You Shall Not Pass! General Tips and Tricks to Password Creation and Safety

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How often have we created a new username and password on the fly? Creating credentials is a standard part of our daily lives as we download more apps, subscribe to more platforms, and open new accounts. There are common practices that people follow when creating a new password. For example, make it easy to remember but hard for someone to guess. Change things up and add capitalization, special symbols, or numbers. Most importantly, don’t use the same password across multiple pages.

However, as technology continues to make bigger leaps and bounds and scammers use smarter and more sophisticated means of collecting your private data, there are some new best practices regarding our first line of defense: Password creation. In the second blog of our Refreshers series, we share some general tips and tricks that you may, and may not, already know.

Creating

  • Number of Characters – Have you noticed that most sites that ask you to create credentials do not have a maximum number of characters? The shorter the password, the easier it is to decipher. Having a password that is at least 14 characters long is recommended.
  • Words that Don’t Exist – Although it seems impossible, words that can be found in the dictionary or pop culture are also at risk of being deciphered. Instead, opt for obscure words or create different spelling to increase complexity.
  • Stay Off Special Characters – Remember that some routers and devices do not allow certain characters. This almost seems counter-intuitive as special characters help strengthen passwords when mixed with numbers and letters, but the parameters are set for several reasons. For example, using just special characters in your password makes you more prone to getting your credentials hacked. Although it would be hard for a person to guess what special character or combination of characters you used for your password, a hacking program would be able to do so very easily. Another reason why you’ll find you can’t add specific special characters is that the software used to store the passwords will run into coding issues. Those special characters you use might be what could potentially break the software and make it therefore susceptible to hacking.

Securing

  • Never include your password in any form of communication. It doesn’t matter if it is an email, a text message, or a DM on social media, you never want that information to be intercepted. For example, if you get a message asking for your login information, always contact the source directly to see if it is a scam. Most likely, it will.
  • I’ll Give You a Hint – Even though writing down your passwords is strongly discouraged, you can always nudge yourself in the right direction. Writing down a hint to your password versus writing down the entire thing is a lot more secure. Think of it as a private inside joke with yourself!
  • Don’t Get Comfortable – Changing your passwords every three to six months helps keep your log-in credentials elusive.
  • Change it Up – Multi-Factor Authentication is quickly becoming more popular as it increases your account’s security by requiring a second method of verification before or during log-in. A second code or number gets sent to you to verify that it is you logging in. You can even add Two-Factor Authentication to your No-IP log-in.
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder – Use your browser’s security settings to your advantage. For example, Chrome will notify you that there has been a data breach compromising your password info, but only if you enable it to do so. You’ll need a Google Account to access a Google Password Manager, but it may be worth keeping on top of any hacking attempts. Once you have your passwords entered, The Google Password Manager will not only notify you when there is a data breach, but also allow you to update them at the same time. This is a lot easier than switching back and forth to different log-ins and trying to guess which ones have been attempted.

Remembering

  • Banish those little notebooks and sticky notes all over your computer! There is still a lot to embrace with all the advances in technology, including storing lists of passwords. LastPass, DashLane, or LogMeOnce are a few of the many different password managers that will encrypt your lists of passwords so you can rest easy that the information is accessible and safe.
  • Caution – Linking accounts might be an easy way to avoid remembering multiple passwords, but easier is not always safer. It is common to find different log-in pages that prompt if you want to link an existing account, like Facebook. While this does save time without having to create a brand new password, linking accounts poses a greater security risk. Linking accounts means giving the new account access to your data whether you want it to or not. If one account is compromised, the other one is surely at risk of being hacked as well.

Creating a password that fits all the right criteria might be taxing, but the more effort and care you take into doing so, the better. Everything that is password protected is worth taking the time and energy to make sure you get it right, as well as difficult for prying eyes and hackers to try and capture it.

The Magic of Port Forwarding – What is it and How Does it Work?

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There is something about starting a new year that creates hope: you might look forward to new leaps and bounds in your start-up, want to finish your degree, or better organize your life. The same energy can be applied to better manage your IP network. It doesn’t matter if you are a certified Network Admin or figuring out how to run your e-commerce site yourself, everyone can use a refresher once in a while. Especially with technology constantly making strides in our daily lives, we might even find ourselves learning something new, or how to make things easier. In this series, we touch on some things that our users might find good to review, or important tools and processes that help you manage your IP network better.

The topic for this blog has to do with something that a lot of our users ask questions about – Port Forwarding. Port Forwarding has to do with your router – The router gives your computer and any other IP-enabled devices access to your internet and requested files. Think of the router as the receptionist of a company - The receptionist makes connections and determines access to regular employees or guests depending on their security clearance. However, the receptionist is not making the call about who gets access – They are being told how to determine who is cleared and who is not. The router acts the same way – They allow communication on only open ports.

 

So how does Port Forwarding come into play? Port Forwarding is a way to allow outside devices and networks to access a private network. This not only prevents any lag time but also provides a level of security. If you are inviting a friend to access your gaming server, or need remote access to your internal IP network, then you want to configure Port Forwarding.

Here is an example: Let’s say you want to grant your friend access to your personal server (hostname example.dnns.net) so they can view and download pictures from a shared trip. As a default, your router blocks any outside access to your server with a firewall to help keep your IP network secure. While this is usually helpful, it is not when you want someone from an outside server access to your own. To incorporate access to your server, your friend will use the hostname, which will be whitelisted in the firewall. Then, determine which port you want to open. In this case, Port 80 is a popular port used for unencrypted web pages. Adding the port to the URL allows communication through the port: example.ddns.net:80.

See some resources below and guides that our Customer Success team frequently shares with customers:

Port Forwarding might be a little intimidating at first, but if you do need additional support, you will want to contact your internet service provider. Once you have set the port forwarding rules, a Customer Success member will test the connection for you. 

 

Phenomenal! Results for No-IP’s Annual Food Drive

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Out of this world! The No-IP team and our generous users donated over $11,500 to our Holiday Season 2022 Virtual Food Drive for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada! This surpasses our last goal by over $6,500!

The No-IP team also had a friendly bet going to get the donations started: Jason Puccinelli, our VP of Operations, promised that if we got within $924 (a full pallet of Mac n Cheese) of our $5000 goal, he would buy the pallet for the Food Bank to make up the difference. At first, donations were a little slow and the team was a little worried about meeting our goal. However, just a few days before our deadline the donations started pouring in, and sure enough, Jason purchased the pallet of Mac n Cheese, thus surpassing our $5,000 goal! It’s funny what a little motivation and “putting money where your mouth is” can do for charity. On top of that, our fearless leader, Founder, and CEO Dan Durrer matched our contributions, which resulted in our whopping $11,569 total.

These past few years have been hard on everyone around the world, especially those with food insecurities. No one should ever have to go to bed hungry or worry about when their kid’s next meal will be. When you are able to give, even just a little bit, it can go a long way to those in need. if $1 can provide 6 meals, imagine what over $11,500 can do for the 130,000 neighbors the Food Bank services a month. To everyone that donated, the No-IP team thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.

5 Days of No-IP – Day 5

5-days-of-no-ip-5Day 5 of 5 our “5 Days of No-IP” giveaway ends with a chance to win a $200 No-IP Credit! To enter, you must become a member of our Referral Program. Simply fill out the form below, click the link to join the program and you will be entered to win! Are you already a member of our Referral Program? Simply fill out the form below and send us an email, and we will add you to the giveaway. (Email is: press(at)noip(dot)com)

Please note: One entry per person, and 5 winners will be chosen; management reserves all rights.

5 Days of No-IP Giveaway – Day 5

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5 Days of No-IP - Day 4