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DNS: What is it, how does it work and why is it so important?

Whether your an IT Pro or just an average computer user, you are most likely familiar with something called DNS. You have likely gotten an error message in your browser indicating a DNS lookup failed, or have read an article mentioning DNS, or even had a computer technician walk you through verifying your computer’s DNS settings. If you are in IT, then you have most likely even encountered DNS in troubleshooting or while setting up a website or email server. After reading this post, you’ll have at least a good understanding of DNS, what it is, how it works, why it is important, and why things can break so easily when there is a DNS problem.

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New URL

I had a personal blog hosted at www.jecal22.com, but decided that I really don’t use it anymore and preferred to have my tech blog hosted as the primary website.  I’ve setup permanent forwards so any old links still using tech.jecal22.com will still work, but please note that the URL has indeed changed.

A Green Padlock Doesn’t Mean Safe

For at least the past decade you have been told not to enter any private or secure information on a website unless you saw the little padlock icon which indicated you were on a secure website. Over the last few years, and with different browsers sharing the internet browsing market, that little padlock has evolved into an even more noticeable indicator which is usually a color coded button near the address bar. Green means good, red means bad, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. Continue reading

Cloud Hosting

I’ve always preferred hosting my own services on my own servers.  At home I have 5 desktop computers running as headless servers, each one with it’s own purpose.  A couple of them even running a few virtual machines.  However, over time I’ve needed more and more servers for either testing purposes or for running live services and I just can’t justify adding more desktops and more heat and power consumption in my home.  I also had to shut my websites down for a few days during a move a little over a year ago, not to mention the times that I have power outages that also result in downtime.

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Beware of fake Google sign-in scam

TL’DR: A link contained in a popular email scam posing as a fake Google sign-in page could result in your account being compromised.  If you become a victim of such a scam, change your passwords.  Use secure passwords as a general security practice.  Enable 2-Factor authentication wherever possible.  Check your Google Activity Dashboard regularly.

The Scam

There is a common scam E-mail going around that ultimately will trick you into providing your email username and password. It will usually come from someone who has already been hijacked, so it will appear to be legitimate, but it may come from a random address as well. The email will usually have a subject like “Document” or “Invoice” and the body will say that they are sending you a document via Google Docs with a link that will take you to the document.  Continue reading