October 2016 Newsletter

October Newsletter

SSL Certificates

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organizations details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfers and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites.

Potentially a computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL Certificate. When an SSL Certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to, helping protect is from hackers and identity thieves.

Why do you need an SSL certificate?

SSL Certificate protects your sensitive information and keeps data secure between servers. An organisation needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secure.

Web browsers give visual cues, such as a lock icon or a green bar, to make sure visitors know when their connection is secured. This means that they will trust your website more when they see these cues and will be more likely to buy from you.

This is an example of a site that has an SSL Certificate.

Instead of just HTTP sending data, SSL combines with HTTP to form HTTPS, which is a secure way of sending data from one computer to another. A padlock, a green bar, or https in the address bar are all indications that the site you are visiting is protected by an SSL certificate.

Google’s main job is to deliver good and accurate results when someone searches for something. Due to this, Google will soon start demoting sites without an SSL Certificate as they want everything on the web to be travelling over a secure channel.  In the future your Chrome browser will flag unencrypted websites as insecure, displaying a red “x” over a padlock in the URL bar. Chrome currently displays only an icon of a white page when the website you’re accessing is not secured with HTTPS. The change will draw even more attention to the sites that are potentially insecure.

How do I get an SSL Certificate?

It’s easy to get started with SSL. Contact DH Systems and we can guide you through the process and help you purchase the correct SSL certificate and install it on our web server for you.

 SharkProtect

We are introducing a new service which allows you to send your images and PDF documents to the cloud for disaster recovery and backup. Computer files are backed up to the cloud automatically and continuously whenever you’re connected to the internet.

Cloud backup is efficient and reliable. One of the main problems businesses have with their data is ransomware, this is a virus that infects your files and demands money to get your files back – the only thing that can save your files is a good backup.  It is important to keep a copy of your files offsite, even if business files are backed up on a file server as a flood, fire, or theft could destroy the computers and backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office. One of the main advantages of uploading images and documents from Frontier to the cloud is accessibility. As long as there is access to the Internet on a computer or smartphone you can access your files at anytime, anywhere so there is no need to travel around with a laptop or go back to the office to see that important file.

Cloud backup is simple and affordable; with cloud backup you only pay for the storage that you need. Uploading your valuable files to the cloud is safe and it will protect them. Saving information to a disk or an external hard drive is far from a suitable solution for businesses as these can go missing, be corrupted or get damaged.

 

Auction payments go live at Car Transplants

Car Transplants auction site now have online payments available, you can pay for the vehicle you have won at auction using debit or credit card through Sage Pay. This is an excellent new feature as it allows you to complete the payment process quicker than ever. It is easy to understand and simple to use, once you win the vehicle at auction all you have to do is enter your payment details and confirm your purchase. You can also save your payment details to make your checkout quicker next time you buy a vehicle at auction from Car Transplants.

This new feature improves the overall customer experience of using your site and makes it easy for visitors to complete their purchase meaning they are more likely to buy from you again.

 

Get to know Kevin

This month we are focusing on getting to know a little more about Kevin McHugh from our Desktop development team. We have caught up with Kevin and asked him a few questions about his role at DH Systems. Read on to find out what he has to say….

What is your job title?
Code Monkey

What is your job role?
My day mainly consists of avoiding Dave’s wrath, clearing up the debris left behind by a new Dismantling role out, dreaming of escape, avoiding responsibility, snacking and if time permits writing code for the various Frontier systems.

How long have you been at DH Systems?
I am currently four years into my life sentence. With time served and good behavior I should be eligible for parole by 2025.

What did you do before you joined DH Systems?
My lawyer has advised me against answering this question. Suffice to say that my actions where what landed me locked in a windowless room and chained to a keyboard 8 hours a day.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I enjoy making unnecessary changes to Frontier that make things either needlessly complicated or arbitrarily changing things to see how quickly I can confuse our clients.

What do you do in your spare time?
I had children and now I spend the little time I have left and conscious each day watching old episodes of Murder She Wrote and The Chase.

What is your favourite colour?
Black.

What is your favourite food?
Anything that was once alive, preferably dripping in fat and served with fries. I have a deep distrust of so called “Healthy options” or anything that can be found in the ground, growing on something else or generally occurring in nature.

What is your favourite film?
Anything with Serial Killers, Space Ships, Nazis, Kung-Fu, Aliens, Satanic Cults and Giant Robots. Or any combination of the above hitting one another.

Any interesting facts about you: I suffer from quantephobia.

 

Responsive web design has now been launched on Motorhog’s Sell My Car. This allows desktop webpages to be adapted to look good on all devices. Web pages can be viewed using many different devices: desktops, tablets and phones. Your web page should look great and be easy to use regardless of the device.  Sell My Car is now optimized for mobile and tablet users and with a simplified interface, will result in great user experience no matter what device you are using.

One of the main advantages for a business to have responsive web design is that your rankings will be higher in Google. Small and big businesses can benefit from more website traffic and leads. When your site has one responsive design that scales to fit any device you don’t need another version of your website that’s built just for mobile devices. Therefore, with only one strategic URL, you strengthen your SEO. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even refers to responsive web design as the industry best practice.

A responsive design makes it super easy and enjoyable for users to browse your site. Images will properly scale and text descriptions will be easy to read. If a user finds it difficult to browse on your website, they’ll quickly leave in frustration. 40% of all mobile users will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This clearly illustrates the necessity of faster loading times for mobile devices, which is something responsive web design can deliver.

If you don’t offer your users or potential customers a good experience on the device of their choice, you may lose visitors or customers. On the other hand, if you make sure that the experience they will have on the various devices is good, you are more likely to retain them as visitors and later convert them to customers.

Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop. This means an increasing number of your target audience will view your website on a small device. That’s why it’s crucial that your website is able to adapt and serve the needs of your users, regardless of what they use: PC, tablet or smartphone. People today expect websites to work on many devices.

The future of the web is mobile and it is estimated that by 2017 more than 5 billion people will use mobile phones, so by using responsive web design you are preparing now for the future. Having responsive web design is cost effective and allows you to stay ahead of the competition.

Below are some examples of Motorhog’s Sell My Car responsive website. As you can see when the webpage is viewed in a smaller device the content and images also resize to make it easier for you to read.

Desktop version.

Tablet/iPad version.

Smartphone version.

Have a look for yourself at http://sellmycar.motorhog.co.uk/sell-my-car/

 

Password Policy

A password policy is a set of rules which are designed to increase computer security by encouraging users to set strong passwords, establish the protection of those passwords and the frequency of change. You need an effective password policy to prevent passwords from being guessed or hacked. A weak password provides attackers with very easy access to your computer system whereas strong passwords are considerably harder to crack – even with the powerful password-cracking software that is available today.

A weak password would contain your username, your real name or your company name or even no password at all! Strong passwords would be at least seven characters long, wouldn’t contain your username, real name or company name. It would not contain a complete dictionary word, e.g. Password. A strong password would be significantly different from previous passwords and passwords that increment like Password1, Password2, Password3 are not strong. Your password should contain upper-case letters, lower-case letters and numerals.

It is important never to share your password with others as you are responsible for any activity conducted under your username. If someone else is logged in under your account, you’re still responsible for whatever happens. By keeping your log-in information private, you’re making sure that your personal information stays private, too. If you share your sign-in information, that person now has access to your personal information, including confidential items. Not only shouldn’t you share your username and password, make sure you log off when you’re not at your desk. If you leave your desk unattended with the computer logged on, others can see your personal information and inappropriately access all the data that you have permission to access.

Content Filtering

Content filtering is the use of a program to screen and exclude from access or availability Web pages or e-mail that is considered objectionable. It is used by organisations as part of Internet firewall computers. At DH Systems we use pfSense as a platform for proxy service, pfSense is an open source firewall computer software which is installed on a physical computer or a virtual machine to make a dedicated firewall for a network. The pfSense works as a virtual machine on Hyper-v platform and works on separate VLAN to isolate this traffic. We use central policies on our domain to configure workstations only to route web traffic through the pfSense proxy. The Ntopng gives information about web usage per workstation.

Securing your network with a professional firewall

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.

What is Cisco ASA?

We use Cisco ASA at DH Systems for security, our IP phone system is secured by the ASA, as well as access to our web servers published to public network. Cisco ASA is a security device that combines firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and virtual private network capabilities. It provides proactive threat defence that stops attacks before they spread through the network. An ASA is valuable and flexible in that it can be used as a security solution for both small and large networks. Cisco ASA has excellent features including the ability to diagnose crucial interfaces and in case of any problem on those interfaces they fail over the provide service continuity.

 

Dave visits the ARA so you don’t have to

Dave, Steve and Hugh are on a road trip around the USA visiting various yards and will be attending the ARA’s annual convention and exposition. The yards they will be dropping by are as follows – Robertson’s Auto Salvage, Bishops Used Auto parts, Foreign Auto Parts and Chuck’s Auto Salvage. Their road trip will start in Boston and end in Baltimore where the ARA conference will be held. They will be stopping off at Connecticut and Pennsylvania in between.

The Automotive Recyclers Association allows associates to join from around the world at the premier event of the industry that excels with opportunities to learn of new products and services, experience outstanding educational sessions and network with colleagues. The ARA convention includes 24 Educational sessions, technology forum, 10 hours of exposition with over 100 exhibitors, updates from ARA committees and much more.

Here are a few pictures from the road trip so far…

 

     

 

I would like to let you know I will be leaving DH Systems at the end of this month. Working at DH Systems as our Digital Marketer has been a fantastic learning experience and I am so thankful for the skills I have learned. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of DH Systems and being able to work with such a knowledgeable team. I am looking forward to see what the future holds and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at DH Systems for making my time here enjoyable, for being so supportive and for giving me the opportunity to learn.

I wish you all the best and good wishes for the future.

Laura

 

 

If you are looking for a place with excellent food, great drinks and a homely atmosphere then visit The Makars Gourmet Mash Bar. Located in the heart of Edinburgh with stunning views of the city, The Makars Gourmet Mash Bar is the perfect place for relaxed dining, snacks, coffee or drinks.

Visit their website to view their menu or book a table now.

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Stewart Brewing is an award winning brewers, stocking a wide range of beers including core range, hop series, limited editions, mixed cases, cask regulars and keg regulars. Their ‘radical road’ beer has just recently won the World beer award. Stewart Brewing also offer other services such as Brewery tours, where you can get an insight into the creative process of making beer and flavors and shown around the brewery. Visit their site to browse the large selection of beers!

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