Scalar Enterprises Blog
This page contains news about Scalar Enterprises, work we have been doing for our clients, new features and services etc. From time to time I will also include useful information and articles from myself and from various other sources along with comments, tips and thoughts from myself. Hope you find it useful and why not let me know if you have a question.
We have been working with local cleaning services company, Bizzy Bodyz recently to do a bit of spring cleaning on their web site to bring them up to date and give them a brand new look. We have launched the new website this week.
Bizzy Bodyz provide a wide range of domestic and commercial cleaning and laundry services in the Portsmouth area. They also have a few additional specialist services as well so take a look at their website at www.bizzybodyz.biz for more details.
Just launched a new website for local businessman, Ian Geraghty, who is one of the crew members in the Clipper round the world race 2011 – 2012.
Take a look at the video on the home page and get a feel for what the crews have to look forward to in this gruelling race – frightening stuff !
There are sponsorship opportunities available for businesses – see the sponsor page for more details.
Ian is also trying to raise some money during the race for his chosen charity, Catch 22 so why not take a look and make a donation as well.
His site also features a great business opportunity so well worth a visit to see if it is of interest to you.
More details at www.iangeraghty.co.uk
A recent study has shown that more than 25% of passwords used are made up of 6 characters or less which is totally inadequate to provide protection.
Ref: Web User magazine
Believe it or not, the study showed that these are the top 10 most commonly used passwords:
Ref: Web User magazine
Research has shown that around 16% of people use a first name as their password and the most commonly used name is “nicole” apparently.
It is highly recommended that you do not use real words that you can find in a dictionary or names for your passwords. Individual desktop computers can test anywhere between one million to fifteen million passwords per second against lower specification encrypted passwords hence running a basic dictionary password attack on a PC only needs a few seconds in most cases to crack these.
A weak password is an open invitation for profile-jacking, so make sure to use a fairly complicated one. Make it long, add symbols, alternate upper and lowercase letters, insert numbers, etc. Whatever you do, don‘t use the same password for all your social networking tools and other accounts. If your password is hacked, it is a fairly safe bet that the next thing the hacker will do is to try it on all your other accounts.
Increasing the number of possible symbols from which random passwords are chosen will increase the strength of generated passwords of any given length. For example, the printable characters in the ASCII character set (e.g. those on a standard English keyboard) include 26 letters (in two case variants), 10 digits, and 33 non-alphanumeric symbols (i.e., punctuation, grouping, etc.), giving you a total of 94 symbols to use (95 if you count space but this is generally not allowed). However, the same strength can also be achieved with a smaller number of symbols just by choosing a longer password.
Below is some sound advice on passwords from Microsoft.
Avoid creating passwords using the following:
- Dictionary words in any language.
- Words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
- Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (e.g. qwerty).
- Personal information. Your name, birthday, driver’s license, passport number, or similar information.
Test your password with a password checker.
A password checker evaluates your password’s strength automatically. Check the strength of your passwords with the Microsoft secure password checker.
Protect your passwords from prying eyes.
The easiest way to “remember” passwords is to write them down which is okay, but make sure you keep them secure.
See also the Microsoft tips on creating strong passwords
Probably the most important software you need if you have a PC is a good Anti-virus tool. Businesses are always looking at ways to cut costs and anti-virus software can be quite expensive so choosing one that suits you is always a bit of a compromise although the result of not having a good quality tool installed can be devastating if your machine gets infected.
A recent group test of the main security suite software in use today was carried out by Web User magazine recently and it revealed some surprising results.
The Gold award actually went to a free tool (AVG) as being best value for money and high scores. Of the best know commercial products, Norton came in 3rd position and McAfee was surprisingly way down the list.
The free AVG Anti-Virus tools came out with really good scores, the only negative point was that it does not include a firewall so you need to find a suitable one to install in order to ensure total protection to your system.
Antivirus tool comparison test results
Personally, I have been using Norton for some time and have found it very good. The only thing I have found is the cost when it comes to renewal. Norton offer a facility to renew your licence on-line which is useful but expensive ! If you look around, you can usually find a copy on special offer which is quite often about half the price so it is usually cheaper to buy a new copy rather than renewing.
Looking at the group test results, if I was going to choose another tool, the best option that I liked the look of was Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security. The report indicates it costs a very reasonable £23 and it appears to have everything you need included.
I was really pleased this week to be invited to join the Professional Web Design Directory as an approved designer. This is a reviews directory built specifically for web designers.
Many thanks to my clients who have already added reviews – if you feel the urge to also add your comments please feel free to do so, it would be much appreciated.
I often get questions from my clients on how to do different things so some time ago, I added a How To section on my links page.
It can take quite a while to put together a guide on how to do a particular task but I thought that putting a bit more effort in to document the process initially would save me time in the long term and help other clients out.
I’ve just added another guide about How to setup email accounts in Microsoft Outlook 2007. Hope you find it useful.
We are pleased to announce that the new website for Pyesmead Farm Bed and Breakfast and Self Catering accommodation went live today.
Pyesmead Farm is a family run farm, situated near Romsey on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire and they have been running the B&B for over 20 years.
You can enjoy a relaxing break on a real family working farm on the edge of the beautiful New Forest in Hampshire, renowned for its beautiful scenery and wild ponies.
If you prefer a more easy going relaxed break, you can make use of their heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and coarse fishing lakes or just enjoy exploring the farm.
There are plenty of other things to do around the area as well. Take a look a their website at www.pyesmeadfarm.co.uk and give them a call.
Many small business owners see the same problems and issues occurring on a regular basis so I am a great believer in sharing knowledge as it can help other small businesses to overcome their issues and succeed.
It can be quite a daunting task sometimes in any business, but it is very important to keep up to date with what is going on in the World Wide Web, its associated industries and small business in general if you want your business to survive as so much is changing so rapidly these days.
As a small business owner myself these days, I know how difficult it is out there, particularly in the current difficult financial climate, and how hard it is sometimes to find solutions to the problems that arise. I have spent many years investigating, researching, identifying and understanding problems in many different areas of business and finding or developing solutions for them so I like to think that I have learnt a few things over my 40 year career so far.
The process works both ways as others may have already gone through the process of resolving a problem that you currently have so they can help you. Working together, small businesses can help each other and collectively they can often succeed rather than failing when they try to do it alone. I guess the old cliché “united we stand, divided we fall” could apply here.
I am also a great supporter of using local businesses and resources rather than outsourcing to other countries so that we can build our skills and resources and help do our bit to put Great Britain back on its feet. I am always keen to develop working partnerships with other local companies as I have found it generally really beneficial for both parties. Together you can offer a broader range of services and expertise to potential customers and often this can make the difference between winning or losing the work.
I often come across useful hints, tips and tools that can help improve the way I work or help to optimise my working procedures for example. I thought therefore that it might be useful to share some of these useful bits and pieces here on my blog with my clients, business contacts and friends and do my bit to help. I hope you will return to this blog often to see what is new and if there is anything here that you can make use of.
Those nice people at Aura Gas asked us to add another feature to their Aura Gas website recently so we have just finished it off and it has gone live today.
They now have a Question and Answer page where their customers can send their questions to Gary at Aura Gas and they can also search the existing results for answers to their questions.
We have also added a Twitter feed for them so visitors to the site can follow their Tweets without having to go off the page.
Got a question about your gas central heating or boiler ? Why not give it a try and Ask Gary Gas Man now !