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04
Jun
2018

What To Do If Your Web Service Provider Goes Down

by Administrator

Internet Security

At NationalNet, we have an outstanding track record of performance and uptime over decades of experience. If you are currently hosting somewhere else and are having issues with uptime, this advice may be particularly useful.

A popular web service provider went down a while back and caused millions of small business websites to go down due to “a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.” As one of the biggest website hosts in the world, this company also manages one of the largest Domain Name System (DNS) databases. DNS is a comprehensive list of names and addresses that allows the web’s computers to connect to each other.

Has your site for your business ever go down? Here are some steps to keep business non-stop if your site happens to go down.

1. Check if the issue is with your site or your web host.
You don’t have to be an IT wizard to get deep down into your company’s domain name servers. It is actually fairly easy to understand how your servers work without IT support. There are several online resources that can help you like Pingdom, DNSsy and DNSniffer.

All of the resources mentioned generate reports on the status of how your site is interacting with other sites. If you see your service provider on these lists, well, that means your site could be affected.

2. Reach out to customers
If your site is down, you should probably immediately reach out to the customers who visit the site. You want to let them know that you know there is a problem and that your company is working to resolve the problem. You can take to social media like Facebook and Twitter to let customers know while your site is down.

3. Consider migrating your site to another web host
It the site outage is extensive, it may be time to change web hosts, even though this can be a giant task. Since your migrating to a new service, the traditional way of backing your content up, changing exactly where the DNS is pointed, installing your new files and turning off the old site will all need to be done by an IT professional.

As your dedicated hosting partner, our job is make sure your hosting is up as permanently as humanly possible. NationalNet has technical support people available around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the Network Operations Center. Our technical support professionals are well versed in helping our partners solve all hosting needs and we are also one phone call away. That said, outages due to weather conditions or other catastrophic events can happen, and we highly recommend all companies have protocols in place to handle any eventualities that may occur.

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04
Jun
2018

Apple Releases New Update For High Sierra – Be Sure To Update

by Administrator

There is a new release for the MacOS: High Sierra 10.13.5. The June 1, 2018 update adds a few things: notably, the ability to use Messages in iCloud support. The update is also important because of the new security and enterprise updates that come with it. If your Mac is supported, you can update the  OS by downloading it and installing it from the Mac App Store.

A long awaited feature, Messages in iCloud, is finally here! In beta releases of recent Apple software, Messages had been added (then removed) a number of times. It was first officially added to iOS 11.4 earlier in the week, and with support added on Macs now, more supported devices can use the feature.

More information can be found in Apple’s release notes for the update:

The MacOS High Sierra 10.13.5 Update improves the stability, performance, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

This update adds support for Messages in iCloud, which lets you store messages with their attachments in iCloud and free up space on your Mac. To enable Messages in iCloud, go to Preferences in Messages, click Accounts, then select ”Enable Messages in iCloud.”

Enterprise content:

• Variables used in SCEP payloads now expand properly

• Configuration profiles containing a Wi-Fi payload and SCEP payload install as expected when the KeyIsExtractable key of the SCEP payload is set to false.

The Messages in iCloud feature means you can now store the communications that you receive in the Messages app, as well as the attachments that are sent via Messages, in iCloud. For people that use Messages, this can help save them internal storage space on their local devices. It also means that if people delete a message on one machine, that deletion will happen on a person’s other devices and Mac computers as well. It also means that new devices will have access to the messages immediately after being logged into your iCloud account.

People utilizing this feature will need to have available space in iCloud, which is a service that allows people to pay for various amounts of storage. Getting the latest updates is one way to get the most recent security for your devices. As the top hosting service, NationalNet is dedicated to keeping your devices and information safe by providing the latest news. The next major MacOS release is expected to be announced on June 4th at the Worldwide Developers Conference, and will be released later in the year.

All too often a hosting “problem” is caused by someone who failed to update their OS accessing a server backend and forwarding that code to the cloud. Staying up to date with security patches and system upgrades is a key part of what we do here at NationalNet, and it’s a task made far easier by conscientious clients who also take the time to update their own terminals as well.

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03
Jun
2018

Hackers Allegedly Steal 1.4M Passwords From Mac Forums

by Administrator

Internet Security

A hacker allegedly stole more than 1.4 million passwords, email addresses and other data from popular forums like Web Hosting Talk, Mac Forums and HotScripts. Someone going by the name “uid0” is selling the three databases on the dark web underground market The Real Deal for a combined 7.2 bitcoin ($4,752), reported by CSO. An operator from a data breach awareness site said hackers breached the media company Penton and stole the databases of Web Hosting Talk, Mac Forums, HotScripts.com, dBforums and A Best Web.

The site hacked every database except HotScripts.com, but it’s said the total number of users compromised from the others was 1,442,602. The passwords are said to not be in plaintext, but are rather hashed, which means turning the actual password into different digits. Not only are they hashed, they are also “salted,” which means a series of random bytes at the end of the passwords were added before they got hashed. Salting or salted passwords means the hacker tried to hide the real passwords.

If you had an account on any of these forums, you should definitely change your password to something new, not something reused. If it is a reused password and you have used it somewhere else, change it there too. After you change the reused password, just make it a habit to not reuse passwords across multiple sites.

The passwords were hashed with the MD5 algorithm, which is extremely weak way to hash passwords. This means the passwords should be easy to crack. There is no hosting company that can guarantee that a breach can’t and won’t happen, but NationalNet can 100 percent tell you we take your account security as seriously as you do. If someone tries to hack your digital property, our trustworthy professional support staff is working around the clock for you before, during or after any hack threat is detected.

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01
Jun
2018

Hosting factors that can affect the SEO of your website

by Administrator

Frustrated tech

Are you a web host owner? Did you know the web hosting service you use actually has a huge impact on your SEO? Some of these hosting issues that can actually have a big negative effect on your SEO. As web host owners, sometimes we get lost in the loop of all these SEO tactics we read online to optimize our websites and impact the ranking of our website. These are some of the hosting issues that you web host owners need to know.

 

1. Slow Website Speed

Google makes the website speed ranking factor, but unfortunately, many web host owners only look at the website design without spending anytime choosing a faster hosting service. On the other end of the website speed spectrum are those who forget about all proper protocol and use repetitive scripts and large images that make the site load slowly.

The way you design your website has a lot to do with how fast your site loads. Don’t use too many scripts, animations, web fonts or third-party widgets because they will all slow your site. Also choose a fast hosting service for minimal website loading times

website downtimes

2. Website Downtimes

Website downtimes are often related to issues with the web host, due to bandwidth limits being exceeded, or hosting servers going out of order. This greatly affects your customer’s impression of your business and site along with diminishing your search engine rankings. When your site is down, Google removes it from its index- when your site comes back online, it gets flagged as unreliable and its ranking is lowered.

 

3. Database Connection Failures

“Internal Server Error” messages can mean many things, but it will always disappoint your visitors. In many cases, an “Internal Server Error” comes with a “Database Connection Failed” error message. This results when too many users are accessing a database at the same time. This mainly happens when a video or an article goes viral on social media.

Choosing the right hosting is extremely important to your business and it’s costumers. It’s probably one of the most important decision you will make for your business and the most important decision for your e-commerce and online presence. That is where NationalNet comes into play for your businesses online footprint with our full-service system planning, application development and implementation for your web hosting.

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31
May
2018

Why Server Location Matters in Web Hosting

by Administrator

world map

Businesses never look at where their web-hosting server is located, they just choose a web hosting service that is convenient to their company. Many sites don’t even consider their hosting server location because of content delivery networks. CDNs create a system of proxy servers, using existing data centers, allowing those using the server take advantage of a nearby access point for optimal performance even with the business being thousands miles away.

 

Many businesses think CDNs are the cure all to their problems when in reality they need to very picky about the location of their hosting provider’s servers and the quality of their CDN solution.

Location, location, location. The location affects load times, sales and most importantly SEO. Also, the closer you are to the host server, obviously the faster your load times are going to be. This is a critical choice for businesses choosing a web hosting server location because of the competitive load times with other websites and also the growing number of mobile users. And with the ever-growing web comes a growing desire for needing everything now. According to KissMetrics, 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

 

The location of your website’s server makes a huge difference. If possible, you should always place your server’s location where the majority of your customers live. CDNs are so popular because you can put servers in more, which equates to faster page loads. Small businesses are better off choosing a location near your web-hosting server.

 

The more local your hosting node, the better local SEO your business will have. Local SEO is very important for businesses looking to gain traffic and you want customers in your local area to be able to find your business.

 

Server location in web hosting really just equals faster load times for your business and it’s customers. This translates to more customers, happy customers and customers that are willing to spend. That is what NationalNet is here for, the small and medium-sized businesses, helping them add value and profitability to their local customers. We can provide hosting hubs anywhere in the world and the most effective CDN services for a truly global footprint that is local to every region.

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30
May
2018

The Difference Between A Cheap Web Host And A Good Hosting Company

by Administrator

web hosting

First, what exactly is a web host? A web host is a company that has servers capable of storing your online websites or other resources for access from everywhere else online. That said, not all hosting companies are the same. Some focus intently on reducing costs and offer hosting for pennies, but the services they provide are very different from what a commercial host provides for companies seeking to monetize their websites online.

 

When you choose “shared hosting” on a server with other entities you are giving up a tremendous amount of security, control, performance and support in exchange for saving a few dollars a month. That’s honestly a terrific idea if you want to throw up a vanity site for your family dog and show your daughter how to create a website with WordPress. However, when you host the family business and things like load speed, uptime, international access and data security become important, having a dedicated server with a company like NationalNet makes a huge positive difference.

 

We understand that every dollar counts for your business, that’s why NationalNet constantly works to increase our efficiency and reduce costs for our clients. It’s also why we never cut corners or go bare bones in the way we do things.

 

World class support 24/7/365, constant monitoring and industry leading performance do cost more than shoving your site onto a server with 300 other customers who may or may not be misusing the resources you share. That being said, can you really afford not to go with a serious professional hosting company when any moment of downtime or friction for your customers can quickly shrink your revenue streams?

 

There are things that shared hosting is great for, and times when spending a little more may not make the most sense. If your daughter’s website about her dog loads 8 seconds slower than her friend’s website about their family cat, that won’t cause grandma to close her browser. However, when you want to generate an actual sale on a commercial site, those 8 seconds can make all the difference, and that’s why we are proud of our long standing reputation as one of the premier hosting companies for businesses that want to succeed online.

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24
May
2018

DATA PROTECTION POLICY NOW ONLINE – HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU

by Administrator

By Matt Collins, General Counsel

The European Union has instituted a new law that affects companies with that collect personal information from Europe visitors. This new law is called the General Data Protection Regulation or “GDPR”. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the GDPR, explain NationalNet’s new policy and highlight what you should know for your own business.

INTRODUCTION TO THE GDPR

The GDPR applies to any company that collects personal information from an EU citizen and thus this law applies to companies throughout the world…and may apply to you as well. The GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018 and that is the date that the NationalNet policy also takes effect.

The goal of the GDPR is to give European citizens control of their personal data. The definition of personal data is set out in the NationalNet Data Protection Policy in Section 3. In short, personal data is any information relating to a person who can be identified directly or indirectly, by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person. This is a pretty broad definition and thus much of the information that is collected may be classified as personal data.

The GDPR provides three basic privacy rights and we respect these rights through our Data Protection Policy. These rights are:

  • The right to request to view personal data that has been collected.
  • The right to correct personal data that we have collected and that has errors or is incorrect.
  • The right to request that personal information collected be deleted.

The fines and penalties for failing to provide these rights or to follow the GDPR can be huge, up to four percent of global revenue, so this law is not to be taken lightly.

NATIONALNET’S NEW DATA PROTECTION POLICY

The NationalNet Data Protection Policy (“Policy”) may be found at www.nationalnet.com/GDPR. NationalNet has always complied with the EU data protection laws and was a participant in the Safe Harbor Certification Program that was operated by the US Department of Commerce in cooperation with the predecessor law to the GDPR. NationalNet is also compliant with the new GDPR and thus the new Policy is designed to inform visitors, customers and others about the collection, processing and storage of personal data that is provided to NationalNet.

The personal data that NationalNet collects comes from a variety of possible sources such as visitors, potential customers, job seekers, vendors and many others. The Policy outlines how we collect, process and store personal data and other information that we collect from these various possible sources. There are four types of situations where we collect persona data from visitors, including:

  1. Visitors: We collect minimal data from visitors to our site. This data is mostly in the form of analytical data and website usage and is set out in Section 4 of the policy.
  2. Contact: We collect more personal data from people who initiate contact with us through the website, email or any other method of communication. The kind of information that we collect on these types of requests is outlined in Section 5 of the policy.
  3. Potential and actual customers: We collect more personal data when you apply for and become a customer of NationalNet. This information required is much more extensive as we need a variety of information to properly provide our services to you and your organization. This kind of information is set out in Section 6 of the policy.
  4. Job seekers: We collect different personal information for those who contact NationalNet to seek employment. This type of situation is set out in Section 7 of the policy.

To manage the data protection process, I have appointed as the new Data Protection Officer. While not every organization needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer, NationalNet has made the decision to go in this direction to implement the best possible system to protect personal data, respond to inquiries and to assist customers with issues that may arise under the GDPR. Under the GDPR, the Data Protection Officer is responsible for managing the internal data management activities, assisting with data protection assessments, work with our technical staff and responding to inquiries from individuals seeking to review, edit or delete their personal information. The GDPR also sets out several other responsibilities of the Data Protection Officer and I will be responsible for those tasks as well. You may contact the NationalNet Data Protection Officer at DPO@NationalNet.com.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The best solution is always to seek legal advice to review your situation, your policies and practices to make sure that you are compliant with the GDPR. For you and your business, it is important to note that you are responsible for the data you collect, process and store. Any personal data that you collect belonging to an EU citizens is specifically subject to the GDPR and thus you should be careful to follow the law.

If you regularly collect detailed personal data from EU citizens, then you should carefully review your policies and practices to make sure you are compliant with the GDPR. You should consider contacting legal counsel to review your practices and policies to make sure that you are compliant with the GDOR.

If you are an individual or company based in the EU, then you should absolutely contact your attorney to review your practices. Don’t hesitate and hope for the best.

NationalNet as your webhost and service provider, licenses the equipment to you for your use; you are, however, the data collector and processor. Because the GDPR may well apply to your organization and the data you collect, process and store, you should make sure that you are complaint to protect you from claims brought in the EU.

While I cannot provide you with specific legal advice for your business or practices, I can answer general questions regarding my understanding of the GDPR and how NationalNet has implemented the requirements. Please feel free to contact me at DPO@nationalnet.com.

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30
Jan
2018

Strava Fitness Tracker May Have Revealed Troop Movements In Syria

by Administrator

Just how ubiquitous and accepted have IoT (internet of things) devices become? A recent dump of data from the fitness tracker company Strava appears to have incidentally revealed a wealth of secret troop movement and base location data in Syria and beyond.

Location data is an important part of many fitness apps for helping users seeking to optimize their routes or for tracking progress of a fitness regimen. However, a new data dump from Strava, one of the main players in that market may now be putting the entire device category under fire with military officials scrambling to identify or overcome potentially serious leaks of classified information including the location of clandestine military bases, patrol routes and more.

UCA analyst Nathan Ruser discovered information in Strava’s publicly available activity map may include fitness routes of soldiers and agents in sensitive locations, including Afghanistan and Syria, as well as airbases in the Falkland Islands, a suspected CIA base in Somalia and some Russian bases have also been outlined as well.

Even at some of the publicly known locations, this data may flesh out secret aspects of the location like the specific coordinates of living quarters, frequently-trafficked paths and hints at patrol or supply routes.

Strava has reminded users that they could turn off location sharing, and that the map doesn’t include private activities or areas deemed private. However, the fact that consumer electronics are now in such widespread use without much thought about security or danger even among military brass does bring into focus how much the world has changed and how transparent it has quickly become.

Your commercial or personal data deserves the highest level of protection, and at NationalNet we strive each day to ensure it is only accessible by those you intend to communicate it with, but this story should serve as a strong reminder that your data security can always be overcome come by inadvertent choices which give away that data without a second thought. To discuss your data security, hosting needs or to obtain references for security audit professionals please feel free to contact NationalNet.com today.

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18
Jan
2018

HTCVive PRO Is Announced For Truly Wireless VR

by Bill

The original Vive VR headset debuted almost two years ago, and now HTC is announcing the next generation Vive headset with a new Pro model that is completely wireless.

Along with the cordless capabilities comes HTC ‘s increase of native resolution on the dual-OLED displays by 78% to 2880 x 1600 (1400 x 1600 per eye, and 615 ppi) over the original Vive headsets. These specs are particularly important because they put the Vive Pro above and beyond the Oculus Rift or Windows Mixed Reality headsets on the market and prompt competitors to up the ante by pushing the limits of VR even harder.

Pricing and availability have been hush-hush so far, but the original Vive now sells for under $400 US and the Vive is heavily subsidized by a partnership with Valve, the world’s leading digital gaming company. So pricing shouldn’t be astronomical and adoption should increase rapidly as people adapt to a whole new era in digital media consumption.

The VR evolution includes 360 video capabilities, new potential for haptic forms of data security that require physical gestures and more. On the flip side, it presents hosting companies with new challenges to put through massive amounts of data more rapidly than ever, as even a slight lag can completely ruin the immersive experience.

NationalNet is well aware of this exciting new vertical and will keep our clients fully informed as we continue to strengthen our networks and offer the fastest most reliable servers available anywhere for clients pursuing the VR gold rush or any other kind of digital business goals into the future.

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10
Jan
2018

Meltdown and Spectre Present New Data Security Challenges

by Bill

If you’ve opened up any news site or paper recently, you may have noticed some headlines about things called Meltdown and Spectre. These are not new video games or box office hits. These are two newly discovered security flaws that affect virtually every single electronic device you own. How could a security breach be so widespread? Well, the problem is that it’s not actually attached to any specific program or software. The issue is in the hardware itself.

Meltdown is a vulnerability in microchips themselves. These chips are found in virtually every single computer and many web servers too. Researchers discovered that the flaw could allow people to read your personal data right off of the hardware, bypassing any security features that software and apps have put into place.

Spectre is another flaw that is based in both Intel microchips and Advanced Mortal Directives. This one could let hackers trick programs like apps and software into giving them information. Basically every computer is affected by these discoveries and it’s a wonder that they haven’t been exposed sooner.

Either of these openings could theoretically affect every single computer using Intel chips made since 1995. However, researchers have only tested computers dating back to 2011.

The tricky thing about both of these bugs is that you can’t tell if anyone has used them on your devices to get at your information. It’s impossible to know if either of these flaws has been used by hackers but given how many leaks and hacks there have been lately, it’s likely.

This just goes to show why it is important to have secure hosting, like that offered by NationalNet. We are feverishly working behind the scenes on these and will do all we can to ensure your hosting is handled to the absolute limit of data security standards. We will continue to monitor this story and your servers to keep all of our clients informed and up to date with the latest patches and fixes as they are available.

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