Category Archives: Computer / Network Security
I was asked to speak at out church recently on the topic of internet filtering at home and give some advice to parents about what they can do to protect their kids again some of the less than desirable content on the internet. I have written and spoken about this before on the blog and podcast and will include some links below for anyone who would like to dig a little deeper. In the mean time, here are some quick and essential tips on managing your home network’s safety and security.
1. Make Sure Your Hardware Is Secure
So you have opened up the world of the internet to your family, have you? Might be a good idea to ensure all the hardware you are using is secure as well. This will protect you and your family like the lock on your front door.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gave you something (like a Cable Modem or DSL Router) to connect to the internet, but you have most likely purchased a wireless router to connect your devices to the service. Google your router’s brand and model and download the instructions that you threw away when you purchased the router. Now read them.
A UPS is a device that you don’t know you need, until you need it. A UPS or uninterruptible power supply is an in house battery back up that provides emergency power to your computer (or anything else you plug into it) when your utilities fail. Here in Bellevue where I live, we get sudden drops in power all the time, so for years I have used small UPS units to protect my PCs. It been a great system and has worked very well.
Last Thursday we had storm roll through that caused a short power outage followed by a power surge. All the units in the house reacted correctly by closing the circuit and throwing their breaker. This protected the PCs from utter doom. For once, I was on the good side of a protective decision. I did realize however, that I had two many computers plugged into one small UPS and that an upgrade was going to be necessary. So I purchased the APC 1000VA Power Saving Green Back-UPS XS – with LCD Display with the plan of plugging 3 PCs into it for protection. I will use it to power the Window Home Server, an HP Pavilion a6244n Core 2 Duo and a Core i3 PC that I use on a daily basis.
If you’ve been a Windows user since XP, you probably know the importance of keeping the OS up-to-date. If you’re new to Windows or more specifically Windows 7, here we’ll take some time to go over the importance of making sure you have Windows Updates configured properly.
If you want to help make sure that your PC is is more stable and less vulnerable to malicious attacks, the 2 main things to keep up-to-date is your Antivirus software and Windows Updates. The 2nd Tuesday of each month Microsoft has what’s called “Patch-Tuesday”. This is the day when Microsoft releases patches to improve stability, fixes to known vulnerabilities, and zero-day attacks. Let’s take a look at the process if you’ve just re-installed Windows 7.
To check to make sure your Windows Update settings are on…click on Start>>All Programs and scroll to Windows Update.
If this is the first time you’ve run Windows Update on your machine, don’t be alarmed if you find the following message. If you want keep it simple, just click on the Turn on automatic updates button, which should be fine for most users. If you want more control, click on Let me choose my settings.
I’ve been having a look at Windows Multipoint Server 2010 this week.
Sean Daniel released a slide deck for SMBNation Presentations on Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and 2011 Standard. I noticed on slide 24, there is a reference to a product called Windows MulitPoint Server.
So I downloaded the 2010 version and installed that on a 1TB drive on my Shuttle SG33G5M with a 880GT. Looks like you need to have a USB hub for each keyboard and mouse for each workstation and a video connection on your server for each monitor. All was going well, I connected 1 keyboard that has 2 USB slots, so 1 for the wireless mouse dongle. I assuming that this setup makes the keyboard show up as a hub, as apposed to connecting the wireless mouse dongle to the PC directly, whereby also reducing the amount of USB ports. This becomes important if you plan on connecting 10 workstations that WMS can support.
Then my 2nd terminal has a USB wired device that controls a wireless keyboard & mouse. Once I setup the monitor correctly, I was able to run each workstation from the Multipoint server independently, cool.
If you are having trouble finding your way through computer problems, you are not alone. Fortunately, there is help! Microsoft has a very well done site that is dedicated to hints, fixes and tweaks to get you on your way. They cover everything from the basics to locating problems to software errors to hardware troubles.
You can find the info here:
Enjoy and remember, I search so you don’t have to!