Radar Hill Blog

Category Archives: Security

Information, news, and how-to guides regarding online security.

April Tips, Tricks & Shiny Stuff

A woman's hands holding up an iPad showing the Google homepageSpring is in the air, although our winter has been unusually mild. Time for this month’s collection of useful tips, reviews, and links of interest.

Password Tip

What makes a good password? How do you choose a good password? If you are now using any of the password wallet or password lockers we mentioned last month, these can create passwords that are harder to break because they are composed of numbers, and UPPER and lower case letters. An example is rnuw7DuaGAhZ. Some have the option of including other characters such as $%&#!*. An example is C$qrw5k9x9K&. Note that not all programs you log into will accept special characters. Continue reading

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March Tips, Tricks & Shiny Stuff

As we prepare for tomorrow’s Google workshop, here is this month’s collection of useful tips, reviews, and links of interest.

Things that make you go ‘Hmmm’

One Google AdWord we did for a local plumber was ‘disapproved’ by Google. The ad (modified to protect the innocent):

24/7 Drain Rooter Service
Professional Drain Scopes & Repair.
Call Now And Receive $25 Off!

The reason Google gave for disapproving it? Their Guns & parts category. It seems the Scopes part triggered their anti-weapons filter.


Password Tip

It is a good idea, a really good idea, not to use the same password for everything. Do not use an identifiable password, either. You have dozens of accounts requiring passwords, and probably think it is convenient to use as few passwords as possible. If a hacker gets into one of your accounts, that hacker can get into the others, and then you are doomed. Continue reading

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Google Business Listing Scams

Stock photo of a worried man on the phone, with credit card in hand and laptop in front of himScammers are always trying new tactics to try and get money from people. It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with this on a daily basis, especially at businesses. A current scheme to watch out for are the Google Business Listing Scams, where you receive a phone call about your online listing verification with Google. Some things to note (no matter what they tell you):

  1. If they say your customers can’t find you online, they are lying. If you have a website, social media presence or even have your business listed on any online directory, your customers can find you.
  2. Real Google Verification phone calls will be an automated message from a phone call that you request, and they will only provide you with a code to enter into your listing. The call will not ask you to press any buttons or talk to any people. As a client of Radar Hill, we work this out for you and let you know beforehand, so you’ll know what to expect and when the phone call will happen.
  3. Claiming your business online through various services such as Google Listings, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, and many others is always free. If you need assistance with claiming these, contact your web provider!

Always keep an eye out and be cautious when answering calls from unknown numbers. If you are ever unsure about a website related phone call or email, always contact your web provider first!

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What Heartbleed Is & What To Do About It

There’s been a lot of news lately about the Heartbleed website security breach, which has been leaking large amounts of sensitive online information from websites around the world.  There are even comics about it. But what exactly is Heartbleed, and why is it so serious? What can you do to protect yourself from it?

We’re going to do our best to explain it.

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed logo: red, stylized heart outline that appears to be dripping

To understand what Heartbleed is, first you need to know about SSL/TLS. SSL and TLS are the two most common kinds of connections that web servers form with your computer to keep information exchanged over the internet secure and private. SSL and TLS are known as cryptographic protocols, which is a fancy way of saying that they each use a list of security reinforcements—such as encryption and authentication—to protect your data. Continue reading

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Real Estate Domain Phone Scams

Nose-down shot of a telemarketer wearing a headset. Phone scams have been on the rise lately, especially in regards to domain names.Spammers and scammers have been trying extra hard lately to get your money. We’ve seen an increase in spam emails and phone scams around the world—probably due to spam not being as effective as it used to be, forcing scammers to send out even more in order to get the same return.

We’ve seen a lot of domain slamming—scams that target web domains—reported to our office in particular. Because the process of registering and maintaining a domain can be confusing and people don’t always understand it, it’s often easy for scammers to convince people that they’re a legitimate domain company. Continue reading

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Beware of Domain Renewal Scams: Domain Registry of Canada

Letters from DROC (Domain Registry of Canada)

Letters from DROC (Domain Registry of Canada)

A few years ago, a company by the name of “Domain Registry of Canada” sent out hundreds of letters to domain owners in hopes of scamming them out of money. Now they’ve come back, looking to get money from you by telling you your domain needs to be renewed or you’ll lose it. This is a scam!

Previously this company would mail letters to the address located on the domain registration, which for our clients is the Radar Hill address. This would allow us to ignore the scam and not worry our clients. However, this year they’ve started to mail letters to people based on the address on the domain’s website. Continue reading

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Recently, we were approached by an organization that had their website hacked.  A few years ago, this organization hired a small web  developer related to one of the principals to make their website.  To make things easy and cheap, it was done with a WordPress theme and they were given limited administrative access to make their own changes.  Major changes were left to the web developer.  To reduce ongoing costs, a discount hosting company was enlisted to keep the monthly fees low. Continue reading

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How soon they forget

Occasionally, we will have a client leave us due to the age-old fallacy that “the grass is always greener”.  Sometimes I feel that we are to blame because we have not educated our clients on the value of the services they receive, but oftentimes, it is just pure knee-jerk on the part of the client.

Here’s an example: Continue reading

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Hotmail’s not looking so cool

The old Hotmail logo, with blue arrows wrapping around a mail envelope, and the rainbow MSN butterfly.We’ve received a number of complaints lately from clients who can’t seem to send emails to customers who have a Hotmail email address. Continue reading

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Me and my Hosts List: or, how I beat The Man

A pixellated 'hand' cursor clicking on a blue-bordered box reading "Ads"EDIT: One of our other coders has found this interesting article arguing for ads and why you should view them: Why Web Designers Should Not Use Ad Blockers (Opinion Column)

If there’s one thing all of us are tired of dealing with on the internet, it’s advertisements. Be they animated, blinking, crowded, garishly coloured, slowing up our browser, or just plain annoying, most people would be happier off without them.

Fortunately, there’s one very simple thing you can use to cut down ad presence on your browser. It’s easy to implement, and doesn’t require downloading anything (unless you want to make it even simpler). This magical device is called your hosts list.

Continue reading

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Web Usability vs. Web Security

Jakob notes that humans cannot keep much information in their short term memories, especially pieces of data relating to computers and websites. Continue reading

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Glossary of Cybersquatting

This very handy glossary is taken from the Brandjacking Index by MarkMonitor Inc.

Continue reading

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