Don’t get hacked! Time to get serious about password safety

Top tips for locking down your online security

(BPT) – We all know hiding your house key under the doormat is a terrible idea, but we do it anyway because it’s a convenient backup. When it comes to safeguarding passwords, especially in a family setting, people often choose convenience over safety.

As families manage their digital information and online accounts, many end up opting for that less secure key-under-the-doormat solution. People are already sharing passwords, and their methods of sharing are not always the best. Some 41 percent of adults with online accounts admit to sharing passwords with friends and family, according to an Americans and Cybersecurity survey by Pew Research Center. Yet, 90.8 percent of respondents say they know that having strong passwords helps them better protect their families.

Consider the number of security breaches that continue to make national news:

* In 2016, we learned the Yahoo data breach compromised 1 billion accounts.

* In that same month, we learned 167 million email addresses and passwords were stolen from LinkedIn.

* In September 2017, a security breach at Equifax was reported, exposing Social Security numbers and other personal data of 143 million users, which is nearly half the U.S. population.

Now more than ever, it’s clear how important it is to protect our personal information online. According to a Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 81 percent of data breaches involve weak, reused or stolen credentials. That’s significantly higher than the 63 percent it was in 2016.

“If you were to dig into the reasons behind these repeated, overly simple, shared passwords, it’s actually pretty understandable as to how this happens,” according to LastPass Senior Director of Product, Steve Schult. “The average person has some 200-plus logins. If you were to give each its own strong, unique password, that’s way too many for one person to keep track of and remember, let alone all the other family members that might also use some of those accounts.”

But there’s no need to trade security for the convenience of digital access. With a password manager designed for individual or family use, you can create those strong passwords for all the accounts you and your family use, and store them within a secure vault that’s accessed by a single master password only you know. These digital lockboxes protect your information under multiple layers of security, making it impossible for digital thieves to hack and access.

If you’re debating whether to make the switch to a digital password manager, here’s a few ways it can improve your family’s online security and help stop the struggle with passwords.

Create rock-solid passwords: Most password managers offer a secure password generator that allows you to set and create a long, strong and unique password for every online account. You can create a password up to 100 characters long, including numbers and symbols. Another way to do it is by using the “passphrase” approach, meaning string together words that create a phrase. Be sure to steer clear of birthdays, anniversaries, street names and other specific personal details that can be found through a simple social media search.

Secure more than just passwords: There’s an endless number of passwords and sensitive information you can store in your password manager, including banking logins, passport and license numbers, shopping accounts, email and social media passwords and more. By storing all of this information in your secure vault, you’ll always have access to the information whenever and wherever you may need it.

Safely share passwords with family members: One benefit of a password manager that’s designed for family use is that it lets you safely and conveniently store passwords and valuable documents in folders for flexible sharing with others in the family. LastPass Families includes unlimited shared folders, which means you can create multiple folders and store an endless number of passwords and share with those in your family. For example, you could put your banking account password into one folder and share access with your spouse, have another folder for your favorite streaming services and securely share access with the whole family. All the while, you can keep your personal accounts private.

Use it as a teaching moment: Have a talk with your kids about how passwords are the keys to our digital lives, and how good password habits help protect everything from personal details to finances. Show them how to build a good password, and how tools like a password manager can create a safe way to access and share accounts. It’s an important life skill that will help them protect themselves for years to come.

Plan for the digital afterlife: When there’s a death or serious emergency, it turns out that state and federal laws, along with service agreements, can block your family from getting access to your online accounts. With a password manager that allows emergency access, family members can get into your password vault and have access to whatever they need.

If you’re interested in learning more about LastPass or LastPass Families, visit LastPass.com.

Need Help Securing Your WordPress Site?

5 precise points to look for in the perfect PC

A lot of my clients always ask me what is the best PC, What do I need to look for?

(BPT) – What drives you in the search for the perfect PC? Is it premium design and the high-end components? Or are you a performance person where nothing but the best specs will do? And what about price? Do you worry that you’ll have to sacrifice some of the things you want simply because they are too expensive?

There are many things to consider when looking for the perfect PC but price and performance are not mutually exclusive. With today’s modern devices, you can have both. So start your search by focusing on the parameters below and you’ll find the perfect PC that fits your needs, and your budget, in no time.

Modern design

This is where your tech really shines, thanks to the latest advancements that separate the newest devices from their predecessors. Crafted from 100 percent aluminum, the Acer Swift 3 packs the power of a 7th Generation Intel Core processor into an ultra-slim .7” frame with full high-definition capabilities and 12 hours of battery life.

Meanwhile, the versatile Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Series 2-in-1 can transition from a laptop to a tent to a tablet with ease, and has a full high-definition wide-viewing angle display to play media powered by its Intel Core processor.

Finally, the HP Pavilion x360 allows you to work, write and play naturally on the touchscreen. It’s a convertible 2-in-1 with an optional active pen, the enhanced experience of FHD IPS display and audio tuned by the experts at Bang & Olufsen. It also allows you to store millions of documents or hundreds of movies with up to 1 terabyte of HDD storage.

Powerful and portable

The size of your new device plays a huge role in how you use it. If you plan to travel with your device, then you’ll want a more compact model like the slim, lightweight, ultraportable 2-in-1 ASUS Transformer Mini. This powerful tablet features a comfortable, angled keyboard and a handy kickstand delivering 140-degree views no matter where you take it. Plus, channel your inner creator with Windows 10 Creators Update and Active Pen, which creates the feeling of writing with a pen on paper.

Whether you plan to carry your PC into that next business meeting or out with friends, appearance matters, and nothing tops sleek and stylish. The Samsung Galaxy Book 10 is a 2-in-1 with a gorgeous display and a brushed metal finish that’s sure to get noticed. And with the included Samsung S Pen, 10 hours of battery life and the ability to sync up with your Samsung phone, its functionality can’t be topped.

Safe and secure

The more time you invest in your PC, the more important it is to protect it. The Lenovo Yoga 510 (Flex 4) keeps your content uniquely yours with a simple, secure log-in fingerprint reader and Windows Hello. It’s the perfect gatekeeper for a device with plenty of storage for all your most cherished keepsakes.

Personalized for you

Each of the devices mentioned above is available at an affordable price allowing you to find the perfect PC to meet your needs and your budget. Once you narrow in on the features and functionalities that are a must have for you to help you tackle your personal and professional to-do’s, you’ll find that there is a PC out there to fit your needs.

So don’t delay. Start your search for your next device today, and put the power of state-of-the-art technology on your table, your lap or in the palm of your hand. Stop by your nearest Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com, or your local retailer to find the one that’s right for you.

WordPress Password Tips

WordPress Password Security Basics

Your WordPress password should meet the following requirements:

  • Include numbers, capitals, special characters (@, #, *, etc.)
  • Be long (10 characters – minimum; 50 characters – ideal)
  • Can include spaces and be a passphrase (Just don’t use the same password in multiple places)
  • Change passwords every 120 days, or 4 months

It would be my recommendation to use the generate password feature in WordPress. I know that lots of you hate having to save or even try to remember a password like rQ)C2ZA%aC^N)fVXBjQFxOV^ but if its hard for you it makes even harder for a hacker to find and crack it.

Find Hidden Parasites On Your Word Press Installation

Hackers exploit security vulnerabilities in popular web software such as blogs, forums, CMS, image galleries and wikis to insert hidden illicit content into web pages of innocent third-party web sites.

Thousands of website owners are unaware that their sites are hacked and infected with parasites.

I have used the site Unmask Parasites for a while to see if there’s any hidden links my anti-maleware or virus scanner have missed. Unmask Parasites is a simple online web site security service that helps reveal _hidden_illicit content (parasites) that hackers insert into benign web pages using various security holes. Now please note nothing is a 100% accurate.

Q: What parasites are you talking about?

A: Wikipedia defines Parasitism as a “type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species in which one, the parasite, benefits from a prolonged, close association with the other, the host, which is harmed.”

Hackers exploit security vulnerabilities of web software (blogs, forums, CMS, image galleries, wikis and e-commerce solutions) to insert hidden illicit content into web pages of innocent third-party web sites.

Most times this technique is used by spammers who insert hundreds of hidden links to web sites advertising medications, cheap loans and porn.

Another example of hidden malicious content is code that redirects visitors who click on your site’s search results in Google to completely different web sites owned by spammers. This sort of exploit is difficult to detect by site owners, because the malicious code redirects only first time visitors.

What all these techniques have in common is that they parasitize benign web sites in order to take advantage of their search engine ranking, visitors, and site hosting, which is paid for by their victims – unaware web site owners.

GOOD HUNTING: Unmask Parasites

Three DIY ways to improve your home WiFi

(BPT) – You don’t need an expert to tell you: America is hooked on the internet. Just try to think of the last day you didn’t use the web in some way.

But you probably don’t think much about the main way the internet is delivered: through WiFi. It powers your computer at work — as well as the Facebook feed you’re discreetly checking under your desk. At home, it’s the new electricity. Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora rely on it. It powers activities on your smartphone, unless you want to rack up a huge data bill from your carrier. WiFi runs the kids’ Xbox and maybe even your thermostat and security camera — these days, almost every device in the home is thirsty for WiFi.

When you do think about WiFi, it’s usually because it’s not working — and driving you nuts. Before investing in a more expensive internet package or living with buffering videos and router resets, here are three do-it-yourself ways to improve your home WiFi:

Move your router

If you have rooms that don’t have access to the internet — dead zones — first try moving your router to a more central location in the home. Because routers have a limited range, it’s important that your router is in a central area. If you can’t move the router to a different location, try elevating it on a table or shelf to spread the signal more efficiently.

Large metal appliances, like refrigerators, and electronics that emit radio waves, like microwaves, can interfere with your network’s signal. Keeping the router out of places like the kitchen can help bolster the range and speed of your WiFi.

Upgrade to a mesh network

Most households rely on a single router. But with the steep increase in home internet usage, one WiFi router may not be adequate to support all the devices connected to it.

A San Francisco company, eero, was the first to bring a mesh WiFi system into the home. eero — which is about as simple as anything gets in the tech world — works by swapping out your current router, plugging a single eero into your modem, then placing additional eeros throughout the house. The devices work together to create a wireless mesh network that delivers fast, reliable WiFi to every room. Their mesh technology ensures people are getting the same internet speeds they’re paying for throughout the entire home, instead of just near wherever their cable pipe comes in.

eero is quick to set up and makes it easy for people to manage their networks through a smartphone app. The app allows you to monitor your internet network from afar and invite guests to join the network via a text message. Parents can even assign schedules for when devices can access WiFi, making it easy to limit their kids’ internet usage.

Update your modem

An often-overlooked device that may be throttling your WiFi signal is the cable modem, the device that translates the data coming in through your cable pipe into a digital language your router can understand.

Households should update their modems every three to five years. If yours is outdated, it could be impacting the quality of your signal and speed. Many people rent their modem from their internet service provider for $5-10 a month. Purchasing a new, updated modem usually costs $50-100, but you’ll save money on a rental fee while seeing major improvements to your WiFi.

The way we use the internet today has changed and the old ways of WiFi are not keeping pace. Whether it’s moving your router, upgrading to an eero mesh network, or just swapping out your modem, you shouldn’t have to deal with buffering, dead zones, or router resets.

How To Better Secure Your Word Press Log In Page

During the installation process, WordPress creates two default login URLs. I’m sure you’re already familiar with at least one of these, but the two are:

  • wp-admin.php
  • wp-login.php

This happens during every WordPress installation. Given that these repetitive login URLs are a potential security risk (more on this later!), it’s somewhat surprising that WordPress doesn’t give users the option to create a custom login URL, don’t you think?

Well, even if WordPress doesn’t allow you to customize the login URL by default, it is perfectly possible to do so. If you’ve ever wondered how to change the default URLs, read on, as I’m about to show you!

Why Should I Change the WordPress Login URL?

  • Protect Against Brute Force Attacks
  • Protect your sites from bots looking for wp-admin/wp-login extension on your site
  • Hide the fact that you are using WordPress
  • Malicious hackers waste your WordPress resources and bandwidth when you use the default login URL because it is frequently attacked.
  • Protect WordPress from Zero Day Vulnerability Attacks

I know most of the world out-there is not code savvy. But yes you guessed it, there’s a plugin for that. this can be achieved with the help of a plugin WPS Hide Login

WPS Hide Login is a very light plugin that lets you easily and safely change the url of the login form page to anything you want. It doesn’t literally rename or change files in core, nor does it add rewrite rules. It simply intercepts page requests and works on any WordPress website. The wp-admin directory and wp-login.php page become inaccessible, so you should bookmark or remember the url. Deactivating this plugin brings your site back exactly to the state it was before.

Compatibility

Requires WordPress 4.1 or higher. All login related things such as the registration form, lost password form, login widget and expired sessions just keep working.

It’s also compatible with any plugin that hooks in the login form, including:

  • BuddyPress,
  • bbPress,
  • Limit Login Attempts,
  • and User Switching.

Obviously it doesn’t work with plugins or themes that hardcoded wp-login.php.

Works with multisite, but not tested with subdomains. Activating it for a network allows you to set a networkwide default. Individual sites can still rename their login page to something else.

If you’re using a page caching plugin other than WP Rocket, you should add the slug of the new login url to the list of pages not to cache. WP Rocket is already fully compatible with the plugin.

For W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache this plugin will give you a message with a link to the field you should update.

My Word Press Site Says Its un-trusted

You have installed a SSL on your domain, but yet when you look at the URL you see a yellow triangle next to the https extension.

ssl

Step 1: Check Your SSL

To check if your  SSL is installed correctly. Reports are available at https://www.whynopadlock.com

Step 2: Check Your Content

The SSL is installed and working, but you have unsecured items in your source code.
You will need to update this on your own.
You can use the following tool to see what items you need to update. https://www.whynopadlock.com

after running the 2 tests above you will a full report on what is causing the SSL to come up unsecured in your browser..

If you need assistance with the above issue, Please feel free to contact me. Usually if SSL is installed correctly it takes about 1 hour to fix all of the issues on your WordPress installation.

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Woo Themes Canvas Tip Change drop down menu font color

add this code to your custom.css file in editor screen to change font color of drop down menu

 

/* Changes the default background color of the nav menus */
#navigation ul.nav > li a:hover {
background: #316594;
color: #FFFFFF;
}

/* Changes the default background color of the drop down menus */
#navigation ul.nav ul {
background: #D0D9E0;
}

/* Changes the default background color of a drop down menu with a child */
ul.nav li ul li a:hover {
text-decoration: none;
background: #316594 !important;
color: #FFFFFF !important;
}