Digital Bytes

Packets of IT news you can use

Mo’ Money, but also Less Problems

Kristi ShmyrWeb design

A website should do lots of things for you – it should function as your online brochure, it should help people learn a little about you, and more than anything, it should act as a sales tool for your business or product. Yet many websites, if they were an actual employee at your company, would probably be fired for poor performance. In the spirit of helping you understand how a good website should function…it’s case study time! First, you might not know this about your good friends over at Digital Link: we are not only your favourite local IT company, we also design websites and make them perform better for you, among other things. Now that we have established that, … Read More

Preschool programmers: Apps, toys and games make learning to code child’s play

Rachelle DrouinProduct news and reviews

Toys, apps and games can teach children to code while they play.

In a previous post, we told you how coding is another key literacy vital to success. Introducing preschoolers to crucial programming concepts can help them develop problem‑solving, collaboration and creativity. If you’re a parent who would like to develop these key skills in your child, read on. We’ve prepared a list of toys, apps and games that teach children to code while they play.

Don’t want to be hacked? No more “Password”!

Kristi ShmyrCybersecurity

Everything is terrible. The Equifax hack, and then the Equifax hack, and then…the Equifax hack . The KRACK hack makes any sense of WiFi security a thing of the past. And there were others. It’s exhausting to see how unsafe the online world can be, isn’t it? So as a little change of pace, let’s focus on what you CAN do to protect yourself. To be honest, for most of these new hacks, the answer is “nothing at all”. But there is something you can do to prevent the majority of the hacks. And it’s a really simple answer: you need better passwords. Verizon Enterprise did a Data Breach Investigations Report in 2016, and they found that “63% of confirmed … Read More

Understanding the Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK) Wi-Fi vulnerability

Rachelle DrouinCybersecurity

KRACK logo: Logo designed to illustrate the attack targeting vulnerability of Wi-Fi networks' WPA2 security protocol

A vulnerability in Wi-Fi encryption known as the Key Reinstallation Attack, or KRACK, has turned the IT industry on its head. Because it affects routers and countless other wireless devices that may never see a fix, KRACK’s implications may be felt for decades to come. KRACK is a severe exploitable flaw of the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol that secures Wi-Fi connections. Routers and devices use this security protocol to encrypt people’s activity. More specifically, Wi-Fi networks typically use keys shared via a collection of cryptographic “handshakes” to protect network traffic. Executed when a client wants to join a protected Wi-Fi network, the handshake verifies both the identity of the client and the network access point. KRACK targets these handshakes, … Read More

VPNs – totally not a medical condition

Kristi ShmyrCybersecurity

VPNs only sound like something you need penicillin for – in reality, it simply refers to Virtual Private Network. VPNs are a way of providing you with an extra layer of privacy and security while you enjoy the wonders of the world wide web, as well as keep your internet activity away from the prying eyes of Big Brother (not just your siblings – the government!). But VPNs aren’t just for the paranoid, or for tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists, anymore. They are growing in popularity because of the increased threat of cyberattacks, the increase in public WiFi, which allows hackers unprecedented access to your data, and the creepy level of access we have discovered our governments have to our … Read More

What is swatting?

Rachelle DrouinIT FAQ

SWAT team stands ready to engage in a volatile incident

Derived from Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT for short), swatting refers to deceiving an emergency services dispatcher into sending police and emergency responders to someone else’s address. Typically, it involves the false reporting of a serious emergency—a hostage taking, bomb threat or murder. Linked to doxing, swatting is a form of online harassment meant to discredit an individual or seek revenge. It can range from small events arising from a single fabricated police report to the deployment of bomb squads and heavily armed SWAT teams. How did squatting start, what techniques are used, and why is it to difficult to successfully prosecute swatters?

What is web hosting?

Kristi ShmyrIT FAQ

You have all this wonderful content – your new headshot, the client testimonials, maybe some before and after pictures – and now you want everyone in the world to be able to see it. All you have to do is set up a website, and there it all is, right? Well, not quite.  First, you have to have somewhere that hosts your website on a server online. I get that this sounds like gibberish if you really don’t get technology, but bear with me. Imagine it this way: your website is a room in your house. It is decorated all nice, and you sure do love showing it to people, but right now, it’s just a bunch of furniture in … Read More

The Continuing Saga of Equifax…

Kristi ShmyrCybersecurity

This Equifax nonsense just keeps going… By now, everyone who chooses to live their lives amongst the rest of us knows about the Equifax hack (if not, check out our other post about it here). But, like Hollywood’s appetite for sequels and reboots, it just doesn’t seem to want to stop. Equifax is under multiple investigations (in Canada and the US) and subject to multiple lawsuits for their stunning misuse of public trust. We now know they had been hit, possibly by the same intruders, with multiple other security breaches going as far back as March, possibly even back to 2016. Although not directly related to the recent breach that saw 143 million people’s personal information lost to hackers, it … Read More

What is doxing?

Rachelle DrouinCybersecurity, IT FAQ

Derived from dox or docs, short for documents, the Internet-based practice of doxing involves compiling and publicizing personally identifiable information about a person or organization. These records were previously private or difficult to obtain. This does not, however, imply the information cannot be uncovered, made public and used by those with questionable motives.

Wondering what the story is with the Equifax hack?

Kristi ShmyrCybersecurity

I’m sure you heard – Equifax was hacked. Now this is a VERY big deal for mortgage brokers, insurance salespeople, car dealerships – anyone who pulls credit regularly. But it might also be a big deal for you. You don’t even have to be a direct customer of Equifax to be a potential victim – they have your information if you have ever had your credit pulled. Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation out there that it can be hard to figure out what actually happened, and if it actually affects you. That’s where we want to help. Some of the basic facts: Equifax is one of the 3 big credit monitoring companies that track all of your financial transactions. … Read More