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Eric

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    http://www.godesignlab.com

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  1. Eric

    PASSWORD

    The article that I believe prompted the above comic: https://www.baekdal.com/thoughts/password-security-usability/ From the article: It is 10 times more secure to use "this is fun" as your password, than "J4fS<2". At least, that was true until the article was published. When I have to create passwords for another person's account, and I'm not sure if they'll take the time to change it, this is the method I use. Example: purple-spotted-skipping-hamster It's completely random, extremely secure, and easy to remember and type. Unfortunately, even though the password would take hundreds or thousands of years to crack, it's deemed insecure by many password strength indicators because it's missing a number or a capital letter.
  2. Apple just released iOS 12.5.6 on August 31. This patches the same serious vulnerability that they had previously patched in newer versions of iOS. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213428 https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/09/apple-releases-rare-ios-12-update-to-patch-zero-day-webkit-vulnerability/
  3. The 6S is newer than your 6, and Apple's release says only the 6S and newer is affected. There is the possibility that since the iPhone 6 is "stuck" on iOS 12, it never received version of iOS that was vulnerable in the first place. Nope, not the case, they just took their time fixing the bug in iOS 12 and patched it weeks later.
  4. According to their list, the latest security update for iOS 12 was 12.5.5 released September 2021. You said you had an iPhone 6, but the release from Apple says the issue affects the iPhone 6S and newer. If you really only have the 6, it may not be affected. The Security update for iOS / iPadOS 15 is version 15.6.1 if you want to double check your husband's devices. EDIT: The information on that first link does say that 15.6.1 is available for the iPhone 6S. That, along with your iOS version being 12.5.5 tells me you do have an iPhone 6 (not 6S), and will not get (or need) the security update.
  5. The only time I use a VPN is when I'm traveling and using free hotel WiFi which for me isn't that often. I used Mullvad VPN during a recent trip to Boston, spent less than $6 for the month, and cancelled the service when I got back home. I have never had issues connecting to any websites but it is an extra server to route all of your traffic through, so it can potentially be slower. To directly answer your question, nope, I haven't heard of PIA. In my opinion, the main benefits of using a VPN are privacy related. You can keep your browsing from your ISP because all they see is encrypted traffic between sites and the VPN server. If you don't trust your ISP to not sell your metadata to the highest bidder, then a VPN is a good way to avoid that. Just make sure to pick a trustworthy VPN provider because they're the ones who will have that data instead of your ISP. In terms of general security, most of the web now uses HTTPS anyway, so all of that traffic is already encrypted and secure. Transmitting things like credit cards and passwords isn't improved by using a VPN. Some VPN providers have additional security measures that protect you from visiting harmful sites or downloading harmful files, but a little common sense about those things is a lot more effective. There are some things that I think should be higher priority for online security: Don't reuse your passwords. Create secure passwords and use a password manager to remember them for you. Even though it's a pain sometimes, use 2 Factor Authentication wherever it's supported. The type that uses an Authenticator app (Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, etc) is better than relying on text messages, but the text messages are a lot better than a username/password alone. If privacy is your main concern, install an ad blocker extension for your browser. uBlock Origin is a good example. An unbelievable amount of tracking happens as you browse the web, and there's a lot of money in knowing who you are as an ad target. A VPN generally doesn't do anything about this, because it's all happening in your browser which is communicating with the site you're visiting. Encrypting the traffic through a VPN only means it's being securely sent directly to Facebook, for example. An ad blocker will shut down most of that tracking and keep it from being shared with the sites you're visiting. EDIT: I didn't realize this before, but Mullvad VPN, and probably other VPN providers include ad blocking and anti-tracking features which would be similar to what uBlock Origin does. uBlock Origin is free, though.
  6. Eric

    Our Community

    Yep! What Judy said. Thank you all again, and Happy New Year!
  7. And here I am dreading actually having to close all of the gazillion open tabs across multiple windows to allow my browser to update. Reminds me an awful lot of Windows 98, Internet Explorer, and a certain antitrust lawsuit.
  8. Eric

    Our Community

    Thank you all, and Merry Christmas
  9. That's crazy, a friend of mine sent me this video earlier in the week; I did not expect to see it here! Very cool, Tom.
  10. Eric

    IRS UPDATE

    @Catherine Better late than never? Choose "Custom" from the Categories dropdown!
  11. That's interesting, it should only ask once per browser. Do you have them enabled or disabled? You can check the setting for your current browser in the notification options at the bottom: https://www.atxcommunity.com/notifications/options/ EDIT: Also, what browser are you using? In Chrome, you can manually adjust Notification settings per website (or disable for all sites) here: chrome://settings/content/notifications (copy and paste into Chrome's address bar)
  12. Nope, not this site, but other sites on the server can affect the entire server when the load becomes high enough. I'm not at all worried about the security of any of the sites--the passwords are strong for all administrator accounts... but it does take processing power to evaluate and deal with each password request. I am considering purchasing service from Cloudflare to handle all of that nonsense, but I'm still researching my options.
  13. Well, now I see it too. I'll delete it. You're very welcome! I host websites for a number of municipalities, banks, and hospitals, and they all seem to be common targets for brute force attacks, which can cause very high server load when multiple are ongoing simultaneously. I'm working on mitigating those attacks, because I feel like these issues crop up on this website when the server bogs down due to the load.
  14. I swore that I responded earlier. I was getting that 2S119/1 error in the back end of the site. I cleared/rebuilt the software's template cache and those errors went away. Hopefully they went away on the front end of the site as well. So far, so good it seems
  15. I have talked to Max W about his issue--he was trying to do a password reset I believe but wasn't able to receive any emails from the site. I think that was more of an email system issue, probably related to an overzealous spam filter on the provider end of things. These other problems are unrelated. The server experienced a period of extremely high load earlier today, and I suspect the login issues were related. I'm making sure there aren't any lasting issues as a result, so please let me know if any of the login problems persist.
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