Privacy Concerns? Six Tips for Conducting Safer Online Activity

You wouldn’t leave your bank or credit card statements out on the table, so why should your confidential online activity be any different?   Deleting your browser cookies is always a best practice, but even that will only get you so far.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help safeguard your privacy when surfing online:

  1. Use unique passwords for all of your online accounts.   This sounds simple enough, but given the increasing number of accounts we sign up for online, it can be tough advice to follow (especially if you’ve got over 50 passwords to remember).  Quick tip: keep a password protected Excel file of all your account passwords, so you really only have to remember 1 password to access all of your online accounts.
  2. Install a reputable browser addon to alert you of potential privacy threats.  It’s easy to miss the fine print when browsing online, and add-ons such as BetterPrivacy (via Firefox) can help alert you to any possible dangers you may have overlooked.
  3. Be sure to read through the privacy agreements on all websites, opting out where necessary.  Social media and other free online networking sites are notorious for collecting and distributing your personal information to third parties.  Before signing up for a new account, be sure to read through the privacy agreement and “opt-out” of any permissions or requests to use your information for marketing purposes.
  4. Beware of social gaming applications and other freeware services.  Facebook apps such as Farmville, Jungle Jewels, etc. have taken a hit recently due to user complaints regarding privacy.  Before you sign up to play, be sure to read the reviews and fine print.
  5. Be careful what information you choose to share with who.  This goes without saying, but it’s easy to forget how many “friends” we’ve added to our social networks that aren’t necessarily our friends.  Before you list your address out for a birthday party or tell people you’ll be out of town for awhile with an unattended house, double check who’s on the receiving end of that message and tailor it appropriately.
  6. Look for SSL certificates on websites (especially e-commerce sites).  When making a purchase online or sharing confidential information such as SSN #s, DOBs, etc. make sure the website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.  This ensures the information you share with the site is secure and will not be compromised.

With these few tips put to practice, you’ll be well on your way to a safer, more spam-free and secure online experience.

2000-2010: How Web Technology Changed the Way We Work

2000-2010 brought about some rapid advances in enterprise technology.  From cloud computing to SaaS, small and large businesses alike became equipped with cheaper, more efficient programs to conduct their operations.  Improvements in web technology and the increased availability of information leveled the playing field for start-ups, entrepreneurs and virtual companies to compete with the “big guys” as an era of “collaboration” and “wikis” took the world by storm.   Employees and business owners chose to work smarter rather than harder as competition in the service industry skyrocketed.  And as Thomas Friedman predicted so eloquently, the world got flatter, and in this new world we developed new markets that spanned both coast and country lines.  The ability of businesses to evolve on pace with technology quickly determined their success or demise, as departments that once had no tangent with IT found themselves reliant on it for daily operations.

It’s been an exciting decade of advancement and accomplishment in the ever-expanding field of web technology– a field that lies at the core of many businesses operating in many industries.  No-IP  is proud to be equipped with the latest systems and infrastructure to power these companies, and we look forward to what the next 10 years has in store for us.

Getting Started with No-IP

2010: A Year of Expansion, Moves and Milestones.

2010 has brought some exciting changes for us at No-IP.   In case you missed out on the big news, here’s a quick rundown of our top headlines from 2010:

We moved!  Earlier this year, we moved into a new office space in downtown Reno.  In addition to giving us more space to serve our clients, we’re situated in a more central location and only a few miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

We reached 10 million users.  That’s right!  This Fall, we reached the 10  million milestones.  And to say thank you to all of our customers- both new and old- for their continued support over the years, we offered substantial savings off our Plus and Enhanced packages.

We expanded our network.  For many people, their website, FTP, or email service is the lifeblood of their day-to-day operations.  But without multiple server locations, these services can easily be disrupted.  With 10 unique server locations situated across the globe, we’re making sure your services are running as you intend when you intend them to.  And as a result, we’re proud to say that we’ve maintained a 100% DNS uptime during our 11-year history.

We’re looking forward to more exciting changes in the year to come, and hope you’ll be along to join us for the ride 🙂

Establishing Consumer Trust in E-Commerce

According to a 2009 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, nearly half of all consumers say they have terminated or abandoned their online order due to security fears.   With the risk of credit card or other personal information being compromised, it is more important than ever to safeguard your website to increase consumer trust.

Below are a few tips to exercise which can help establish consumer trust with your online customer base:

  • Choose a quality site design. Consider how authentic or official your site design appears to consumers.  Does it have the same quality as other larger retailers?  Is it easy to use?  Are all of the links and navigation working properly?  All of these factors can impact how trustworthy your site is to potential shoppers.
  • Display positive customer testimonials, awards, and recognitions.  Showcasing positive third party feedback helps to establish a sense of trust and makes potential customers feel comfortable purchasing from you.
  • Clearly, publish your shipping and return policies.  Most negative customer feedback results from poor customer service after a sale has taken place.  Make sure you prominently display a fair and equitable policy for shipping and returns.  It will help potential customers understand what they can expect in service once they make their purchase.
  • Purchase an SSL certificate. An SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate ensures your customers’ information is safe/encrypted during transit to a third-party site and is what many consumers look for before deciding to make a purchase online.   They are relatively affordable and can make or break your e-commerce site.
  • Join the Better Business Bureau.  A BBB seal on your website lets customers know that you are an ethical business owner who services the needs of its customers.

With these few starter tips, your shoppers will feel more comfortable purchasing products from your site and you’ll be well on your way to receiving increased sales and positive customer feedback

What qualities do you look for in a DNS service provider?

DNS lies at the heart of every user activity with the internet, and choosing a DNS service provider can make or break your experience.

What qualities do you look for in a DNS service provider?

Take our survey

Cyberweek Holiday Shopping: Brought to you in part by DNS

Last weekend, many holiday shoppers and deal snatchers skipped the Black Friday store crowds by opting for e-commerce.   Their decisions paid off  for retailers, with Cyber Monday sales surging nearly 20 percent from last year.  The benefits for consumers and retailers alike are easy to see.  Gone are the days when consumers must travel area and zip codes to find that perfect gift in stock– if the company has it, it will be in stock online.  And retailers can now enjoy extended sales hours without keeping staff on the payroll, resulting in higher profits with less expense– great for the bottom line.

Sounds easy enough, but is it?

As holiday shopping trends continue to migrate from physical to virtual, we often forget the important role that technology plays in providing us with online shopping options.  On the backend, businesses must ensure their websites are hosted with reliable DNS and backup servers to handle both the influx of incoming traffic and prevent security breach.

According to Chuck Kisselburg of CircleID, the most resilient form of DNS infrastructure should include:

1) An infrastructure incorporating diversity among DNS platforms which include a mix of open source and non-open source platforms.

2) A platform incorporating high levels of security, thus helping citizens develop greater confidence in benefiting from greater options, convenience and savings associated with online purchases.

3) A platform optimized for capacity so as to comfortably handle extremely large volumes of traffic without fear of an infrastructure collapsing under the weight of such levels of traffic.

Fortunately, No-IP DNS service is positioned to provide all the security, reliability and capacity needed by e-commerce sites to ensure their holiday traffic doesn’t skip a beat.  And what’s more?  It’s completely affordable.  This holiday season, whether you’re running an e-commerce site or holiday shopping for others, the decision to give the gift of reliable DNS has never been easier.

* Data by Coremetrics

5 Reasons to be Thankful for Dynamic DNS

In the spirit of Thanksgiving tomorrow, we thought it would be fitting to pay tribute to DDNS service by highlighting all the wonderful things it’s allowed our users to do over the years.

Here are just a few of the most holiday-appropriate reasons to be thankful for Dynamic DNS:

1) On a cold, snowy morning, you can be working productively from home in your PJs and slippers.

2) You can play all the new video games you bought on Black Friday with friends and family located across the country.

3) Thanks to remote security camera access, the Christmas gifts you’ve been stashing all year will stay safe if you’re eating Turkey out of town.

4) You can place those last minute bets on holiday football games, knowing the websites are hosted reliably and can handle the surge in traffic.

5) Sales teams will have dependable access to POS devices, which means you don’t have to wait in line all weekend to purchase all of your great deals.

All of that reliability with a fast and easy set-up.  If you’re not using a DDNS host provider, set aside some time over the holiday weekend to check it out.

Safeguarding Your Website Against DDOS Attack.

This past weekend, internet registrar suffered a down infrastructure for nearly 24 hours due to a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack.  The security breach impacted their DNS, hosting and webmail clients, making services unavailable to subscribers and impacting their over 2 million registered domains.

How do these attacks happen?


Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers.   There are essentially two general forms of DoS attacks: those that crash services and those that flood services, and there are a variety of methods perpetrators can use to do either.

How can companies protect themselves from DDOS and similar cyber attacks?

100% DNS uptime is essential for any online business.  Typically most domain registrars and hosting providers only provide you with 2 name servers that exist on the same network segment. A DDOS attack or other connectivity failure impacting your name server network could wipe your website off the face of the earth.  That is why it is important to have multiple name servers on unique connection points.  This backup DNS service ensures that DNS for your domain always resolves to where it should.

Backup DNS may not sound important, but without it, your site is left vulnerable to DDOS and other cyber attacks which could lead to lost partners, clients, and eventually lost business.   It’s an affordable safeguard to ensure your site maintains 100% uptime, all the time.   If you’re not currently protected, be sure to try it out today.

5 Tips to Maintain Productivity While Working Remotely

As more businesses shift activities from in person to online, telecommuting is becoming an increasingly popular option for employees.   While the benefits of working remotely are easy to pinpoint, the challenges are not always so apparent.  From technology glitches and miscommunications to lack of motivation and isolation, the prospect of working in your jammies and slippers can come with a few pricetags.  To stay productive, it’s important to have the right tools and expectations for working remotely. Keep in mind the following tips:

1) Find a dedicated office space with minimal noise or distractions.  Comfortable seating, quality lighting and most importantly- quiet surroundings- will improve your ability to concentrate and focus on work.

2) Keep a structured “to-do” list with your team members to stay motivated and keep projects moving.  Basecamp is a great example of an online project management tool that allows team members to collaborate and complete project activities, share files and schedules.

3) Avoid burning out by scheduling breaks throughout the day.  Working from home can often make you feel disconnected from the outside world or that the work pile never ends.   When you don’t have to clock in or out, it can be difficult to relax and set work aside.  Remember to take a break or two, grab some lunch or go for a walk to get some fresh air and recharge.

4) Use the right communication tools.  Skype is an easy, free way to chat or talk with co-workers and integrates video in real-time (and is much cheaper than using valuable cell phone minutes).  GotoMeeting or Webex are also affordable conference call services with added screen share and recording capability.

Last and definitely not least…

5) Use the right connectivity infrastructure.  Dynamic DNS allows you to access your VPN or work computer using a static IP address that you can remember, which is extremely helpful when you need to access files from another computer remotely.   Also, a dependable internet service provider (ISP) will be worth it’s weight in gold, and remember to find a backup source just in case.  Make use of the nearest closest coffee shops or book stores with wi-fi in the event your ISP has service issues.  The last thing you need is to miss an important meeting or be not have access to your files when your boss or coworkers are relying on you.

Have any additional remote working tips to share?   Feel free to share with us in the comments section below!