Category Archives: Resources

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Taking Control: Managing Cookies

With the revelations of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, the cat’s out of the bag: we’re all being watched 24/7. But along with the government, we’re being followed around the web by a shadowy legion of other parties. Chief among them, and perhaps furnishing the NSA with the idea and a whole lot of data, are those big friendly sites like Google and Facebook. These avid online trackers want all that personal information for their own unnamed purposes in exchange for the “free” services they provide. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now everybody’s into it, and people are slowly becoming aware of the downside. For all that data can be used for more than just advertising. Your personal choices, the sites you visit, the searches you conduct, and the purchases you make online may have serious consequences down the road. Visits to medical websites could affect insurance coverage or rates, postings to social media might influence potential job offers, and purchasing history might limit credit. Worst of all, these judgments about you are being made in secret based on information that you are not allowed to see or to contest. Since that data is being freely sold and traded between trackers, anything that one party knows about you may be known by others. Until such time as an electronic Bill of Rights becomes law, there’s little you can do about it. But there are a few ways … Continue reading

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Important Updates for Web-Publishers

If you own or run a website, there are a few new wrinkles you should know about. In the first place, the powers that be at ICANN who run the World Wide Web’s all-important Domain Name System have instituted a new hoop for domain owners to jump through. Since January 1 of this year, all new domains, any that get transferred or have any owner or contact information changed, must have the domain owner’s email address verified – or else. The domain’s administrative contact will be sent an email from the registrar with an activation link to be clicked or ICANN will disable the domain. If the message is not replied to within 15 days, the site will not be usable at at all until fixed – not even including email. This whole procedure violates just about every safety tip SWCP has issued to users to help everyone stay safe online. So Southwest Cyberport will do all we can to track the process, make it easy, prevent shutdowns, and keep it secure. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience. It can be expected that bad guys will try to take full advantage of this situation. Remember that no legitimate message will ever ask for your username or password. If you have any doubts, please call or email Tech Support. But whatever you do, please don’t ignore it. Note that this validation message will be sent only to that email address … Continue reading

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Not all Clouds are the Same

Cloud computing may be a term both vague and overused, but it is far more than just the latest buzzword. The “cloud” is another way of referring to the Internet; hence “cloud computing” is simply computing done over the Net. In other words, it’s all about applications that function over the Web, and it indicates a revolutionary way of doing things. Even if you don’t have a clue as to what it means, you’re already using it on a daily basis. If you check your email on your smartphone, search for information, visit Amazon or Facebook or look at Google Maps, you’ve been interacting with a cloud. And if you didn’t realize it, it worked exactly as it should. Clouds may be revolutionary but the idea is not exactly new: at one time way back when, computers were hulking mainframe boxes in their own specially-refrigerated rooms attached to multiple terminals close by where operators inputted programs. The terminals were no more than teletype keyboards with zero independent memory or computing power. While the modern cloud system is vastly more sophisticated and widespread, the principle of sharing pooled computing resources remains. And it’s what gives cloud computing its tremendous potential, and unique risks. The term “clouds” suggests nice fluffy aggregations of data floating peacefully “out there” in cyberspace, but Internet clouds can be as varied as the real things are. Clouds can be private, behind firewalls requiring passwords to access, or … Continue reading

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