Radar Hill Blog

Tag Archives: website security

Then and Now Part 3: SSL

Radar Hill has been in business for 16 years, and the magnitude of change in the 21st century when it comes to websites is staggering. What was a shiny new website just 5 years ago can now be outdated and leave your business with a huge potential gap in visitors and clients. There are various measurable ways that the World Wide Web has changed in 16 years, and we are publishing a “Then and Now” blog series to illustrate what a website in 2017 requires to stay current. This edition: SSL.

 

SSL

Then:
The World Wide Web (WWW) and its Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), one of the languages used to communicate across the Internet, triggered a new way of sharing information. A generation ago, information was not sent via electronic wireless venues, rather everything was written down on paper. If there were secure files stored in a safe for example, you would know immediately if there was a breach, as you would be able to see any damage done. And even once the Internet became prominent, what was available for hackers to access was very limited. There were no banking records, personal identities or other personal data that were stored in cyberspace that could be accessed from anywhere at anytime.

Now:
The Internet has evolved immensely in its 24 years of public use. Everything is done online. And what you need to remain secure is constantly changing. Hackers are eager to always tear down defences and exploit weaknesses, to get your information. There has been an increase in cybercrime in the last few years, with the emergence of robot networks that enable criminal activity to be conducted on an unprecedented global scale. Anyone can be targeted, and it just takes one little slip and hackers can intercept all kinds of information. However, there is something that can help combat the risks of the Internet, and that is SSL.

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August 1: Password Security Workshop

Skull and data

Almost every week, there is a news story about a site being hacked or a data breach. Maybe you have experienced this directly. Remember when the login credentials of 117 million LinkedIn users were sold on the black market?

But how can you protect yourself? How can you protect your accounts?

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Invitation: Password Security and Staying Safe Workshop

On Friday the 13th, join us for a talk and workshop on password security.

Almost every week, there is a news story about a site being hacked, or a data breach. Maybe you have experienced this directly? Last summer the login credentials of 117 million LinkedIn users were sold on the black market. Continue reading

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What Is SSL, And Why Should My Site Have It?

Security button on the keyboard. Toned Image.As a site owner or even just as an Internet user, you may have heard whispers about SSL lately. A tech-savvy friend might have stressed the importance of using “secure sites”, or you may have seen an article announcing Google’s new favouritism for SSL. Maybe you read about the Heartbleed incident a few years back.

You may have brushed those mentions off. After all, what does some vague technical acronym have anything to do with you?

But the truth is this: SSL keeps your business safe.

How? It is an Internet security protocol that is used to encrypt information as it travels between the website server and your customers’ computers. This prevents mischief-makers from intercepting, reading, or changing that information as it travels.

SSL (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer; you can read more about it here) isn’t a new thing — it’s an established and reliable technology that’s been around for decades. It gets adopted more widely every year as the Internet gets bigger and more threats — from minor Internet vandals to malicious hackers —arrive to take a slice.

The sooner it’s on your website, the sooner your customers — and you— can reap the benefits.

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Looking Back On The Year

Radar Hill programmer Shannon cradling Dan's wheaten terrier, Oliver.In difficult moments such as these (the internet is down), we take time to reflect on the past year of achievements, struggles, and good times.

Here at Radar Hill, it’s been a busy year. As a programmer, I spend most of my time burrowed away in the back room. I’ve got Lady Gaga in my headphones and pages of code spread out on both monitors. When Dan or Shawn bring a client to the office, they parade past me so I can glance up and say “sup?” and they can prove that their code monkeys exist.

And it seems like that happened a lot this year? So that must mean that business is good? Cool!

It was a busy year for me too. I helped out with a lot of cool websites — here are some of my favourites: Continue reading

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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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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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Hacked!

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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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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Breakfast Topic: Password Masking

This month’s breakfast topic was password masking, which is the practice of having passwords starred out ****** .

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