Connect Mail Maintenance – Saturday March 10th

On March 10th of 2018, we will be performing maintenance on DataYard’s connect mail infrastructure. This will include performing updates to all connect mail infrastructure, including tasks that require reboots/shutdowns/service interruptions to both inbound and outbound mailing platforms. Maintenance will begin at 7:30AM EST and will be completed by 9:00AM EST.

As a result of this maintenance, a few of our traditional tools will temporarily be out of commission, including our server-side autoresponder tool and email forwarding tool. We realize that this may be an inconvenience for you, and are working towards new solutions for these tools as soon as possible. In the meantime, please contact us directly and we will do our best to assist you with these needs.

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)!

Keeping the Internet Safe

Earlier this month was Safer Internet Day, which is a day dedicated to creating awareness around safe internet usage mainly geared towards children and teens. I realized this topic didn’t exist when I was growing up. Think about it for a second. I am in my mid-late twenties and I have had more years with dial-up internet or no Internet at all, than I have with anything close to the high speeds we have today. I’ve grown up with the Internet quite literally. When I was a kid, teachers and parents were just trying to grasp the concept of the Internet and how it was used, let alone talk about how to safely address it. For this reason, I’ve taken it upon myself to catch all of us up on some quick Internet Safety Tips.

Passwords

Creating complex passwords and changing your passwords regularly can go a long way. That means moving past the passwords like ‘Password123’ and ‘Jacob19’, onto more creative phrases and symbols. It is also beneficial to use different passwords for your different accounts and websites, rather than using the same one across the board. For this reason, I would recommend using tools like LastPass, KeePass or 1Password to help keep track of all of your different passwords. These tools can also be set up to remind you to reset your password every couple of months.

Public Network Security

Free public Wi-Fi has essentially become a basic utility, making the internet easily accessible virtually anywhere. This is also making users increasingly vulnerable. The challenge with public Wi-Fi is that it’s often unsecured, making it easy for hackers to access your device. If you want to utilize public Wi-Fi in a secure manner, you can purchase a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a software that will provide you with a secure connection to the Internet.

At Home Network Security

Taking a comprehensive look at your home network will allow you to have peace of mind when you are connecting to the Internet at home on your various devices. Changing administrative passwords and implementing a few precautions can make your connection much safer. For a checklist on securing your home network check out our Securing Your Home Network blog.

Safe Browsing

Many times, Internet browsers themselves provide Safe Browsing functions (see Google). However, you can go an extra step and retrain yourself on not giving away personal information, avoiding questionable websites, only downloading software from sites you trust, and increasing your browsers security settings.

  • Click Smart – don’t click on sketchy links or ads
  • Share Selectively – don’t just share your personal information with anyone
  • Shop Safe – when shopping online always make sure to look for https

HTTPS

Keep an eye on the addresses of the sites you are visiting. In the address bar for your website, you will see either HTTP or HTTPS (more about the difference) which represents how data is transferred between a web server and a web browser. With an HTTPS site, the data is encrypted, which keeps your information safe. This is extremely important for any online shopping or banking, and any site taking your personal information. You need to make sure that it has encryption.

Stay Up to Date

Staying up to date on the latest operating systems (OS) and software/application versions will ensure that you have the most up-to-date security measures in place. We recommend turning on auto-update when applicable.

If you have more questions about making your home a safe place please feel free to reach out to us on social media or at hello@datayard.us

Other Resources:

February Maintenance Window – 02/16 & 02/17

On February 16th & 17th of 2018, we will be performing maintenance on DataYard’s customer infrastructure. This will include performing updates to 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.

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)!

Securing Your Home Network

Earlier this month was Safer Internet Day, which is focused on educating and creating awareness for a safer internet. As Dayton’s only local ISP (Internet Service Provider), DataYard knows the importance of internet safety and security. While we do our part to keep the internet safe as a provider, the only one who can keep your home and your family safe on the internet is you. Don’t worry DataYard is here to help you make IT better.

These are all suggestions that we believe to be the best option within reasonable expectations, these are suggestions where economically and technically feasible.

Defining Home Network.

DataYard defines a home network as the primary private network that an individual uses to access the Internet when in their home. Home networks do not include public carrier networks (LTE, 4G, 3G, etc.), public hotspots or public Wi-Fi access points (hotels, coffee shops, airports, etc.) The definition of a home network is limited to private networks typically controlled by you at your residence.

Wireless Security

One of the major considerations of securing a private network is wireless (Wi-Fi) security. DataYard recommends periodically changing SSID names, changing Wi-Fi passwords, and utilizing the current wireless security standard WPA2. WPA2 uses an encryption that encrypts the network with a 256-bit key. As an additional layer of security, you could implement MAC address restrictions to restrict access and further security private network.

Stay Up To Date

On any device that is accessing the internet through your home network it is important to be using the latest Operating System (OS). Keeping the OS updated will ensure you have the most recent security features enabled by default and prevent common attacks. In addition, making sure that all software and applications are up to date will prevent outdated software breaches.

Network Security.

We highly recommend deploying a physical firewall between the internet access connection and the internal network/device(s). This could be accomplished by deploying a router with an integrated firewall (Best Routers in 2018). By default, these devices will filter incoming access to the private network, excluding normal operating protocols for accessing Internet resources. Many internet service providers supply a modem/router combination device, in which case you should ask for administrative privileges to make adjustments where necessary.

Remote Access for Home Networks

It is increasingly common for users to allow remote access into their home networks for various functions, applications, and systems (IOT, Home Security, Media Centers, etc.). In order to provide remote access to these various technologies, users may open various ports/protocols on both the filtering devices and the end devices. In these scenarios, we strongly encourage you to:

  1. Allow remote access to the system only when required
  2. Restrict access to IP address, ports and protocols as much as possible
  3. Perform IP filtering when technically feasible

Additional Security Measures

Additional best practices include regarding securing a private network include the following:

  • Keeping all internet capable devices up-to-date with security patches
  • Changing the default privileged edge password of all devices on the private network
  • Using strong and complex passwords for access to home equipment and devices
  • Maintaining active anti-virus and anti-malware on all applicable devices
  • Implement Full Disk Encryption (FDE) on Laptops

If you’d like to learn more about securing your home network or how to maximize the security of your online presence please feel free to reach out to us on social media or at hello@datayard.us.