Was Your Password Hacked Today?

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3446″ align=”left” size=”small 150 width” autoHeight=”true” quality=”90″] Whoa! Facebook says hackers try to steal your stuff about 600,000 times daily. A more recent example: Zappos online store was hacked and hackers gained information on 24 million customers. While full customer credit card information wasn’t compromised, all customer passwords had to be deleted. We’re sure you’ve heard of other scary hacks. So if you’ve been a little lax about your passwords, it’s really time sit up and take notice.

So, what to do?

First, Avoid These Common Mistakes

Creating Your Password

Special Tip:

Use a pseudo-random phrase: A great way to create a unique password is to think of a phrase only you would know, and then use letters, numbers and symbols to create the password:

Unique Passwords for Your Important Accounts

Never use the same passwords for your important banking, stock, healthcare and personal information accounts. Hackers test stolen passwords and usernames from a particular site across many internet sites, meaning your identity and banking and stock resources could be severely compromised with single use passwords. Give each of these account types a unique password!

Keep your password reminders in a Safe Place

Most of us couldn’t possibly remember all of our passwords to all of the sites we commonly use. So, if you decide to save your passwords, don’t leave notes with your passwords lying around in plain sight.

If you save your passwords in a file, create a unique name for the file, so that people don’t know what’s inside. Avoid giving the file an obvious name, such as “my passwords”; instead use a unique file name.

Password managers are available through your security programs and elsewhere, but spend the time to check out reputable resources. If you have a difficult time remembering different passwords, a trusted password manager may be a good solution.

Need A Better Password: There are numerous password generators, but make sure you use a reputable one! As an example, here is a quick PC Tools online version: http://www.pctools.com/guides/password

By following some simple, but important rules, you can substantially reduce or eliminate your chances of having critical information such as your banking, credit card and identity stolen!

SiteVision Accepted Into The Homeland Security Information Network

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3391″ title=”SiteVision, INC – Accepted into the Dept. of Homeland Security Information Network” align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” autoHeight=”true” quality=”90″] SiteVision has been accepted into the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). The HSIN is a national, secure, web-based portal for information sharing and collaboration between federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and international partners engaged in the Homeland Security Mission.  SiteVision has been involved for many years in the mission of supporting clients at the state, regional and federal level with web-based health incident and emergency management solutions. To become a member, an organization must first be nominated by an existing member entity.  Once nominated, SiteVision applied, went through a vetting process, and was accepted.

HSIN provides secure, real-time collaboration tools, including a virtual meeting space, instant messaging and document sharing. The Network allows partners to work together instantly, regardless of their location, to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate. The HSIN also offers many additional dynamic capabilities including 24/7 availability, document libraries, instant messaging, web conferencing, incident reporting, discussion boards, RSS feeds and online training materials.  The supporting entities provide mission oriented focus in such areas as Critical Sectors, Defense, Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, Multi-Mission and International.

SiteVision, Inc. (http://www.sitevision.com/) is an Internet application development, consulting, design and hosting firm providing solutions for a broad spectrum of markets and industries, as well as for state, federal and international entities. Expertise includes custom, back-end dynamic applications, consulting to achieve unique goals, Mapping Application Development (GIS), content management systems, hosting services including, map and GIS application hosting, as well as custom and dedicated hosting solutions. SiteVision, Inc. participates in, or is available through the following state and federal contracting vehicles: Virginia VITA CAI Supplier Managed Staff Augmentation Services Contract; Virginia eVa Procurement as a sub-contractor to various state and federal private contract vehicles; and State and Federal Sole-source Contracting. The firm has its home office in Roanoke, VA, with sales offices in Charlottesville, VA and Miami, FL.

Top Tech Trends for 2012

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3146″ align=”left” size=”Small 150 width” quality=”90″]Will 2012 be the year of exciting breakthroughs? As hardware gets smaller, faster, thinner and cheaper, this may be the year of flexible Smartphones and tablet devices. Samsung’s exciting prototype suggests just that (see below and video.  Business users will likely see Software as a service (SAAS) and cloud technologies expand dramatically.  Today, we’re discussing the most likely contenders, and, no surprise, you’ll likely see much of this emerging technology implemented in home electronics as well.

 

Tablets, Ultrabooks And . . .

It’s probably no revelation that, thanks in large part to Steve Jobs, tablets will continue to proliferate. In one study, Apple had an approximate 62% worldwide market share as of December 2011, so game-on for CES (Consumer Electronic Show 2012), no doubt.   Prices should drop and competition ramp up.  In fact, one tech guru feels they will eventually become standard fare as traditional PC’s continue to lose market share.

Importantly, the convergence-divergence of the phone-tablet-laptop market continues to be a mixed signal as the marketplace attempts to sort out just what is what – to whom – and why. For the serious business user, and, in particular, for graphic and game enthusiasts, tablets have yet to fully replace competent laptops and traditional PC’s. PC Ultrabooks, born of, yes, Steve Jobs, or imitative of MacBook Air- will be smooth, fast,  very sleek and light-weight.

Cloud Proliferation

The clouds seems to be many things to many folks, so to use Wikipedia’s definition the cloud is, “the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network, (typically the Internet).

As we’ve seen each year of the last few, more and more applications and storage solutions are being pushed through the “cloud.”   While the cloud may be seen as simply anything beyond your “machine,” i.e., your email, is one example, the real innovations are being seen in sophisticated business applications, content delivery and data storage.

Until recently software and hardware was nearly always purchased, installed and soon outdated, requiring frequent IT resources for troubleshooting, upgrades, installations, additional hardware, etc – not to mention unintelligible operating systems for all but a select few.  For any business (or personal user) the concept of an efficient, completely remote operating, software, and networking system is an immensely appealing alternative to traditional computing. Agility, cost reductions, device independence, scalability and maintenance are among the prime attractions of cloud-based computing.

While the current delivery of cloud-based systems and software is exciting and expanding in offerings and complexities, the future of cloud-based computing is even more so as the nature of computation and its delivery (think mobile) will undoubtedly be irrevocably altered – a true game changer for all players at all levels of enterprise up and down the line!

As a subtext, cloud security as a critical component of cloud delivery means the security, reliability, and network infrastructure and integrity will be undeniably key to the success and safety of cloud computing as we continue down this path.

Smartphones get Smarter 

Smartphones will get smarter, faster and more agile as the operating systems and underlying hardware improve. Dual core processors seen in 2011 will expand, and expect quad core to be a part of the 2012 picture. Higher definition screens and cameras will be on-scene. Mobile payment options and chips that let you basically swipe and pay are among hot technologies. For instance, NFC (near field communication) chips are destined to let your Smartphones act like a credit card.  Just touch your phone or get it close to an NFC reader, and “whoosh” it acts just like your conventional credit or debit card.

Voice Recognition Gets Real

Why type with your fingers what your mouth can so easily say!

At last, we’re beginning to get the real thing!  Should we once again thank Steve?  Oh yeah. Voice recognition has been out there, but Siri got our attention, because it begins to normalize the conversation and provide context.   The new Android Ice Cream Sandwich software also promises to provide enhanced voice recognition.  Ziggy, Microsoft’s answer has preliminarily received promising reviews.  It seems that finally conversational and pertinent voice recognition will begin to inhabit our lives.  Talk to your TV, your phone, your appliances and your car, etc. I’m all in!

Flexible, bendable and foldable Interfaces (Want, Want!)

It seems certain that we’ll see a hint of these devices in 2012.  But the excitement is yet to come.  We think it’s a natural, future extension of our current technologies, and oh, so very exciting.  Aren’t we really looking for one do-all device (instead of an iPad, a notebook, a cellphone) to carry effortlessly around in a coat pocket or purse?  Smartphones sort of do the job, but aren’t really that exciting for watching a movie, say or really surfing Facebook and the Internet.  Sure you can do it, and pinch and zoom, but let’s face it, the experience is not ideal.  Even the beloved iPad or Android tablets don’t quite fit the bill in this respect.  Samsung, Nokia and undoubtedly others are seriously pursuing futuristic interpretations of our current technologies.

Samsung Prototype

BUT, for sure, take a look at this video of the Samsung prototype we showed in the intro photo of a transparent, bendable, flexible tablet!    Wow!  Seriously, it is likely symbolic of the future. Hopefully it will come to a store near you sooner, rather than later. http://bcove.me/zkx8js5q

[divider_line] 
Sourcing-various:
http://www.jpost.com/Health/Article.aspx?ID=251261&R=R1 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398218,00.asphttp://www.engadget.com/2011/07/27/editorial-apples-officially-over-the-optical-drive-for-better/http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/03/engadgets-2012-ces-preview/#continued
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing
http://www.pcworld.com/article/246491/tech_trends_youll_see_in_2012.html
http://blog.laptopmag.com/tech-to-watch-2012-voice-recognition-gets-siri-ous http://mashable.com/2011/10/26/nokia-flexible-device/#32349Bending-the-Nokia-Screen
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2070741/Samsungs-transparent-flexible-screen-3D-real-looks-like-touch-it.html

Why SiteVision?

We’re your advocate. SiteVision has been providing web development and hosting services to government agencies and non-profit organizations for over 20 years. We understand how overwhelming it can be to seek out a reliable solution for you website, custom application, and hosting needs.

At SiteVision we are passionate about creating solutions for customers that make their life better. We excel at understanding your business process and developing an application that is easy to learn and operate. We will always be fair, knowledgeable, honest, and professional.