10 Tips for Choosing a Safe Password

Choosing a password is easy, choosing a password that is safe is a different story. Follow these 10 tips for choosing a safe password to safeguard all of your accounts from fraud.

1. Choose a password with mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols (example: !, $, #, %).
2. Choose a password that is NOT related to anything that has special meaning to you, ie: your pets name, birthday, address, family members names, etc.
3. Use a different password for every account that you have. This one is tough, I know, but it will definitely come in handy if one of your accounts get compromised. Multiple passwords will ensure that your other accounts remain safe.
4. Change your passwords frequently (every 3 months or so) and when you change your password, don’t choose a new one that is similar to the old one.
5. Don’t use a word that is found in the dictionary.
6. Make your password 8 characters or longer.
7. Use a virtual keyboard when entering passwords. A virtual keyboard won’t let a keylogger program capture your keystrokes.
8. Use a string of words.
9. Pick a word that you can type quickly and easily remember without having to look it up.
10. Make sure you can easily remember it! Yesterday, I changed my email password, and twenty minutes later I had already forgotten it. I had to go through 10 steps to recover my account (my recovery email was old and outdated, so that didn’t help me either). Not very fun. So, save yourself the headaches and use a password manager to securely store all of your passwords. Also, keep your account information up-to-date. So, if you do forget your password, it’s just a click away to a different email address.

What are your top tips for choosing a safe password? Add yours below!

DNS, What???

More often than not, when I tell people what the company that I work for does, they look at me with a blank stare and a trivial look on their face and say DNS, What… They still seem utterly confused after I try to explain what DNS is and how they are most likely using it everyday.  These people usually just pretend like they get it and walk away, but do they really get it and what’s so hard to “get”?

We have touched on what DNS is quite a few times, but we still get the inevitable comments on surveys and blog posts that people are still very confused.  One person actually compared DNS to buying a bottle of air, open it and there is nothing inside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

DNS redirects an IP address, to a static domain name.  So if you want to visit www.no-ip.com, you type the domain name into your browser, not the IP address.  If not for DNS, you would have to remember every IP address of every website! With over 300 million websites on the web, remembering every IP address would be utterly impossible, well unless maybe you’re Kim Peek: The Real Rain Man.

In addition, the transition to IPv6 will make remembering IP addresses even harder! IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long compared to 32 bits of Ipv4 addresses.

They look something like this: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1. That’s a lot if numbers to remember! (I can barely remember my phone number!)

So, next time someone asks you, WHAT the heck is DNS?! You can tell them that it is indeed more than just bottle air.  It makes visiting websites by a domain name, possible!

Have you ever had someone look at you confused when you mention DNS? Also, if you like this article, be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter!

What is the Difference Between a CNAME Record, A Record, and Redirect?

An A record is the actual record. The name is resolved to the corresponding IP address.

An example of this is www.no-ip.com resolves to 204.16.252.112

CNAME records (short for short for canonical name) map your hostname to another hostname. It is useful for pointing many hosts to the same place and updating them easily.

An example of this is:

www.no-ip.com to www.noip.com

This is a CNAME record because even though the domains are different, they still go to exactly the same place and follow the same rules that are in place.

Redirects are like CNAME records in a way, but different.  Use a redirect if you want one domain to redirect to another.

An example of this is:

www.yourwebsite.com redirects to yourblog.blog.com

Have questions or comments about CNAME records, A records or redirects? Leave them below.

Want to know more about No-IP’s services? Check out our website to learn more.

No-IP Upgrades

No-IP engineers have been working hard making tons of No-IP upgrades!

Over the past few months, we have upgraded our network hardware and servers and have added more load balancers to balance traffic more efficiently.  This quarter of a million dollar expansion will bring a quicker, more reliable  service to you that is able to transmit and handle a much higher load of capacity!

To our 11 million users,  thanks again for choosing us!!! We hope you like all of the No-IP Upgrades!

Unlimited gTLDs?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently approved the future use of unlimited gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domain’s).  There are a total of 22 gTLDs. These domains range from: .com to .org to .net, but starting in January 2012, that list of 22 domains, will soon expand to a limitless number! Anything you can dream up will be able to be a gTLD.

So, what do unlimited gTLDs for businesses with websites online? It means that things may get a bit interesting and expensive… The top advice that owners of businesses with an online presence hear is protect your domain(s) from possible cyber squatters.  So, if you own yourbusiness.com, you should probably own yourbusiness.net, .org, .biz, and any common misspellings of your domain name, and every possible variation (within your budget) so your customers don’t mistype your web address and end up at a website that is not owned by you.  So, with limitless TLDs when would you know to stop buying domains? Until you go broke, I guess….

Which brings me to my next point, Will everyone be able to register any top level domain?

Yes, but at a very, very HIGH price.  The application fee for the domain will be $185,000 and the yearly domain fee will be $25,000.  For major online players, that is chump change, but for small online businesses, that is an astronomical price for a domain.  So, will everyone have a custom domain? No, but just knowing that you can is pretty cool.