Google Chrome Updates – Is Your Site Secure?

The world’s most popular Internet browser, Google Chrome, is releasing an important update in the coming weeks.  Starting with the public and stable release of Chrome update 68, the browser will show a yellow “warning” icon next to the URL of web sites which are not protected by a SSL cert, and when this icon is hovered over a “Not Secure” warning will be displayed.  With over 53% of total browser market share, this update is sure to affect a wide swatch of users and websites.

Read the Google blog post here.

Not sure if your website will be affected by this change?  Visit your site in a browser, and then look at the URL in the address bar.  If your address begins with “HTTP” and not “HTTPS”, your visitors may start to see a warning when this update is released.

To get ahead of the curve on this, give us a call or send us an email – for $175 a year, we can purchase, coordinate, and install a fix for this issue for any DataYard hosting customers.  Just another way we are here to help you make IT better.

 

Just Keep Swinging : DataYard Celebrates 23 Years

This year at DataYard we celebrate 23 years of hard work, ambition, and success. First things first, we want to thank all of our wonderful, loyal clients who have chosen us for 20 years or just over the last year, your trust in us means everything. Secondly, we want to thank our team that is committed to serving our clients day in and day out. Lastly, we wanted to take a minute to thank and recognize, Dave Mezera. Who knew that what three Air Force buddies cooped up out of passion and tinkering would become the finest IT company in the Gem City.

If you’ve had the chance to experience a DataYard award then you know they are all unique and often recognize the most extraordinary to the most nominal achievements. This year while celebrating our 23 years together at a Dragon’s game we wanted to recognize the giver of the most awards at DataYard, Dave Mezera. Without Dave, DataYard would cease to exist the way that it does today. His love and attention have made DataYard great to its clients and its team.

This year, 2018, marks 23 years of business for DataYard, but it is not the first time that 23 years has been a monumental year. In fact, one hundred years ago exactly in 1918, another fine accomplishment was achieved by none other than the great Babe Ruth. The Boston Red Sox were coming off an incredibly successful season where Ruth had played nearly every game due to his affinity for hitting. He mostly played in the outfield in the shortened season of 1918 but would beg to return to his role pitching.

That year the Boston Red Sox faced off with the Chicago Cubs for the pennant. In Game One, Ruth was on the mound and ended up giving the Red Sox their first victory. Prior to Game Four Ruth injured his hand in a fight but still took the mound and pitched the game. Thanks to some outstanding support from his team he was able to get the Sox a victory and a 3-1 series lead. Here’s the thing, before allowing the Cubs to score in that 4th Game, Ruth had pitched twenty-nine and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings, a record for the World Series that stood for more than 40 years. The next year in 1919, Babe Ruth would go on to have an unprecedented spell of slugging home runs, which gave him much of his notoriety. But, Ruth would reminisce that he was prouder of that record more than any of his jaw-dropping batting feats.

What does a historically spectacular baseball player have to do with DataYard today? Nothing, we have no company baseball team, we don’t have a World Series of I.T., we don’t even host a website that talks about Babe Ruth, but we can celebrate greatness. The last 23 years have been nothing less than incredible for our DataYard family and for Dave, or El Capitan as we call him. Similar to a baseball team there have been people who have come and gone, changed the game and ultimately made this team great, but one thing is constant Dave has been there and he’s invested time, resources and energy into this thing we call DataYard and the clients, community, and staff are all the beneficiaries.

Babe Ruth’s greatest personal feat was throwing some pitches, but his notoriety and fame were seen in his ability to hit the ball. His pitching success proceeded the incredible batting future he would achieve. We too believe that the best years are to come for DataYard. Some of our fondest memories and great accomplishments may be in the past but our greatest feats are still to come. So, we want to say thank you, Dave, and just keep swinging!

New and improved Connect Mail

We’d like to thank you DONet & DataYard mail users alike. We’ve spent the last several months bringing you a whole new revamped Connect Mail experience. These upgrades will not require any of our customers to make any changes to their mail clients.

One of the biggest changes you will notice right away is that we’ve changed our webmail platform. We’ve integrated many of our previously separated services into one single pane of glass. Within the new webmail, you will now be able to set forwarders, auto responders, and even create filters to filter your mail. We feel this new experience will be much more user intuitive and stream lined.

When you login to the new webmail, you should see all of your mail, folders and settings. This includes all of your signatures, identities, contacts and contact groups.

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The new settings will have some similar features you should be accustomed to using, but you will also notice some new links. On the left hand side you will notice a mobile sync tab which can be used to now synchronize your webmail/mail calendar to your phone, along with all of your contacts.

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You will also notice these three tabs next to your folder structure. These are the new locations for you to forward your mail, setup auto responders, and filter incoming messages. No longer will you need to use your my.donet.com to make these changes.

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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)!

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.

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.

A Commitment to Radical Privacy

On April 3rd, President Trump signed legislation repealing the FCC’s privacy regulations. As a result, Internet Service Providers (like DataYard, AT&T, Spectrum, etc.) can now quietly gather, store, and sell the Internet histories, communications, and usage patterns of everyone they provide Internet access to. The legislation goes further, by placing restrictions on the types of privacy guidelines the FCC can attempt to institute in the future. If you’re reading this on a screen, this action covers you at this very moment.

I’ve worked at DataYard (and previously DONet) for 11 years, four of those as a Systems Administrator and Data Center Engineer. I know first-hand the level of access that ISPs have to customer data, and the gravity of that access. We have a mantra at DataYard, “with great power comes great responsibility”, attributed to either Voltaire or Ben Parker, depending on who you ask. It is incredibly true in this and many other industries and vocations, but as more and more of our daily lives are driven online…well, ours is a unique business. We at DataYard make it our practice to log only the data we need to maintain our systems and provide the best customer service to our clients. We’ve got a database with your address in it, but so does Trader Joe’s.

If you are a business owner, work with Intellectual Property (IP) or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), are a HIPAA covered entity, or simply don’t want your personal preferences and business browsing data tracked and categorized – this new reality is an uncomfortable one. When ISPs begin to track, store, and replicate this personal data, it exponentially increases the potential attack footprint for malicious access. We’ve all heard about the Target / Yahoo / Verizon / [insert name here] hacks. Can you imagine the fallout if those companies had the last four years of your Internet usage stored and indexed for the taking?

We at DataYard want to publicly voice our disapproval of these legislative actions, undertaken with the sole purpose of opening new profit centers in an exploding industry. We know better than most the implications this decision has. It’s our business to know. Every customer we work with can rest assured that DataYard is not, and will not be, interested in the collection or sale of your communications and activities.

In a time when every move is tracked, every bit is stored forever, and everything is for sale, promising to forgo those profits is a radical move. But it’s a promise we make proudly.

See more: Dayton Daily News story here.

DataYard’s Privacy Policy:

https://www.datayard.us/about/policies/open-internet-compliance-statement/

Data Center Cooling Maintenance for 10/11/2016 – Rescheduled for 10/18/2016

We will be conducting  maintenance on our primary cooling system in the data center on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  We will be using our auxiliary cooling system during this time.

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)!

Update – Maintenance Rescheduled:

We had to reschedule the cooling maintenance for Tuesday, October 18, 2016.  We will be running on auxiliary cooling system from 8:00 AM to 5:00PM while the maintenance on the primary system is being completed.

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)!

Roomberry Project v.10

With just one week remaining, we managed to have a successful week tying everything together. Like Owen said last week, we ran into issues with the RFID. We had finally gotten it to work on our makeshift electrical tape track with a few sensors along the way, and decided to move it along to a practical application. However, that’s when we realized that our tags being 3mm, the antenna was too small for the signal to overcome the metal floor tiles. This week we received our color sensor as an alternative. We decided that since we can’t use any form of wave communication, our best bet was to either change back to QR (which we really didn’t want to have to do) or find an alternative. This color sensor has worked wonders thus far. We are able to pick up readings via lux, or lumens, and convert that into a 6 digit RGB hex code. With this we can set it up exactly like our RFID tags. We will be mapping out the data center similar to how we had tags, which is to have a temperature reading taken at the front of a server cabinet. Not only will this allow more precise temperature data, but it will also be a sort of location finder for the roomba. IMG_3587

With one week remaining, there is still a decent amount to be done, but we feel confident that once we leave, there will be a stable platform for the rest of our peers here to work with and improve upon when necessary. With our downtime on Monday before the color sensor came, we were able to get our preliminary temperature and humidity data uploaded using phant. The link for  that, which will be updated real-time once this is permanently running, is here. Next week our main goal is to, well, finish the project. We need to implement our new color tags, fine tune any bugs, and get our data uploading to local servers here for ease of access.

Stay tuned for our final blog post next Friday!

Roomberry Project v.9

Monday was yet another productive start to the week for Jim and I. More testing was done on RFID tags, and we fully ironed out our IR line following. However, on Wednesday tragedy struck.

Ever since we first had started messing around with RFID tags, there have been issues. with our 125kHz reader, we could never find a tag small enough to be used with our floor tiles. To solve the problem, we upgraded to a 13.56MHz reader and nifty little three millimeter tags. However, we were never able to get the reader to properly identify the tags. So instead we bought a different, more widely used version of the reader that came with a pre-made Python library. Once we got that up and running, we thought we were in the clear, but on Wednesday we found that due to the small antenna on the RFID tag it cannot be read if it is within one centimeter of the metal floor tiles.

Because the deadline of the project is drawing near, Jim and I decided to save both money and time and scrap the idea of using RFID in its entirety. Instead, we will be focusing our efforts on two ideas that we had as possible replacements.

The first idea we had was to give QR codes a second chance. If we can minimized the amount of time each poll takes, we would be able to make a track of QR codes along the floor. Our second idea is to use a color-sensitive light sensor in combination with colored tiles to determine the next command.

Next week will be hammering out these new navigation methods, wish us luck!