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Online During Load Shedding

How to I Stay Online During Load-Shedding?

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Some of our users asked:

Is there is still connection during loadshedding using a UPS or inverter?

Do the Wireless Network infrastructure stay connected during Loadshedding?

What do I need to just keep the ONT and router ONLINE IN LOADSHEDDING?

Can I still have access to Fibre during Loadshedding?

We are here to answer YOUR QUESTIONS :

THE CORRECT UPS to keep your FIBRE OR WIRELESS going during LOADSHEDDING!

The short answer is YES. If you have backup power and nothing goes wrong with the backup power on the Fibre networks you can enjoy uninterrupted internet during loadshedding.

In most cases there are two main UPS types:

  1. The new Lithium-Ion DC UPS which plug directly into your ONT and Router like a battery pack, and can stay permanently plugged in to ensure you stay online. This is the easiest and most practical option.

    2. Lead Acid batteries connected to regular wall plug sockets can damage quickly. Get at least 2x7Ah batteries. Some 1000VA UPSs have 2x7Ah batteries, most 2000VA UPSs do as well.

FIBRE / WIRELESS Network Backup Power

Installing and maintaining backup power to a large network is tricky and expensive. Each node in the network needs its own backup power,
so when or if Loadshedding gets really bad sometimes the backup systems aren’t beefy enough to re-charge between power cuts, or they might just fail.
The fibre network operators want their networks up at all times but within achievable time and economic constraints.

Types of backup power

Not all backup power is equal.
Here’s a simple overview
Prices are for context only and are roughly correct as of mid-2020

– Lithium-Ion DC to DC “Mini UPSs” – Similar to a power bank. ~R600-R1500
– Traditional Lead Acid Battery UPS
– The big black box kind that beeps. ~R600-4,000
– Power Packs – Think if a huge power bank with a wall plug socket. ~R10,000
– Batteries (of your choice) + Inverters – These tend to be big systems. Upwards of R10,000

For the purpose of this article we’re exploring home and small office solutions. There are many other forms of backup power including generators, solar, Tesla Power Walls and many more. These and the Batteries + Inverters require an expert to design a system to suit your needs.

How to choose a UPS

For the purpose of this post the assumption is you will only be powering two devices:
Fibre ONT and a WiFi router.

If you go with a DC Mini UPS then you just need to make sure can recharge it, it has the right cables come with it and you match up the voltage correctly. If you’re choosing a traditional Lead Acid UPS, just make sure you get one with enough batteries, at least 2x7Ah batteries (most 2000VA UPSs will have these) and don’t get tempted to plug in more devices.

Efficiency &
battery storage

Mini UPSs that supply a DC current (DC->DC)via an adapter directly to your device doesn’t have this issue and as a result, are 30x smaller, last 2x longer and the batteries last many more cycles. They have deep cycle batteries, like your mobile phone, so won’t get damaged if Loadshedding lasts longer than expected.

Traditional UPSs supply electricity to a device via a wall socket plug (DC to AC power) will lose significant storage capacity due to the inefficiencies of changing stored DC electricity (usually 12V) to AC (220-230V). They are also not designed for deep cycling the battery, so using them below 50% will start to damage them and as Loadshedding lasts 2:30, most small UPSs won’t last 10-20 full cycles of the batteries.

All the cool kids use DC->DC systems because they last much much longer.

 

Mini UPSs

(The Best Option In Most Cases)

Mini DC USP with 24V Passive POE

Gizzu Mini DC UPS with 24V Passive POE

Lithium Ion DC to DC
“Mini UPSs”

~R600-R1500
These devices use Lithium Ion batteries (like in your cellphone, laptop, power bank) so have a high energy density and discharging all the way doesn’t damage them like Lead-Acid batteries.

The other advantage is they power your devices directly with DC power which means they are more efficient and you can get away with a smaller capacity battery.

The below products should power a fibre ONT and WiFi router for ~4 hours and recharge quickly enough for multiple loadshedding periods per day.

Which to buy?

If you would like to buy a DC UPS to power your fibre during loadshedding, these DC UPS power banks will power two devices with the provided splitter cable, or you can even power an AirCube WiFi Router via PoE. It will do 24V passive POE, as well as has a DC jack to power 9/12V and can power two 9/12V devices with the inclined splitter cable. Because of its flexibility and various voltages it will work for most fibre setups.

What to buy and accessories:

Out of stock? If the above link is out of stock, please let us know

Instructions for Ubiquiti AirCube owners:

Before you start, using the correct voltage is very important and you can break your equipment.
Proceed with caution and ask for help.

The cable to power the AirCube is not included with that kit, you need an additional ethernet (LAN) cable. A different colour LAN cable will be handy, like red or yellow. To set up the UPS correctly you need to set the voltage toggles on the device.

  • Buy an extra LAN Cable
    • Vinet can supply you with these as well or try your local computer shop.
  • Power on the UPS so you see the lights which highlight which setting you have selected.
  • The PoE toggle needs to be on 24V and the other one needs to be 12V.
  • Unplug the standard power adapter from your airCube
  • Plug your new ethernet cable into the POE port on the UPS and the POE In port (top left) on the back of the airCube (Leave the WAN cable plugged into your ONT)
  • Plug one of the included cables from the “Output” port into the power port of your ONT
 

The ultimate DC UPS?

If you want the crème de la crème of DC UPSs, take a look at the Acconet POE Smart PowerBank (pictured). It comes with a 94.5Wh battery, can can supply 24V passive POE or 48V Gigabit POE + 5V USB + 12V DC output. It even has a battery monitor display.

What to buy and accessories:

Proceed with caution: If you are powering your devices with POE, check if it is 24V or 48V. Powering your device with the wrong voltage will break it.

Traditional Lead-Acid UPSs
(Only Choose If You NEED A Wall Plug Socket)

 
 
Lead-Acid-UPS-Front-and-Back

Lead Acid UPS in a nutshell

As simple as these UPSs are to buy and install the most important thing to get right is the batteries. Do not think of a traditional UPS as anything like your USB Power Bank or Cellphone/Laptop battery. These batteries get damaged quicker than Luke Skywalker pulling out his light sabre if you don’t treat them with care (discharge them fully).

The reason for this is that traditional UPSs are designed to supply a short power backup e.g. to save work and shut down a computer. They are also used in applications where the UPS batteries are less critical than the equipment they are protecting. In other words, traditional UPSs are designed for short backup power and a short lifespan of batteries.

Deep Cycling: Discharging a Lead-Acid battery all the way will damage it very quickly (as little as 1-10 times).

Using the battery for a long period of time will also shorten the lifespan of the battery.

The cheap UPSs don’t have any cool features like internet connections, apps to monitor the device and they beep by default – it will drive you crazy (but you can turn it off. See below).

Having a wall plug is super convenient, but can be tempting to plug in more devices.

Which to buy?

The very cheapest Lead Acid UPSs are 1000VA but have 2x7Ah batteries. These two are generally the lowest priced.

If the above links are out of stock, please Google “1000VA line interactive UPS” and just check it has 2 x 7Ah batteries.

 

VAs and Ahs

Don’t worry, KVA ratings don’t mean a heck of a lot when choosing a UPS for running fibre through Loadshedding so you can pretty much ignore them. Even the tiniest UPS will be able to produce power enough for a WiFi router and ONT, but will run out of power quickly. Even the smallest of UPSs, a 600VA device, can produce 30x more than you need.

It’s all about the batteries. More retailers make it very difficult to find, but the thing to look out for is the batteries Ah rating if you want the power to last throughout Loadshedding and to not damage the batteries by discharging them too much (that’s called deep cycling).

Make sure the UPS you choose has at least 2 x 7Ah batteries in, some 1000VA and 2000VA and above should be fine.

Pro tips for UPSs with lead-acid batteries

The batteries in most UPSs are not like your cellphone, laptop or power bank, so they need to be handled differently
Do not discharge your UPS battery fully or else you will damage the batteries
Try keep the UPS cool when it’s recharging (well ventilated, near a fan will help)
Let it charge to 100% between discharges – this can take as much as 24 hours with Lead Acid Batteries.

Power Packs

~R10,000
Power packs are like USB power banks with the convenience of being able to use a regular wall plug. Suitable for sensitive electronics including power tools, mixers, laptops, TV.

Batteries + Inverters

R10,000 and up.
This us where things get industrial and modular so our advice is limited. If you have a business or want to think about going off-grid this is the option for you. Options start at an inverter  and high / deep cycle battery and go upwards from there.

if you need any help or are unsure about your power needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will assist with the best solution to keep you connected during load-shedding

 

021 007 0200

support@vinet.co.za

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Tech rules for your tween

Tech Rules You Need For Your Tweens & Teens

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A version of this article was first published on parentingteensandtweens.com

Parenting Teens and Tweens is Hard.

BUT then you add in technology and it feels almost impossible.

First, there is the worry that keeps us up and night. We worry about what our teens might be seeing online, or what they might be doing or WHO they might be meeting.  And then there are just the daily battles of trying to get them to turn off the devices and plug into life.

There isn’t one easy answer when parents are tearing their hair out over tech, but there are tools we can use to make easier. One of the biggest is to set some ground rules.

When expectations are clear, at least on some basic principles, than our teens understand where we stand. It also gives a starting place for conversations on some pretty tough topics that we really need to be talking about with our teens.

Technology is NOT a Right

Our teens and tweens today sometimes have a hard time understanding the difference between what is a right and what is a privilege.

They have a right to shelter, food, an education, clothing and our love.

By food, we don’t mean that we’ll fund their daily before school Frappuccino habit. And by clothing, that doesn’t mean brand new $300 kicks every six months.

When it comes to tech, it’s true, our tweens and teens often do need some kind of access for their education. In some cases, as young as elementary school, our children are actually being provided with laptop computers and tablets to take home for their personal use.

And by high school, giving them some kind of mobile phone is almost inevitable. These technologies have become fundamental parts of our society and they need to learn how to use them responsibly and safely. That has become part of our job as parents.

But that doesn’t translate into a right to brand new expensive mobile phones with all the bells and whistles along with unrestricted access and unlimited amounts of time to spend on all these tech toys.

Technology is a privilege, one that they earn. And in some cases, one they pay for themselves. They need to show us in other areas of their lives that they have the maturity to handle some of the temptations and risks that come with technology.

Digital Citizenship

It’s amazing how the rules for interacting with other people online can be so different than in real life.

How many of us have seen someone post something on Facebook and thought, “Wow, this person would never say something like this to my face.”

The anonymity that the internet provides, emboldens some people to act before they think. When they don’t have to actually see the face of the person who is the target of their words and process the way it hurts or demeans them, it is so much easier to say hurtful and hateful things.

Teaching our children that they shouldn’t act any differently online than they would in the real world is an essential part of parenting this generation.

There Is No Such Thing As Delete On The Internet

Tell your children to imagine that they are 18 years old. They’ve just applied to the college of their dreams. They’ve got the grades, the amazing essay, top test scores. Getting in is now nothing more than a formality.

Then your child’s application comes across their admissions officer’s desk, the first thing they do is type their name into Google. What pops up?

Maybe nothing. But as more and more teenagers are finding out today, they’re leaving a photographic history of themselves online that doesn’t represent the best of who they are.

Sometimes it’s a stupid selfie they snapped at a party when they were a little drunk of them and some friends clinking together their beer bottles in an underage toast.  They stuck it on Snap-chat and an idiot friend grabbed as screen shot and posted it on Instagram. Ooops.

Or maybe they didn’t even know someone snapped a photo of them making a lewd gesture at a school pep rally and posted it on FB.

So many of these incidents are momentary youthful indiscretions that wouldn’t have mattered even a decade ago.

But that was then and this is now.  Our tweens and teens must know that their cyber-identities are made up of every single thing they write and post online, as well as every single photo other people take of them and post online. Hitting the delete key is often not enough to wipe these mistakes clean and they can have serious consequences for their future.


Relationships Matter

Looking someone in the eye, used to be something most people did naturally as part of interactions with other people. Now, not so much.

How often do we see kids hanging out and instead of talking to each other, their all sitting around staring down at their phones.

Does your child regularly get out of the car when you drop them off somewhere and sort of grunt a goodbye as they continue texting or watching a silly cat video.

Maybe you have a tween or teen who would rather spend hours playing a virtual game then spend time with his family playing a board game or just hanging out.

It can become so easy to allow technology to get in the way of having real conversations and making real connections.

Our teens and tweens must learn to set limits for themselves for healthy technology use and when and where it’s time to put away the phone and actually pay attention to the people around them.

Speak Up

We’re hearing too many tragic stories of tweens and teens taking their own lives because they’ve been harassed by their peers with technology being the main instrument of torment.  In many of these cases, others who were not involved were aware of what was happening and yet stayed silent.

Nobody wants to be a snitch or a tattle tale, but with online bullying as prevalent as it is today, there are times when our kids need to be willing to go to a trusted adult and tell them what is going on.

When we talk to our kids about cyber bullying, it often is out of our concern that they will be a victim. What we don’t always think about is coaching them on how to handle it if they know someone else is being bullied.

They need to know that speaking up takes courage and it is the right thing to do. As Dumbledore says in the Harry Potter books, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

We also need to reassure our children that if they speak up, they won’t be punished or suffer retribution.

A NO ZONE For Cell Phones

There are some places that a cell phone just doesn’t have any place. One of those is most definitely at the dinner table. Considering how busy our schedules are, most families rarely get to sit down and have a meal together anymore. On the rare occasions it does happen, technology shouldn’t be allowed to interfere.

Families that have uninterrupted dinners together have kids that generally do better in school, are less likely to be tempted to try drugs and overall benefit from better mental health. One of the main reasons for all of these positive outcomes is what happens at the dinner table. Parents get a chance to actually talk with their kids. They find out what is happening in their lives. They also get to observe their children and may be able to spot early signs of behavior changes or other indicators that things just aren’t quite right.

All of this stops happening when cell phones enter into the mix.

No No At Night

Another place that cell phones just don’t need to be is in rooms behind closes doors.  In general, this is a good rule 24/7 , because having tech in non-communal spaces opens up even good kids to unnecessary temptations and trouble. At the very least though, this should be enforced at night.

More and more studies show that when technology is allowed in kids bedrooms it interferes with them getting adequate sleep. Some will stay up too late doing homework, others are secretly texting friends until all hours. Even the blue light that many of these devices emit messes with the body’s natural circadian rhythms and can keep kids from getting quality rest.

Consider having a designated overnight charging parking lot where everyone in the family puts their phones before bed. It’s not just good for the tweens and teens, moms and dads can benefit from better shut eye as well. Plus, what a great way to role model good choices.

You Break It You Pay For It

There are many life lessons that come with the privilege of technology, and they aren’t all about how to use it correctly.  Computers, tablets, and iPhone are not cheap and keeping track of and tacking care of them properly is important.

Make sure your tweens and teens are aware of exactly how much is invested in their devices. Establish a policy from the beginning about their responsibility when it comes to repairs or replacement. Should they be lost, broken or have a Starbucks Latte spilled on them what is it going to cost them?

It also doesn’t hurt for them to have a little skin in the game up front. Perhaps a condition of them getting any of these devices in the first place is that they have to pay for part of it. Or maybe they will have to contribute towards the monthly bill. At the very least, encourage them to be proactive and purchase a sturdy case. 

Oh, and don’t forget to talk to them about Data and how much they’ll be into you for if they go over. 😉

Put First Things First

A great book for all teenagers to read is the
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
(or the original 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is good too) .

The most valuable habit of all, IMHO, is #3 “Put First Things First”.  So many adults struggle with this and that’s why the sooner we can help our tweens and teens put it into practice, the better off they will be. Consider it an early graduation gift.

Texting friends, playing the latest gaming app, checking social media, these are all activities that come behind. homework and chores. Well behind.

It’s not a bad idea to set designated “off” times for phones with your tweens. This way they have some time set aside already. As your kids get older, more freedom may be in order so they begin learning to manage their own schedule.

Either way, make sure there are proper consequences in place if grades are suffering or the trash isn’t getting taken out.

Technology Use Will Be Monitored

Yes, most of us trust our tweens and teens, but they are still kids. And even good kids can make bad choices. In fact, tweens and teens are kind of wired to do dumb stuff, because their brains aren’t fully formed yet.

So, instead of equating trust with blind faith and total freedom, why not trust them within the boundaries of their life experience and brain development.

We believe that technology usage should be monitored. Bark is the best tool that we have found currently on the market.

Truth: It’s practically impossible to read every one of your kid’s text messages per day — and don’t even get us started on going through their web history! But we want to share a tool that’s been incredibly useful for many families.

Technology is incredibly powerful and gives access to so many things our kids have never seen or dealt with before in their lives. Many of us as adults have a hard time with it all.

Think about the way social media can make us feel sometimes.

It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap and start feeling bad about ourselves. Or how often do you want to just tell someone off who is posting stuff you don’t agree with, but you stop yourself at the last minute and delete it.

Now think about our teenagers in the same position.  Everything is magnified 10x in the teenage mind. And self control…. yeah, that’s not exactly a teenager’s strong suit either.

Oh, and there’s a whole embarrassment factor going on here as well. Sexting, porn, naked selfies – these aren’t topics our teens are dying to talk with us about. If they can avoid the discussions they will, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing this stuff.

Parenting is just as important in the virtual world as it is in the real world.  Our teens and tweens need our supervision and our guidance. We have to help them gain the skills and the discernment that are required to navigate online safely and responsibly.

This is why monitoring their internet and cell phone activity is the right thing to do. Be up front about it, let them know you will be watching and checking and reading. If you’re not being secretive about it, then it’s not spying, it’s parenting.

No Texting While Driving

This one is a no brainer.

The statistics are frightening.  8 deaths and 1,161 injuries a day in the US, on average, are caused by distracted driving.

The best place for your child’s phone when they are driving is in the glove compartment.  There are also auto-responders on most phones that can be set to remove the temptation of answering texts while driving. Some teens have created their own system, where they buddy check each other and a passenger just takes the driver’s phone.

Before handing over the keys to any vehicle you should have all new teen drivers sign a no texting while driving contract.

And finally, actions speak louder than words, make sure you are setting an example for safe cell phone use while in the car.

We’ve created a downloadable version of these tech rules in our shop. It’s cute, would be great to hang on a fridge or bulletin board and can serve as a reminder for your kids and make it easier to review the rules when necessary.

Tween and Teen Tech Rules Printable

rpbzm14ncpixlex0vdtqYou may also found our Managing Teens and Technology Bundle helpful as it includes the tech rules printable as well as the cell phone contract general and for driving, social media contract and important tech topics to talk about with your teen.

Teen Technology Management Bundle

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Parenting Tweens and Teens is hard. Here are some popular technology posts that other parents found helpful to make it a little easier.

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We recommend @BarkTechnologies, a service that monitors your kid’s online activity for potential dangers, filters out websites you don’t want them visiting, and even helps you set healthy screen time limits to give them that all-too-important digital downtime! 🙌

It’s pretty dang hard to parent in the age of TikTok and Snapchat. But if you could use some help keeping your child safe online, we suggest giving Bark a try. we’ve got you covered for 7 days for free here

For more information or to sign up, please visit here.

 
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Ethernet vs Wi-Fi​

Ethernet vs Wi-Fi

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How do their affect your internet experience?

When it comes to choosing the best connectivity options for your home internet setup, the question usually boils down to whether you should use a Wi-Fi connection or ethernet connection.

A Wi-Fi connection enables users to access a network and use the internet wirelessly whilst an ethernet connection requires that a user makes use of an ethernet cable connected from their device to the Wi-Fi router in order to access a network and further access the internet. These two methods have their differences in terms of speed, reliability, convenience, and security.

So, let’s look into how differences between the two connection methods affect your overall internet experience.

Speed

There is a large variety of factors that determine the actual speed of a Wi-Fi or ethernet connection. Theoretically, the fastest speeds on an ethernet connection can go as high as 10Gbps and approximately 7Gbps on a Wi-Fi connection.

The reason an ethernet connection guarantees faster speeds is simply because the user is basically hard-wired to the internet, this reduces any delays in data transmission.

If you’re one that prioritizes speed and how fast data flows on your network, an ethernet connection will do best, but if you’ve got more than one user connecting to your network at a time it would be much more practical to use a Wi-Fi connection.

Reliability

When the discussion of reliability comes up, we’re looking at which connectivity option is guaranteed to perform consistently well at all times.

A Wi-Fi connection is more vulnerable to interferences from physical objects that may block the signal as data is being transmitted wirelessly.

An ethernet connection, on the other hand, is generally unaffected by physical objects, however, any physical damage to the ethernet cable such as splits, cracks, crushing, or even bending of the cable will result in a poor internet experience. If you find yourself having to always adjust or “wiggle” your ethernet cable, you’re certainly better off connecting wirelessly, otherwise ensure that your ethernet cable is in good condition.

Convenience

A Wi-Fi connection is without a doubt the more convenient option. Users are able to move around a property freely and are not obligated to spend most of their time on the internet from a desk or workstation. A Wi-Fi connection allows one to choose their surroundings when browsing or working on the internet, giving the user the sense of freedom and flexibility that we all love to have in the comfort of our homes.

Security

An ethernet connection is more secure than Wi-Fi because data on an Ethernet network can only be accessed by physically attaching a device of some sort to the network.

On a Wi-Fi connection, because data is transmitted by means of wireless signals in the air, information can easily be intercepted without any physical actions being done on the network. However, a virtual private network (VPN) can be vital in protecting any data transmitted on your wireless network by hiding information such as your IP address, browsing activity, and personal info from potential threats or hackers. In summary, an ethernet connection is by default the more secure option but with a VPN, a Wi-Fi connection can prove to be equally as secure.

Conclusion

Both ethernet and Wi-Fi connection have their differences, how these differences affect your internet experience is directly proportional to your preferences as a home internet user. What works for your home internet setup may not work for your neighbor’s set up and what works for them may not work for you. We all want to accomplish different things with our internet package but what every home internet user has in common is the desire for an enjoyable internet experience.

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Shop safely online

Tips on how to shop safely online

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Online shopping is a quick and convenient way to buy any product you can imagine. Although there are several risks of shopping this way,
if you know how to identify a secure online store and know how to protect yourself you should be able to shop with confidence.

Here are 6 tips to help you shop safely online:

1. Ask for recommendations

Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues that have used the same online shop before. Reading online reviews to see what other customers have experienced may also help you make sound judgment and save you from the worst.

2. Look for a lock/SSL certificate

Lookout for a padlock on your address bar when online shopping, this is commonly seen in the payment stage of an online store. This means the website is using an HTTPS connection, which makes it safe to shop knowing that your information is kept private and secure.

3. Keep your computer and browser up to date and use antivirus software.

Security software notifications, like your antivirus, are very helpful, they are a good reminder to keep everything in check, and alert you before entering insecure sites. Do regular app updates to lessen the risks of vulnerabilities that can be exploited, this is an essential line of defense.

4. Check your bank statement

Regularly checking your bank statement will help you identify any unauthorized debit transactions on your account. You can request your bank to alert you for purchases over a certain amount.

5. Be aware of email scams

Email scammers can send out viruses and malware in a gift or special offer. Don’t open emails or attachments from someone you don’t know, or a site you haven’t visited before. If you’re tempted by an offer, do some research before clicking on any unreliable links.

6. Create a unique username and password

Having a unique username and password is essential for protecting your identity and ensuring your data is secured, if your password is easy to crack, it puts your accounts at risk of being hacked.

Send us your thoughts and share some of the tips you know of in the comments section or on any of our social media platforms. How to be safe when shopping online

2022 security broadband avoid getting hacked data breach

How to avoid getting hacked​

How to avoid getting hacked

2022 security broadband avoid getting hacked data breach
It is imperative to take preventative measures to avoid being hacked and having your data compromised. Any device with internet access, such as your router, computer or mobile device is susceptible to being hacked.
If you get hacked, that means that someone with unauthorized access has infiltrated your private and confidential information, and your files can then be shared, viewed or copied without your permission.
Getting hacked can happen to anyone, from a home individual user to a large-scale corporation. Cyber-criminals always look for ways to exploit data protection systems.

There are various types of attacks used by hackers

  • Brute Force Attack: An automation software or malicious person that tries different combinations of login details, passwords and encryption keys until it hopefully matches yours and gains access.
  • Phishing Attacks: Cyber criminals will try to trick, persuade and pressure you into revealing your passwords and personal information, by creating fake websites, fake emails and clickbait which may result in you giving your sensitive information.
  • Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: An attacker intercepts communication between two parties and secretly alters and relays the traffic between the parties. They lead the victims to believe they are communicating with each other and steals information.
  • Denial-of-Service Attack (DoS Attack): The aim of a denial-of-service attack is to deny a user access to a machine or network temporarily or indefinitely causing a disruption to services. This is generally achieved by flooding the network with traffic from various sources, triggering a network crash

Signs you may have been hacked

 

If you notice anything odd happening on your computer, you may have been hacked. Things to look out for:

  • Random popup messages.
  • Unwanted software installs.
  • Get ransomware or antivirus messages.
  • Internet searches are redirected to an alternative page.
  • Your passwords are no longer working.
  • Your mouse moves sporadically and makes odd selections.
  • Your friends receive social media invitations from you that you didn’t send.
  • Strange network traffic patterns.
 

Your personal data can be protected by adhering to some security measures and using Antivirus or Malware software.

How to avoid being hacked

 
Strong Password

Ensure you use a strong and secure password. Data should be encrypted, including online login details as well as personal and work laptops that have sensitive data.

Secure Password. 

If you would like to know more about Password Security please read our Help Centre article for more detail.

Change Admin Credentials
 

Your router is pre-configured with default log in details, this is the standard for all routers which means anyone aware of the default log in details can access your router. When you get a new router, it is advisable to change these default log in details.

Change your router admin details. 

If you would like to know more about How to secure your WiFi router please read our Help Centre article for more detail.

Keep Devices Updated

Be sure to keep all your devices up-to-date with any new firmware available with security patches to keep your devices secure.

Anti-virus and Firewall

Install a reputable anti-virus and firewall software to protect your data. An Antivirus is used to scan, detect, prevent and delete viruses from your computer and a firewall is either hardware and/or software that protects your network by filtering and blocking traffic from gaining access to your private data without permission.

Scan your computer for viruses and malware
 

Ensure that all your tech devices have an up-to-date antivirus or malware application installed, keep it updated by turning on auto-updates and run a full system scan at least once a month.

Access Control
 

Do not leave your devices open and/or unlocked and do not share any passwords. Encrypt any sensitive documents to makes them unreadable by hackers.

Be Vigilant
 

Cyber-criminals use various malicious methods to obtain your data, this may include fake financial websites, emails aimed at obtaining your passwords or viruses that infect your mail server to promote unwanted content. Never click on strange links, open suspicious emails or visit untrustworthy websites. Ensure that websites that require you to submit your personal information have an SSL certificate installed. e.g: https:// or a padlock in front of the URL.

 

Understanding SSL certificates. 

If you would like to Understand SSL certificates, please read our Help Centre article for easy to follow steps.

Back-up

 
Ensure you back up all your data and files regularly. If something does happen to your files you still have a copy. There are various means of backups made easy by current technology, cloud backup and offline backups.

Cloud backup – A remote online storage facility that you can use to safely backup your data on a server, which can be accessed from any computing device and in any location.

There are various platforms you can use for cloud backup i.e: Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and iCloud etc.

Offline Backup – A traditional method of a backup system where the data is stored on a physical storage device such as a portable USB dive or an external hard drive and kept in a safe place.

 

REMEMBER! 

Be sure to schedule and automate your backups to keep your data updated.

 

The best protection from being hacked is to be proactive and take steps to protect yourself and your data, then to be reactive and need to block your accounts, change passwords and reinstall your back up data.

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Online Security​

Online Security

A version of this article was first published on psafe.com

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There are so many places that require a password
– your computer, online banking, your favorite shopping site, social media platforms, apps – you name it.
With so many passwords to remember, it can be tempting to use the same password for everything.
But remember, a password acts as a shield to protect your private and sensitive data
if your shield is weak, you’ll be more vulnerable to attacks and hacks.

Here are the most common passwords of 2020

Source: Nordpass – https://nordpass.com/most-comm… put together a list of the most common passwords of 2020.

They are based on how many times a password has been exposed, used, and how much time it would take to crack it.

Most of the passwords can be cracked in less than a second.
If you’re using any of these passwords, we suggest you change it immediately.

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • picture1
  • password
  • 12345678

How to create a strong password

  • Should be long and memorable. At least 8 – 10 characters.
  • Use special characters. Uppercase, lowercase, letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Use substitute letters. Use uppercase and lowercase randomly and substitute letters with symbols.
  • Never use personal details. Avoid using personal information like your name, birthday or address. These can be easy to guess.
  • Never recycle passwords. The best practice is to change your password once a month with something new and not something you have used before.
  • Keep your password private. Do not enter your password when in public view, don’t write it down or leave it lying around.

Use of a Password Manager

But how can anyone remember all these long, complicated passwords?

A password manager is a service or software that allows you to store passwords as well as generate random strong and encrypted passwords for multiple platforms. A password manager uses a Master Password to unlock all the generated passwords.

This can be a useful tool if you have many passwords to remember and need to keep them safe.

  • Dashlane
  • 1Password
  • Apple Keychain
  • Google Password Manage

Two-step verification

A lot of websites and apps offer two-step verification. For example, you enter your password, and an OTP (One-Time Pin) will be sent to your mobile number or email address. You’ll only gain access once that OTP has been entered. This method makes it unlikely to be hacked as two passwords must be entered and the OTP is randomly generated and sent from a separate source.

Gamer feeling frustrated

Differences between Wireless Internet & Fibre Optic Internet

Gamer feeling frustrated

What are the differences between Wireless Internet & Fibre Optic Internet?

 

Wireless connections are easy to install other than that of Fibre. This is because there already is wireless connections such as radio towers for technology for cell phone networks. Therefore, it is a connection that does not require a physically connected wire to make use of the Internet.

As we find ourselves surrounded by WIFI itself daily, different digital devices can connect to the Internet wirelessly through radio waves. This is typically done through devices such as WiFi routers to establish wireless networks.

Depending on the physical environment, the WiFi signal will propagate through walls and also through objects. Therefore, a signal must be managed carefully to transmit an internet connection because of the signal strength; you can increase this amplification by utilising Amplifiers.

Choosing between Fibre and WiFi internet for your business is often one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your online presence. Both can be incredibly beneficial to your business, but you need to know which option is best for it. Below we cover some questions to ask yourself.

What is Optic Fibre Internet?
Ooh, a new broadband technology. What could it be? Perhaps it’s a new type of superfast Internet, capable of downloading a two-hour movie in ten seconds? Well, no. Optic fibre is the term for the current fastest internet connections, and it means using glass as an ethernet cable. The glass itself is sent through a special light beam, and then that magnetic signal is converted into a data connection

Optic Fibre internet is Internet-delivered via fibre-optic cables. It’s usually more expensive than traditional DSL, but some fantastic benefits to opting for opt-fibre. Opt-fibre is generally faster, has more bandwidth, and data caps are non-existent. It’s also more secure because it’s hard to tap into an optic fibre connection, making it ideal for businesses.

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but it’s the future (or at least, it will be soon enough), and it’s called Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Fibre-optic Internet is excellent; it’s fast, reliable, and has virtually no downtime.

What is Wireless Internet?
The modern world is one of constant wireless connectivity. Whether it’s through your phone, laptop, tablet or home router, we are constantly connected. This is great for many things, but one area where this connectivity has been vital in Internet development. Communicating with each other and sharing data has changed the world beyond recognition.

Without question, wireless Internet is one of the best things to happen to the modern world. For the first time, we can be mobile, work from anywhere, and access the information we need whenever we need it. But how does it work? And what are all of these different wireless internet connection options?

The modern world has seen a lot of changes over the past decade. With technological advancements coming so quickly, it can be difficult at times just to keep up.

The Wireless internet is a networking technology that can send and receive data over short distances without a wired connection between two devices (such as a laptop and a modem). Instead, this technology uses radio waves to communicate.

The radio frequencies are very different from walkie-talkies, vehicle radios, cell phones, and weather radios. For example, your car audio receives Kilohertz and Megahertz frequencies (AM and FM stations), whereas WiFi transmits and receives data in the Gigahertz range. A Hertz (Hz) is just a frequency unit.

The frequency of WiFi is 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These waves have a frequency that is remarkably similar to that of your microwave! Your microwave heats food at 2.450 GHz, and your router transmits data through WiFi at 2.412 GHz to 2.472 GHz. This is why, when making popcorn, some people with old or malfunctioning microwaves have trouble with their WiFi signal.

How is data transmitted through WiFi?
WiFi addresses data transmission through a process known as Wireless Amplification. This process involves dividing the wireless signal into its frequency components. This allows the radio wave to be amplified, and the number of channels at which a signal can propagate throughout an indoor environment increases.

Once a signal has been received, the entire signal then needs to be amplified and packaged into what is known as a digital signal. From a technical standpoint, the radio wave and the signal are similar. However, the signal can more easily propagate through physical objects and can ignore physical objects in favour of travelling through the air. Thus, even without amplification, the signal strength remains high.

How do I choose between Fibre and WiFi internet, which one is better?

We’ll compare fibre optic cable vs wireless in the following three areas:

  1. Speed
    The wireless network may theoretically carry data at the same rate as fibre optic cable. However, fibre optic cable can achieve a more incredible maximum speed in practice. When a network becomes congested, the more users who surf the Internet simultaneously and share the same bandwidth, the more crowded and slower the network becomes. If you have a Cat6 Ethernet cable, a wired Ethernet connection can theoretically give up to 10Gb/s. Your Ethernet cable’s maximum speed is determined by the type of Ethernet cable you’re using.
  2. Distance
    Furthermore, wireless signal strength can deteriorate over extended distances. Therefore, a clean signal may be transmitted significantly further using a fibre optic line. For example, the single-mode Fibre in a wired network is utilized for long-range data applications and is typically seen in carrier networks, PONs, and MANs. In general, wired networks provide faster speeds and greater transmission distances without interference, and they are also more reliable than WiFi.
  3. Installation Convenience
    Installing a fibre network can be time-consuming and difficult. For example, installing a fibre network can take months, depending on the business climate and other factors such as availability. Microwave Fixed Wireless Internet, on the other hand, takes only a few days to set up and requires fewer resources.

Conclusion:
With the rise of connectivity, the network connection will always be the topic of countless discussions. Wired connections are more reliable and have less opportunity for interference. In addition, wireless connections offer greater flexibility and the ability to add devices to your network quickly.

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