Cyberweek Holiday Shopping: Brought to you in part by DNS

Last weekend, many holiday shoppers and deal snatchers skipped the Black Friday store crowds by opting for e-commerce.   Their decisions paid off  for retailers, with Cyber Monday sales surging nearly 20 percent from last year.  The benefits for consumers and retailers alike are easy to see.  Gone are the days when consumers must travel area and zip codes to find that perfect gift in stock– if the company has it, it will be in stock online.  And retailers can now enjoy extended sales hours without keeping staff on the payroll, resulting in higher profits with less expense– great for the bottom line.

Sounds easy enough, but is it?

As holiday shopping trends continue to migrate from physical to virtual, we often forget the important role that technology plays in providing us with online shopping options.  On the backend, businesses must ensure their websites are hosted with reliable DNS and backup servers to handle both the influx of incoming traffic and prevent security breach.

According to Chuck Kisselburg of CircleID, the most resilient form of DNS infrastructure should include:

1) An infrastructure incorporating diversity among DNS platforms which include a mix of open source and non-open source platforms.

2) A platform incorporating high levels of security, thus helping citizens develop greater confidence in benefiting from greater options, convenience and savings associated with online purchases.

3) A platform optimized for capacity so as to comfortably handle extremely large volumes of traffic without fear of an infrastructure collapsing under the weight of such levels of traffic.

Fortunately, No-IP DNS service is positioned to provide all the security, reliability and capacity needed by e-commerce sites to ensure their holiday traffic doesn’t skip a beat.  And what’s more?  It’s completely affordable.  This holiday season, whether you’re running an e-commerce site or holiday shopping for others, the decision to give the gift of reliable DNS has never been easier.

* Data by Coremetrics

5 Reasons to be Thankful for Dynamic DNS

In the spirit of Thanksgiving tomorrow, we thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to DDNS service by highlighting all the wonderful things it’s allowed our users to do over the years.

Here are just a few of the most holiday-appropriate reasons to be thankful for Dynamic DNS:

thankful for dynamic dns

1) On a cold, snowy morning, you can be working productively from home in your PJs and slippers.

2) You can play all the new video games you bought on Black Friday with friends and family located across the country.

3) Thanks to remote security camera access, the Christmas gifts you’ve been stashing all year will stay safe if you’re eating Turkey out of town.

4) You can place those last minute bets on holiday football games, knowing the websites are hosted reliably and can handle the surge in traffic.

5) Sales teams will have dependable access to POS devices, which means you don’t have to wait in line all weekend to purchase all of your great deals.

All of that reliability with a fast and easy set-up.  If you’re not using a DDNS host provider, set aside some time over the holiday weekend to check it out.

Safeguarding Your Website Against DDOS Attack.

This past weekend, internet registrar Register.com suffered a down infrastructure for nearly 24 hours due to a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.  The security breach impacted their DNS, hosting and webmail clients, making services unavailable to subscribers and impacting their over 2 million registered domains.

How do these attacks happen?

 

Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers.   There are essentially two general forms of DoS attacks: those that crash services and those that flood services, and there are a variety of methods perpetrators can use to do either.

How can companies protect themselves from DDOS and similar cyber attacks?

100% DNS uptime is essential for any online business.  Typically most domain registrars and hosting providers only provide you with 2 name servers that exist on the same network segment. A DDOS attack or other connectivity failure impacting your name server network could wipe your website off the face of the earth.  That is why it is important to have multiple name servers on unique connection points.  This backup DNS service ensures that DNS for your domain always resolves to where it should.

Backup DNS may not sound important, but without it, your site is left vulnerable to DDOS and other cyber attacks which could lead to lost partners, clients, and eventually lost business.   It’s an affordable safeguard to ensure your site maintains 100% uptime, all the time.   If you’re not currently protected, be sure to try it out today.

5 Tips to Maintain Productivity While Working Remotely

As more businesses shift activities from in person to online, telecommuting is becoming an increasingly popular option for employees.   While the benefits of working remotely are easy to pinpoint, the challenges are not always so apparent.  From technology glitches and miscommunications to lack of motivation and isolation, the prospect of working in your jammies and slippers can come with a few pricetags.  To stay productive, it’s important to have the right tools and expectations for working remotely. Keep in mind the following tips:

1) Find a dedicated office space with minimal noise or distractions.  Comfortable seating, quality lighting and most importantly- quiet surroundings- will improve your ability to concentrate and focus on work.

2) Keep a structured “to-do” list with your team members to stay motivated and keep projects moving.  Basecamp is a great example of an online project management tool that allows team members to collaborate and complete project activities, share files and schedules.

3) Avoid burning out by scheduling breaks throughout the day.  Working from home can often make you feel disconnected from the outside world or that the work pile never ends.   When you don’t have to clock in or out, it can be difficult to relax and set work aside.  Remember to take a break or two, grab some lunch or go for a walk to get some fresh air and recharge.

4) Use the right communication tools.  Skype is an easy, free way to chat or talk with co-workers and integrates video in real-time (and is much cheaper than using valuable cell phone minutes).  GotoMeeting or Webex are also affordable conference call services with added screen share and recording capability.

Last and definitely not least…

5) Use the right connectivity infrastructure.  Dynamic DNS allows you to access your VPN or work computer using a static IP address that you can remember, which is extremely helpful when you need to access files from another computer remotely.   Also, a dependable internet service provider (ISP) will be worth it’s weight in gold, and remember to find a backup source just in case.  Make use of the nearest closest coffee shops or book stores with wi-fi in the event your ISP has service issues.  The last thing you need is to miss an important meeting or be not have access to your files when your boss or coworkers are relying on you.

Have any additional remote working tips to share?   Feel free to share with us in the comments section below!

Firesheep and social network security: What users need to know

Social network security is all the talk this month, as Firefox recently launched it’s Firesheep plugin.  In a nutshell, the new plugin makes it possible for users to hijack other people’s social network connections if they are using a public Wifi connection.

How does it work?  Most social networks, including Facebook,  authenticate clients with cookies. If someone is using a public WiFi connection, the cookies are sniffable. Firesheep uses wincap to capture and display the authentication information for accounts it sees, allowing the user to hijack a connection.

Sounds like a potential problem for social network users in airports, hotels and the other 1,000,000,000 places that offer public Wifi.  And how about businesses that employ remote agencies, consultants or employees to manage their social networks?

Fortunately, there are a few ways to protect yourself or your business from social network hijackers.  The most basic include:

1) Only visiting sites using HTTP Secure (beginning with https://), which make user cookies invisible to Firesheep.

2) Downloading the Firefox extension Force-TLS,  where you can assign and force which sites you want to use the HTTPS protocol.

3) Trying a program like HTTPS Everywhere, which forces every website you visit to use HTTPS protocol.

What about those who own or manage social network or other hijackable websites?  In order to protect your users and keep your website secure, try adding a SSL certificate to your website.  A Secure Link SSL certificate from No-IP.com shows visitors that your web site is safe for them to submit their personal data.  Regardless if you have a static or dynamic IP address or are running public or secure Wifi, No-IP offers the best value in SSL certificates.

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