Network security for home & office

Network security tips

Some fundamental steps you can take starts right in your browser.  Choosing the right browser is key.  There are many many browsers out there but the most common are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.  The most exploited among the them is the Internet Explorer.  For some reason hackers like to target Microsoft products more.  Both Firefox and Chrome are decent:

  • Both have a nice bookmark feature that syncs with your other devices.
  • Regardless of how many tabs you have open, Firefox runs in a single process while each open tab in Chrome runs as a separate process.
  • Two must have plugins for both browsers are NoScript and Ad Block Plus.  Having these two plugins, will increase browsing security by 90%.
  • Firefox has become a bit bloated unfortunately, although in their version 29, there are some improvements.

Another security hole is a computer without the latest updates.  Apply updates as soon as they are released as many of them address exploited areas.

Having a good antivirus is essential.  What is more essential is running updates at the minimum once per day.  There are a few free antivirus’ for home use only, our favorite is AntiVir.

Having a firewall between the router and network is a good practice and will further fortify your network.

Don’t stay logged in your computer when you step away from it for extended period of time.  A good practice is 10 to 15 minutes before your screen locks automatically.

If you must use wireless network, take these precautions:

  • Choose the strongest encryption your wireless access point offers.
  • Choose a very long password with combination of both upper and lower characters, special characters and numbers and make it long, more than twenty.  Most password cracking software give up if they cannot crack it in a few minutes.
  • Change your default SSID name.  Select a name that does not identify you or your business.

Thank you for reading our blog, and have a safe Internet experience.


SQL 2014 vs 2012

Should I go with Microsoft SQL 2014 or stick with 2012?

The difference may not seem significant right now.  But you will be better served with ditching SQL 2012 in favor of SQL 2014.

  • Longer support period.   2012 will most likely be phased out quicker than 2014, therefore all End-of-Life support and updates will last longer.
  • 2014 supports 8 replicas instead of the 4 in its previous version.  This fortifies disaster recovery a bit more.
  • Memory support in 2014 is 128 GB instead of the 64 GB in two previous versions.
  • 2014 has a new feature called Resource Governor which allows  instance level I/O throttle  as far as MAX_OUTSTANDING_IO_PER_VOLUME is concerned.
  • Backup encryption is also enhanced.
  • OS support: 2014 version is likely to be supported on later releases of the Windows Servers.

In conclusion, given all the advantages and the lack of any disadvantage, it makes sense to save yourself headaches of going through upgrades later by installing the SQL 2014 now.