Archive for category Security

Don’t Save Your Password

It's common practice for software developers to put options in their programs to save password. Web browsers allow one to save passwords. This is terrible functionality to have built into any program. Passwords are there for a reason. They are there to keep others out and let you in. Saving passwords in your browser is a terrible habit to start. This is especially true with a laptop.

If your computer is stolen, the thief not only has a nice new toy, they also have access to anything you have saved on the laptop. All one has to do to access passwords on your browser is open up the browser options and manage stored passwords.

There's also the factor of forgetting your own passwords. Saving your password makes in much more likely that you'll forget the password.

There's no real good reason to store your password. Storing passwords is not only a lazy practice, it is also a terrible "feature" of any software.

No Comments

OpenDNS: A more secure, reliable, and up-to-date DNS service

Whether you're a parent wanting to filter some of the websites your child visits or a small business looking for a way to keep employees off Youtube, OpenDNS may be your solution. I've been using the service for a few months and love it.

Firstly, it tends to get updates faster than any other DNS servers I've ever used. So for someone like me, who is always working on new websites, it is important to be able to get to those websites by hostname as quickly as possible. OpenDNS seems to get updates within minutes. In the past, I've waited over a day for DNS to propagate on some sites using my ISP's DNS servers, and as a rule of thumb it can take up to 72 hours for DNS to propagate fully.

Now the downside to this is even though you can get to the website pretty easily, most of your viewers aren't using OpenDNS servers. They will have to wait, but at least you'll be able to construct a site while they are waiting. So, this isn't really a downside for you, it's just an inherit downside that comes from waiting on DNS.

Another advantage openDNS offers is that one can manually control DNS entries for a network. This is all handled from a very nice configuration page after you create an account. For instance, I can't stand MySpace.com and pretty much don't want any computers in my house browsing to that site. I've worked on too many computers loaded down with spyware, and a good number of them had MySpace shortcuts on the desktop or the MySpace instant messenger app installed. This could be a coincidence, but I think not. So, I can just block that site. I enter the domain name, save the settings, and within 3 minutes none of the computers on my network can get to MySpace.com.

All that one has to do is create a free account at openDNS.com, add your network, and then change your DNS server settings. Subscribe to my blog. I will be posting a tutorial on changing DNS servers later this week. I will also be describing a bit more about using openDNS on a dynamic IP and some of the things that can be done to help make living with a dynamic IP less of a headache.

No Comments