Safe Surfing Home // Safe Surfing

Starting next month, Google will mark websites as “insecure” if they don’t have a valid SSL certificate.

Until now, you only needed SSL (secure sockets layer) if your website had a form to fill out, or accepted online payments. No more! With the release of the newest version of Chrome, Google will move from a simple “i” (for information) to “Not Secure” in the address bar for sites that don’t have a valid certificate. And the release of Chrome version 68 is on track for thisJuly.

The screen shot below shows a basic before & after. And, although not confirmed yet, there’s talk of the “Not Secure” tag being in red. Imagine how this may impact your visitors’ perception of your website.

Moreover, it’s a given that non-secure sites will suffer when it comes to search engine ranking.

We expect there will be a last-minute rush to implement SSL on websites in the coming days. And we’ll be contacting existing Piedmont Technology clients individually to offer priority scheduling.

Finally, within a few days we plan on publishing a more detailed “who, what, where, how” article on this webpage, including cost estimates and details on our approach. You’re invited to bookmark it and return soon. You may also use the contact form to request a notification when published.

SSL by July 2018

This is a good article from DataDoctors that outlines the trade-off between security and usability in web browsers.

We use ’em all, but we prefer Chrome. This is just one good reason why…

At a recent hacking contest called Pwn2Own, Google Chrome came out as the most difficult to exploit, while Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge didn’t fare as well (Opera and Firefox were not part of this competition).

click the quote above for the full article

Yahoo accounts compromised

Thursday PM update: Various media reports (including WTOP) now have the total at 500 million accounts.  There’s been some speculation that it was “state sponsored” and we’re hearing that the hack occurred in 2014.  User names, passwords, dates of birth, possibly phone numbers, plus answers to security questions, were exposed. So, if you had a Yahoo account in 2014 and haven’t since changed your password, you should do so now.  And keep it unique – not the same one you might use for other services. Then, change your security questions/answers as well!


We don’t know all the details yet. But we do know enough to strongly suggest changing your password(s) on any Yahoo accounts. We’ll update this post as the details become available; however, given the potential impact, we wanted to get the pre-alert out there…

Here’s a small sampling of today’s technology headlines surrounding this massive breach. Updates to come…

You can also click here to generate your own Google results page with up-to-the minute information

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Go Incognito

incognitoIt’s a two-edged sword, this privacy thing. We benefit from a HUGE amount of FREE online services from a wide variety of sources, but at the expense of being exposed to marketing and advertising.  Targeted marketing and advertising.  “And how do they target?” you might ask.  By tracking your online travels via cookies and other methods.

Sometimes you may want to forgo some of the ‘conveniences’ made possible by this tracking; or, perhaps you’re just borrowing a friend’s PC and don’t want him seeing what you did or where you went.  Just switch over to incog_icon“incognito” mode – all the major browsers offer it under various names. Here’s Google’s quick reference on using incognito mode with the Chrome browser (click the pick for a quick trip to the full Google article):

incog_explained

 

If it’s good enough for the FBI cheif…

Update:  Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is also on board with this low-tech solution!  In fact, he tapes the camera and the microphone.

Click above fot the full NY TImes article

Click above for the full NY TImes article


Recently, FBI Director James Comey spoke at Kenyon college (no relation 😉 ) about security and privacy. Perhaps the most notable take-away (aside from the routine list of do’s and dont’s), was this quote:

“…I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”

dddI’ve been doing this for years…and, even if you’re a frequent skyper or facetimer, I’d strongly recommend you do the same.  Takes about 30 seconds to make and stick a little flap over your laptop’s webcam.  If it’s good enough for the FBI cheif, it’s good enough for me.

Here’s a link to the full presentation on NPR’s website.

If you have a jail-break iPhone, read on…

If you have a jail-break iPhone, read on…

Yet another good reason to NOT JAILBREAK your iPhone (or droid, for that matter)

(click graphic for full story on CNN)

sg

 

 

 

 

incognitoIt’s sometimes a two-edged sword, this privacy thing. We benefit from a HUGE amount of FREE online services from a wide variety of sources, but at the expense of being exposed to marketing and advertising.  Targeted marketing and advertising.  “And how do they target?” you might ask.  By tracking your online travels via cookies and other methods.

Sometimes you want to forgo some of the ‘conveniences’ made incog_iconpossible by tracking — or perhaps you’re just borrowing a friend’s PC or tablet and don’t want him seeing what you did or where you went: hop over to “incognito” mode – all the major browers offer it under various names.

Here’s Google’s quick reference on their version
(click the pick for a quick trip to the full post):

incog_explained

 

A compendium of thoughts, reflections, and suggestions regarding life online.

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Caveat

While we do our best to offer easy-to-follow suggestions on maintaining your website, computer, smartphone, etc., we do not accept any responsibility for any damage or lost data you may encounter. All actions taken as a result of reading this blog are at the users’ own risk. Piedmont Technology strongly suggests that users make and test regular backups!