HTTPster Update

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the default protocol used to transfer data between a Web server and a Web browser. When you open Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari and type a URL in the address bar (for example, https://www.datayard.us); you’re actually sending an HTTP request to DataYard’s Web server requesting information; in this case DataYard’s homepage. When DataYard’s Web server receives this request, it searches for the desired information and responds to your Web browser with the appropriate information. This information is then displayed on your monitor and the HTTP connection is closed. If you were to click on any link within the home page, another HTTP request is sent to the Web server and it responds with the desired data and again displayed on your monitor.

HTTP is inherently insecure, meaning information is sent in plan or clear text. Why is this noteworthy? If a savvy person were to “snoop” on your Internet connection, they’d be able to read the data rather easily using simple tools found all over the Internet. This isn’t such a bother when you’re browsing for the latest football scores or reading up on recent events. However, if you’re paying bills, checking bank accounts or attempting to secure a loan of some type via an online finance tool, this becomes seriously concerning. The answer: HTTPS.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), as its name implies, is HTTP’s much more secure brother. If you were to type “google.com” into your favorite browser, you’ll likely see the address change and it’ll look like this…

Why is this, though? It’s because Google uses an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate to encrypt data sent between their Web servers and your Web browser. Much the same can be said about almost any other Web domain that would be expected to serve up sensitive information (banks, online shopping, investment entities, utility companies that accept online payments, etc.). Without this certificate or HTTPS, if you were to complete an online shopping transaction and someone happened to be “snooping” on your device or Internet connection, they’d be able to see the details of your purchase in plain or clear text. Credit card information, shipping addresses and other details of your transactions would be wide open for the world to see. So how does HTTPS work exactly?

When an SSL certificate is purchased and placed on a Web server, the Web server holds a private key, basically an encryption algorithm that tells its public key holders how to decrypt the information its sending back and forth. Let’s take our first example of HTTP but this time we’re going to use HTTPS.

It’s time to pay bills and instead of using snail mail, you’ve opted to go green and pay online. You enter your vendors Web address in your browser, https://www.electriccompany.com. Immediately upon this request, Electric Company’s Web server will send your browser a public key, instructions on how to decrypt the encrypted information via the private key. Confused yet? You shouldn’t be. All this decrypting and encrypting is transparent to the user and is exclusively handled by the browser and server.

As you enter your credit card information and click “SUBMIT”, your credit card information, account details and other personally identifiable information is sent to the Web server within a snug, tightly-wrapped blanket of human-unreadable characters that can only be deciphered by the Web server and it’s private key. So the guy that’s been “snooping” on your Internet connection would only see a very lengthy and incoherent string of characters that would envy Da Vinci’s cryptex.

Now that you have a better understanding of HTTP and HTTPS, as well as their differences and advantages; how does one go about “securing” their Web site? It’s rather simple, actually and as more and more people conduct sensitive business in our technologically endowed world, certificate authorities (CA) are making this process even more streamlined than before.

Companies like VeriSign, GeoTrust, DigiCert and GoDaddy specialize in the sale and deployment of SSL certificates on a global scale. A user would simply purchase an SSL certificate from any of these CA’s then install the certificate on the appropriate Web Server(s). Once the installation is complete, any browser requesting information from that Web server would then have the benefits and peace of mind that all the transactions would be safe and secure! If you’re not up for the task just let us know and we’ll be sure to take care of everything giving you a wonderful gift, peace of mind.

September 2017 Maintenance Window – 09/15/17 & 09/16/17

On Friday September 15 2017 and Saturday 16 2017, we will be performing maintenance on DataYard’s infrastructure. This will include performing updates to our internal server infrastructure and all managed server infrastructure, including tasks that require reboots/shutdowns/service interruptions.  Maintenance will begin at 3:00AM EST and will be completed by 9:00AM EST both days.

Let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat: 1.800.982.4539 or support@datayard.us. Remember to follow us on Twitter (@datayardtechops & @datayard)!

Enabling Your Spam Quarantine

By default, the DataYard Mail filter tags some messages and blocks others but has the capability to create a quarantine inbox where you can view and release messages deemed spam by the filter.  This isn’t enabled by default.  If you haven’t logged in to the Mail filter before, please read our article on creating a login and updating your settings, here.

Enabling the Quarantine

Enabling and configuring Quarantine will send some messages to your Quarantine Inbox on the Spam filter rather than tagging them or blocking them outright.  In order to enable Quarantine, go to the Spam Settings page.  Then un-check the Disable checkbox next to the Quarantine field.  Finally, adjust the Block and Quarantine sliders so that the Quarantine value is less than the Block value and click Save.

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You can also adjust how often Quarantine summaries are sent to you and where they are sent. Navigate to the Quarantine Settings page under the Preferences tab.  You can select Daily, Weekly or Never for your Quarantine email intervals.  You can also enter the email address that you would like the notifications to go to if you would like to send them somewhere else than your account.  Make sure to click Save if you make any changes.

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Once you’ve set up your score levels, you can manage your quarantine from the Quarantine Inbox.  Click the Quarantine Inbox tab and then the Quarantine Inbox option.  There you will find all messages that have been quarantined by the filter.  You have options to Deliver, Whitelist or Delete those messages, either individually or in bulk.

Bulk Email options

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Individual Email options

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Finally, you can click on any message to view the message and its associated details and release the message from there as well.

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That’s all there is to it.  If you have any problems, you can contact us any time at support@datayard.us or 937-226-6896 for assistance.

How to update your DataYard Mail Filter Settings

DataYard’s new and updated mail filter features improvements to both spam and virus filtering performance and the user interface.  This article explains how to create an account on DataYard’s Mail filter, update your password, add and remove entries from your whitelist and blocklist and adjust your spam filtering levels from the defaults.

Creating an account

Access the Mail filter login page at https://filter.datayard.us.  Enter your email address in the username field and click  “Create New Password”

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It will tell you that an account has been created and will have sent an email to you with your password.

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Now you can log in to the portal with your email address and password.

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Here is what you’ll see when you log in.  The page will default to the Quarantine Inbox that is disabled by default (you can enable it by following the instructions here).

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Changing Your password

Upon logging in, click on Preferences

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Then click Password

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Enter your old password and desired password as directed, then click Save Password.

 

Updating your whitelist/blocklist

Click Preferences, then Whitelist/Blocklist

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You will be presented with the following page.  To add an address to either list, click into the entry box in either list, then enter the address and click Add.  To remove an entry, click the trash can next to the entry you wish to remove.

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To remove an entry, click the trash can next to the entry you wish to remove.

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You can edit the list as a whole by clicking Bulk Edit on the list you wish to edit.

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Never edit the first line and put each entry on its own line, as shown below. Click Save once finished.

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Customizing your filter settings

Click on Preferences, then Spam Settings

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In order to change your settings from your Domain defaults, select No for Use Domain Defaults under the Spam Scoring section, then click Save.

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You’ll now be able to adjust the scoring levels for blocking, quarantine (see Enabling Your Spam Quarantine if you’d like to utilize the quarantine feature) and Tagging.  Adjust the sliders to your desired levels and click Save.  Higher numbers are less sensitive and lower numbers are more sensitive. For example, if you change the Block slider from the default level of 5 to 8, you will receive more messages.

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Getting Help

The new mail filter includes comprehensive help, if you need an explanation for a setting or section, simply click the “Help” link at the top right of every section header.

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You can also contact us any time at support@datayard.us or 937-226-6896 for assistance.

Why I Decided to Join DataYard

As a self-proclaimed “Jack of all Trades, Master of None” – DataYard seemed to be a perfect fit for me.  In my previous venture, prior to joining the DataYard family, I found my career in somewhat of a rut.  The monotony of what would be my final months at my previous employer had proved to be too much and I succumbed to the temptation of seeking a more exciting opportunity.  This statement is definitely not aimed to denounce my previous employer; but more attributed towards my inclination and desire to be perpetually challenged in my field.

I put much thought into my decision to seek a new employer before I did so.  I had as much job security as one could garner.  I had spent a decent amount of time in my position as a network administrator and established a very good rapport with not only my supervisor but my clientele as well.  I was well-liked (at least I’d like to think so).  I made decent money.  I was able to make business critical decisions with very little push back or input from my leadership.  And lastly, I was praised often for my work and was well-versed in my duties.  So you might be asking yourself, “Why the heck did you decide to leave?”  My answer?  It’s simple; I wasn’t challenged anymore.

As I started the often stressful, nerve-wrecking process of seeking a new employer, I thought many times over about what I was giving up and whether it was really worth it to terminate the fruitful relationship between myself and what would turn out to be my previous employer.  I asked myself, “Joe, can you see yourself in this position for another 15 years?  Can you continue to sit behind a desk for roughly seven hours a day virtually completing the same tasks every single day?”  The answer yet again was simple.  No, I couldn’t.

So, down the vigorous path of signing up to the Monster’s, Career Builder’s, LinkedIn’s and any other “job search” site I could think of I went.  My inbox was inundated within the first few hours of signing up on these sites.  “Welcome to…” such and such, they’d say.  “Hi Joe, we have a great opportunity here at…” such and such, they’d say.  Then came the phone calls from any and every technologically based recruiting firm.  “Hi, Joe.  My name is John Smith from Technology Recruiters ‘R Us.  Do you have a moment to discuss some career opportunities?”  “Well, John Smith.  I’m at work right now, so could you give me a call after 4 pm?  I don’t think my current boss would appreciate me misusing company time to speak with you about a new job opportunity.”  Thank goodness for unlimited calling plans as my minutes during the month long search for DataYard spiked like I’ve never seen before.

In the following weeks of signing up to these job search .com’s, I spent a rather large portion of my evenings sifting through countless emails and continued to field phone calls and talk to these total strangers about my salary requirements, why I’m seeking new employment, what am I looking for, what am I good at, what are my weaknesses, what industry within Information Technology would I like to work in and my all-time favorite question to answer; why would Company XYZ want to hire you?

On a day I can’t exactly recall, I do remember an email I received from one of these recruiters that made mention of, “Jack of all Trades, Master of None”.  Obviously that peaked my interest because I have always thought that about myself.  I possess many skills in many areas of Information Technology but I certainly wouldn’t consider myself to have a niche or be dedicated to one particular area.  With that said, I decided to return a message to these folks and within a day or so, I received a call back from them.

“Hi, Joe.  My name is Nancy Smith and after reviewing your resume, I think we have a great opportunity for you in Dayton, OH.”  I instantly thought, “I’ve heard this a time or two.”  But nonetheless, I gave her my due attention.  As she began explaining to me what I’d be doing on a day-to-day basis, the environment and culture as well as the nature of the work I’d be expected to complete; I was hooked.  I pictured in my head that I’d be out from behind a desk most of the time, working on a great variety of projects and most importantly, that I’d have the opportunity to get out and meet new people from around the Dayton area.  It seemed perfect for me…and it IS everything I thought it’d be.

After a handful of interviews with DataYard, including interviewing with some of the team members, I received an offer from their leadership to join the DataYard family.  Needless to say, I jovially accepted.

As I got to know my co-workers a bit more as weeks passed, I often found myself asking them a very specific question; “What makes you stick around?”  Now I find myself answering that very question I’ve asked so many times before.  Simply put… 
 
DataYard is everything I want in a “job.”  I am challenged on a daily basis, I travel around the Dayton area on a regular basis to meet both existing and potential clients, I’m surrounded by a great group of like-minded, light-hearted, intelligent and caring teammates and the culture and environment here at the “Yard” is so very cool.  But I just don’t stick around because of what DataYard offers me.  I love the fact I’m free to work not only in a technology capacity but I also have the ability to discuss with clients about how great DataYard is and about how DataYard can assist them via the services we provide to local businesses.