enhance company communications by combining voice, email and messaging, and conferencing all under one platform. It also has a reliable network powered by 10 servers throughout the United States. Nextiva also does not require users to sign a contract. On the other hand, this provider lacks a service-level agreement.

Vonage

One of the earliest players in the VoIP services game is the Vonage. It started providing communications solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. Now, it is one of the most popular providers offering residential and business telecommunication services. Vonage offers cloud unified communications and feature-rich business phone systems. In PCMag’s review, Vonage has good call quality but fails to make their setup easier and more convenient.

Dialpad

Dialpad is one of the oldest VoIP providers. According to their website, they have more than 14 million users worldwide. They offer a secure cloud-based business VoIP and communication solutions. Their system is also integrated with G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. Dialpad is very easy to set up and manage. It is also compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices. However, call quality may be disrupted in mobile communications. Furthermore, 24/7 customer support is only available at higher tiers.

Phone.com

Phone.com is one of the most competitively-priced cloud-based VoIP systems. Their platform boasts more than 40 features. Their three plans – Base, Plus, and Pro include all local or toll-free numbers. Phone.com works very easily with your existing phones. It is also very easy to set up and can be integrated with your CRM services. However, they lack call monitoring features. Some features also cost extra charges.

Ooma Telo

Ooma Telo offers VoIP calling system and a wide range of communication solutions for small businesses, residential homes, and mobile users. In 2015, it was considered as one of the fastest growing VoIP providers. Ooma Telo generously provides free calls after your device purchase. Their units also have built-in speakers and control buttons which improve call quality. However, their standard features require a Premium account. They also lack Softphone integration.

Mitel

Mitel is a Canada-based company focusing entirely on providing VoIP unified communication solutions for businesses. Their cloud-hosted phone systems offer a wide variety of collaboration tools and calling features that can be integrated with mobile devices. It also does not require any equipment to be installed. It simply provides members of the business full access to the phone system. According to their website, Mitel powers more than two billion connections worldwide.

Microsoft Skype

Microsoft is one of the most trusted video conferencing platforms on the web. They have their free Skype for Windows and the other one specially designed for businesses. Microsoft Skype for Business allows calling effortless. It allows users to contact phone numbers and all employees within the company. It can support up to 250 members in a meeting. However, most businesses find Microsoft Skype for Business as very much consumer video conferencing-oriented, not suitable for businesses.

1-VoIP

1-VoIP is one of the leading providers of VoIP services to residential homes and businesses. They have been in the VoIP business for more than 10 years. Apart from their solid calling features and controls, they also boast their 24/7 customer support, dedicated live answer, and service level guarantee. However, 1-VoIP remains to be one of the most expensive service providers.

Intermedia

Intermedia provides quality software PBX solutions through the cloud. Intermedia Cloud PBX is easy to set up and has a simple administration. It is also rich in calling features and built-in controls. It can also be easily integrated with other’s cloud services. On the other hand, it is quite more expensive than other service providers.

RingByName

RingByName is a reliable and flexible cloud-based VoIP service provider for businesses. It only has three servers, however, they can still help efficiently provide quality services. RingByName provides you access to call analytics and can be integrated with CRM services. Further, you can sync existing Outlook and Google contacts. However, RingByName does not have many call monitoring features.

These are some of the best service providers of communications solutions to homes and businesses. In choosing your VoIP provider, it is always important to consider the features, the capability, compatibility, and the price, among others.