WordPress is among the most popular content management systems (CMS) due to its user-friendly nature and the amount of freedom it offers to web developers. More than a third of the top 10 million websites use WordPress for these reasons.

Its popularity has its downsides, however. The vast majority of the security vulnerabilities inherent in WordPress is shared across every website that uses it. This means that if WordPress encounters an issue, millions of websites also face that issue—and yours could be one of them.

As such, we’ve compiled a handy privacy and security checklist for you to check over when you’re building your WordPress website. We’re going to talk about virtual private networks in the process, so if you want to learn more beforehand, including why VPN is beneficial, you can check some reviews.

#1 – Usernames and passwords

It’s common knowledge that if a hacker knows your username and password, then it’s easy for them to access your accounts. This goes for everything, not just WordPress; if you reuse passwords across various accounts (which you definitely shouldn’t), then a hacker only needs to compromise one of your accounts before they can get into your WordPress account.

If you aren’t careful, you can make this a ridiculously easy process for hackers. WordPress automatically the username on new accounts to ‘admin,’ which means a hacker then only needs to figure out what your password is and they’re in.

Basically, as soon as you create your WordPress account, be sure to change the ‘admin’ login to something more difficult to guess. Otherwise you might as well hand your data over to a hacker and save them the trouble.

#2 – Don’t ignore updates

It’s can be almost like a knee-jerk reaction to ignore updates. They take up time when you’d rather just be getting on with some work. But just because they’re bad for productivity in the short term doesn’t mean they’re bad for business in the long term.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Updates are usually issued every few months to ensure software is up to date in terms of its security vulnerabilities. Software researchers are always on the hunt for new vulnerabilities, and updates are versions of existing software that patch any vulnerabilities they might have found.

The same goes for plugins, as these can create sneaky backdoor entrances to your WordPress site. As a rule, you should never ignore updates, because if a software researcher has found vulnerabilities in the code, there’s a chance a hacker has, too.

#3 – Google Search Console

Look, we all know Google isn’t the best for respecting data privacy, but in this instance, they’re actually really useful. Enabling the Google Search Console gives you an easy way to create a search function on your WordPress blog, but there are also other benefits that make it good for security.

Because Google are constantly amending their index and blacklisting malware-infected websites, they use their Search Console to run checks on attached WordPress sites to ensure they’re totally clean.

While this sounds hideously invasive, Google actually comes through: the Search Console informs you of hacks as and when they happen. If you’re in the habit of storing backups—which you definitely should be—then you can revert to an older version of your WordPress site in order to lock the hacker out of the system entirely.

#4 – Use a VPN

As we mentioned earlier, a great way to secure your WordPress site against invasive hack attacks is to use a VPN. These handy tools reroute your IP connection to a private server so you can keep your identity much more private online.

Better yet, a good VPN service will also provide an encryption service to make sure that, even in the case of man-in-the-middle attacks, there’s very little chance a bad actor could intercept the data you’re sending across the network.

The best VPN services will offer impenetrable encryption ciphers to ensure your data is locked down tight. The one to look out for is the AES-256-bit model, which is the same cipher the US government use.

Conclusion

When you’re building a new WordPress site, privacy and security should be among your main priorities. After all, before the site is properly up and running, you’re in a position where your site isn’t fully functional, which is a haven for hackers.

Although each of the steps we’ve mentioned are essentials, it’s worth remembering that working through a VPN really is the best and most comprehensive way of ensuring that no bad actors can ever get a hold of your personal data. It keeps your WordPress site locked tight under wraps, and for as long as you keep your VPN, that’s the way it’ll stay.

 

A headset lying next to a laptop

VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a commonly-used method for converting analog audio signals into digital data. Basically, it allows users to make phone calls via the internet instead of having to install a phone line, bypassing phone companies and their often exorbitant charges.

Many experts believe that VoIP will wind up completely replacing traditional phone systems. In fact, this eventuality is already coming to fruition in the business world, where many companies have already made the switch. This article will offer business owners and consumers who have yet to make the switch a brief introduction to the different kinds of VoIP service, how they work, and the pros and cons of using the internet to make phone calls.

Types of VoIP

There are three main types of VoIP service found in today’s office environments. ATA, short for analog telephone adaptor, is the most common type of VoIP service thanks primarily to its simplicity. It allows standard phones to be used for online communication by converting analog signals into digital data that can be transmitted via the internet.

IP phones are similar in appearance to normal phones but they connect directly to routers. These specialized devices rely on RJ-45 Ethernet connectors and internal hardware and software to handle calls. Wi-Fi phones function similarly but allow users to place phone calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot.

Finally, computer-to-computer VoIP services basically allow users to turn their computers into phones. All that’s required is a microphone, speakers, a sound card, and an internet connection. This type of VoIP system is very straightforward and allows even long-distance calls to be made for free, provided users pay their monthly ISP fees.

How it Works

A gamer with a headsetVoIP relies on a process known as packet-switching. This process takes advantage of the fact that only half of a traditional circuit-switching connection is actually used at any given time to boost efficiency. Instead of maintaining a constant connection, as is the case with traditional phones, VoIP networks only send or retrieve data as needed.

The term “packet-switching” is derived from the fact that data is sent in small chunks. Each packet contains a payload, which in this case would be a snippet of voice data, and each one is sent along a different path via different routers. Once these packets can deliver their payloads to the destination computer, the data is reassembled into its original state.

Advantages of VoIP

The most frequently cited advantage of switching to a VoIP service provider is that it generally costs much less than maintaining a traditional phone system. Most modern businesses and residential households already have internet connections so there’s really no need for paying an additional phone bill, as well. Although making calls to landlines using VoIP services may still incur a small cost, it will be much lower than that of using a traditional phone.

A second serious advantage of VoIP is its versatility. It doesn’t matter whether callers are ringing up their friends down the street or their business associates half-way across the world. VoIP works the same way in both of these examples and if both parties are using VoIP services, the cost will be the same.

Disadvantages of VoIP

There are only a few disadvantages of VoIP and most of them can be accommodated easily by modern businesses. The first is that calls can wind up lagging or being dropped if the internet connection does not offer sufficient bandwidth to accommodate the voice data packets. This is only rarely an issue, though, since most companies and consumers alike have high-speed internet in today’s day and age.

The second issue is that VoIP phone systems rely on an internet connection and a power supply. If either of these goes out, they will be inaccessible. While it’s possible to maintain a backup generator to avoid power outages, there is little that can be done about internet connectivity issues on service providers’ ends beyond switching to more reliable internet services.

Available Features

A headset lying next to a laptopVoIP companies typically provide a number of free features that would cost extra if ordered from a normal phone company. These typically include caller ID, call waiting, transfers, repeat dials, return calls, and three-way calling.

Some carriers also offer advanced features that allow users to better manage their call experiences. These may include call forwarding, automated busy signals, sending calls directly to voice mail, and playing pre-recorded “not-in-service” messages upon request.

The Bottom Line

There are already plenty of popular services out there that use VoIP, including Skype and Teamspeak. They may not know it, but most modern consumers have already at least dipped their toes in the water when it comes to online calling. Given how much faster today’s iteration of the internet is than its predecessors and how much more reliable VoIP services have become, it just makes sense to consider making the switch and dropping that unnecessary landline phone bill today.

website-migration

While there are numerous rationales for migrating a website from one domain to another, there are specific questions site owners should always investigate prior to initiating any type of website migration. If your organization is currently considering migrating to a new domain, consider this website migration checklist first.

Explore the Available Options for Web Hosting

It generally pays to start planning a website transfer well in advance of the anticipated date for the move. One of the reasons organizations routinely consider a website migration is an unhappiness with the current provider. That means any provider selected must have the capability of meeting the organization’s current needs and, almost more importantly, have the capability to meet future needs as well. A successful website migration strategy must anticipate future needs and ensure the new provider has the capability of adapting to new technology and software.

Backup All Existing Website Files First

Backup your files before website migrationTo avoid losing valuable data, back up all files to a safe location before starting the website migration process. Consider using experts to ensure the backup process goes smoothly. While there are numerous plugins and applications available to assist with the process, it pays to work closely with a professional to prevent problems from developing. Having a complete backup available is a safety measure and should not be ignored under any circumstances.

Transfer Data Files and Website Files

Here’s another place where the assistance of experts can be helpful. All files must first be uploaded to a public_html directory using the new web hosting account. It’s vitally important that every step in the process be completed correctly to avoid issues when establishing the new website. The ultimate goal is to ensure the new site runs properly once the website migration is complete. When all necessary steps are completed correctly, the new site should function exactly as the old one did. If changes are being made to the site, discuss how to best implement those changes with a website expert.

Transferring the Domain Name

Here is another issue commonly causing issues during a website migration. In many cases, an organization’s domain name is registered along with the existing web hosting company. If that’s the case, the host should provide a guide outlining the steps required to successfully transfer the domain name. Determining how best to register a domain name when migrating can be complex, and there are a couple of options available. It pays, at this point, to discuss the pros and cons of each option with website migration experts, as doing so can prevent future complications and, in some cases, save money.

Moving Email Information to the New Site

Also transfer your emails when moving to a new hostThe majority of site owners elect to have their email accounts managed by their hosting company. If that’s the case, there is also a procedure available to ensure all email is transferred properly. If you’ve elected to host your email accounts elsewhere, the transfer process is simplified, as only the DNS information will have to be modified.

Finalizing the Process

Once the files are transferred to the new host and any required modifications are made to the configurations, the process is nearly complete. At this point, it’s vitally important to verify the site functions properly. Testing procedures are used to ensure all the site’s features are functioning properly. Hosting companies routinely provide some assistance with this process, but the onus to make sure all aspects of the site operate as needed is normally on the site owner.

If everything functions properly, now is the time to end the relationship with the former hosting organization and delete all files from their old locations. If all the files were properly transferred during the website migration, the site should operate seamlessly, with visitors being completely unaware of the changes. However, it’s common to encounter some issues during the migration, suggesting it is advisable to have some level of expert assistance available to deal with any problems encountered during the migration or when testing the site in its new location.

Once the website is up and running, it pays to continually monitor it to quickly identify potential issues and ensure the site’s search engine rankings don’t suffer. SEO efforts should continue unabated to further ensure the site fulfills its objectives.

With the first computers, data needed to be stored on a physical disc, limiting the amount of data that could be stored at one time. As technology improved, far more data could be stored on a single physical drive or disk. Now, data can be stored in the cloud, such as Microsoft Azure, making it easily accessible from just about anywhere and allowing businesses to take advantage of cloud services to do more for their company. Though cloud computing is relatively new, it’s the way of the future and something many businesses already use at least a little bit.

Cloud Computing and Virtual Machines

Cloud computing is a way of accessing storage, software, services, and more through the internet instead of needing to rely on a local disk. It’s similar to business networking, where businesses can access data inside their offices from different computers. Instead of being limited to computers using the office’s network, however, the information can be accessed anywhere. If the CEO is traveling for business purposes, they can still access everything even if they’re on the other side of the world. If an employee needs to work from home one day, they can still access data, services, and the software they need for work from their home, ensuring they’re still productive even when they aren’t in the office. As long as there is an internet connection, the information stored in the cloud can be securely accessed.

business man holds laptop computer and social network in server roomOne service available with cloud computing is the ability to use a virtual machine. Virtual machines are one way to use the cloud data, and they’re perfect as a way for businesses to allow employees to work outside of the office or for management to keep an eye on everything and access what they need no matter where they are. They’re also perfect for testing software, apps, and more so that any data needed can be accessed and tested without impacting the rest of the network. A virtual machine is a computer file that operates as if it was the computer, using virtual components to interact with the cloud data so it can be tested and changed securely and without the risks associated with testing software or services on a computer.

The Microsoft Azure Service

Cloud computing is available through several different providers. Most cloud computing is simply a way to store data that can be easily accessed by the business when they need it. Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, is a cloud computing service that offers more than 600 different services for businesses. This offers virtual machines, basic cloud services, and app services for businesses to use. It offers everything businesses might need and can be used by any business, no matter how large or small.

Using the cloud services through Azure allows businesses to minimize the need for costly hardware, reduce the number of IT professionals the business will require, and can otherwise save businesses quite a bit of money in the long run. Since Azure has a 99.99% uptime guarantee, it also allows businesses to create backup systems just in case anything happens. Various plans are available, so business owners can get what they need without worrying about paying for services they aren’t going to use.

Types of Services Offered Through Azure

Microsoft AzureTerminalserver offers any cloud services businesses might be interested in. This includes services dedicated to computing, networking, the web, databases, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, security, developer tools, and management tools. Microsoft also offers migration services, so businesses can easily move their data to the cloud. This ensures the data is safe in case local hardware is damaged and helps make sure businesses can transfer all data to the cloud as quickly as possible.

Why Use Microsoft Azure

Businesses taking advantage of Microsoft Azure can use services that may be too expensive to do on their own or may not be possible because of their local network. It allows them to use tools that can make the company more productive and efficient as well as make changes when needed. The cloud database options make it easier for businesses to access the data anywhere, to ensure all data is backed up appropriately, and to protect the data from any issues. Businesses can look into the huge number of services offered through Azure to see what it can do for them and to find out how it might be beneficial for their company.

Today, cloud computing is the way for business owners to protect their business, store data easily, and make sure they have access to all the services they might need. One of the top options today, Microsoft Azure offers everything a small, medium, or large business might need and makes it easy for a company to get everything set up. Start using Azure for your business to see how beneficial it can be.

What is ROM?

ROM, which stands for read-only memory, is a type of memory that cannot usually be changed once it has been created. This is essential for many electronics today, from computers to microwaves to smartphones. Just about anything that needs to boot up a program to turn on will have ROM installed for that purpose.

What does ROM mean?

ROM is a type of memory that is non-volatile and where modifications are difficult, if they’re possible to do. Non-volatile means that the information is not going to be deleted if the device is turned off. This type of memory is typically used to store firmware that is unlikely to need to be updated, or that is not intended to be updated. Some newer types of ROM have been created that do allow some modifications, but in these cases, it is either very difficult to modify the ROM, or it will take a very long time to accomplish. There is typically a limited number of times that ROM can be modified and, in most cases, it will require special equipment.

How Does it Work?

Progress bar.ROM was originally created to use in computers as a way to start the computer so it could load the hard disk and the operating system. Eventually, the ROM included the full BIOS for the computer, allowing the computer to turn on and load the operating system. ROM typically contains just the necessary information to get everything started and to allow the computer or device to access other types of memory, like the hard disc, to run properly. When the computer or other device is turned on, the ROM gives it the information needed to start working, so without the ROM, the device would not be able to run.

ROM Versus RAM

ROM and RAM, or random-access memory, are often confused. RAM is volatile memory, where ROM is non-volatile. With RAM, if the device is turned off, all the information is deleted. With ROM, if the device is turned off, the information is still on the memory and able to be accessed when the device is turned on again. RAM chips can read data faster than ROM, but because the information is deleted when the device is turned off, ROM is needed to allow the device to turn on and boot properly.

Types of ROM

ROM, as mentioned, is typically read-only. However, there are ROM chips that can be modified, though there are limits to this. The different types of ROM that are standard today include MROMs, PROMs, EPROMs, and EEPROMs. It can be modified and how difficult the modification is to do will be different for each type of ROM.

  • MROM – Also known as masked ROM, this is the original type of ROM and is read-only. These cannot be modified, so once the information is on the ROM, it cannot be changed by anyone. To boot a device differently, it would be necessary to replace the ROM with a different one.
  • PROM – Programmable read-only memory, or PROM, is a type of ROM that can be modified one time only. Programmers can purchase this without any information on it, then use specialized equipment to put their own information on it. Once they have put the information on the ROM, it cannot be changed or replaced.
  • EPROM – This type of ROM, erasable and programmable read-only memory, can be erased and modified by users. However, it needs to be exposed to UV light via special equipment for up to 40 minutes for the information to be erased. After that, the ROM can be modified with new information. Most of the time, there is a limit to how many times this can be done.
  • EEPROM – EEPROM, also known as electrically erasable and programmable read-only memory, is a type of ROM that can be erased and reprogrammed electronically. Erasing is typically done one byte at a time, so the process can be very slow. However, this is the easiest type of ROM to modify, and modifications can be done thousands of times before the ROM no longer works.

Examples of How ROM is Used

Most people are familiar with ROM being used on the computer. It works to load the BIOS information so the operating system can start whenever the computer is turned on. However, ROM is Man holding smartphone.actually in a variety of different items that people use every day. Microwaves use ROM to operate, as do dishwashers. ROM is also used in calculators, laser printers, and other devices that need to be able to start and access information immediately. They are also used in smartphones today, and many of these are reprogrammable so users can create their own custom ROMs for their smartphone.

Custom ROM Options

Some types of ROM, like the EEPROM, can be modified electrically, which makes them easier to modify. A user can then change the information on them to make the device work the way they prefer by using special programs. Custom ROMs are commonly seen in smartphones as they give users root access and allow them to add or subtract features on their phone. The custom ROM programs are designed to change the information on the ROM inside the smartphone. Some popular custom ROMs that are available today can get rid of some preinstalled software on smartphones as well as add more customization options that users can take advantage of. There are a variety of options for custom ROMs to modify the ROM built into the smartphone, so anyone can use these to change how their smartphone works and the features they can use.

ROM is essential for most devices today. While it is intended to be read-only, some types can be modified, allowing users to adjust the information to meet their own preferences. This type of memory is used in many devices, including microwaves, dishwashers, smartphones, and anything else that needs to remember how to work if it’s turned off and back on again.

RAM is short for “random access memory”. This essential component is what allows computers, smartphones, and other devices to run efficiently. Without RAM, a phone would be unable to run applications and even simple tasks such as browsing the web on a computer would take an intolerably long time.

What is RAM?

To those in the know, the name says it all. Random access memory is a particularly fast variety of computer memory that is able to temporarily store the information required to run programs and applications, load pages, and access data.

It’s important to differentiate between a computer’s RAM and, say, its hard drive. While both of these components store data, the hard drive offers long-term storage of information while the RAM only stores relevant data on a temporary basis.

These two components can be compared to long-term and short-term memory in the human brain. When information is stored in long-term memory, it takes a while to recall it but short-term memories can be pulled up remarkably fast. Similarly, accessing information on the hard drive takes a while, while accessing RAM provides almost instantaneous results.

How it Works

The reason that data stored in a device’s RAM can be accessed so quickly is that the RAM is hard-wired into the system. The lack of cabling or connection means that there is no significant latency. The fact that RAM is designed to provide fast access to data means that it can only store information for a limited period of time, though.

RAM is designed to move seamlessly from one task to the next at a moment’s notice. This offers the perfect solution to facilitating high-speed tasks, but it also means that any information stored in a device’s RAM will be lost when the system is turned off or the user has moved on to a new task. That’s why devices need both RAM and long-term storage systems like hard drives and SSDs.

Types of RAM

Even fairly computer-literate consumers often don’t realize that the term RAM can actually be used to describe several different kinds of memory. Most often, when RAM is mentioned in conversation the speaker is actually referencing what’s known as dynamic random access memory (DRAM) or synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM).

Today’s computers almost always utilize DDR4 RAM, although older computers that use DDR2 or DDR3 RAM are still available in some places. These different numbers are used to indicate which generation of RAM is being used by the computer, so higher numbers translate to greater bandwidth and faster speeds.

Despite their similar nomenclature and purpose, these different generations or RAM are actually surprisingly dissimilar. With each new generation, physical changes have been made. While that’s good news for consumers, it does mean that different generations of RAM are not interchangeable.

Specialty RAM

When consumers begin to venture into the sphere of specialized gaming computers, they may begin to hear other terms that pertain to RAM thrown around. These include VRAM, or video RAM.  VRAM is a type of specialized short-term memory that is available only to computers’ graphics cards or graphics chips.

Technically, the VRAM used in graphics cards should be referred to as Graphics DDR SDRAM, but that’s a bit of a mouthful. Most people default to either VRAM or GDDR. Different generations of GDDR are denoted by numbers, just like ordinary RAM, with most contemporary graphics cards using GDDR5.

Some of the newest graphics cards feature GDDR5X standard, though, and the Nvidia RTX Turing graphics card uses GDDR6. Niche graphics cards may also use High-Bandwidth-Memory (HBM) RAM, a highly-specialized and consequently quite expensive and difficult to procure type of memory. Unless they’re professional gamers or designers, though, most users will find that the GDDR5 RAM is more than sufficient to meet their needs.

Size Versus Speed

As with most things in life, size just isn’t everything when it comes to buying RAM. The majority of operating systems and applications actually use a fairly minimal amount of RAM, with minimum requirements ranging from one gigabyte to eight gigabytes. That’s why just buying more RAM doesn’t necessarily speed up a computer.

What’s arguably more important than having massive amounts of RAM is speeding up the computer’s memory. Most DDR4 memory will run anywhere between 2,133 MHz and 3,000 MHz. This is adequate for the majority of users, but those who find that they need some extra speed may want to invest in faster DDR4 kits, which can run at speeds of more than 4,000MHz.

Multi-Channel RAM Kits

The majority of today’s memory is dual-memory. All that means is that two RAM sticks of the same type and speed can be accessed at the same time, speeding up the computer’s short-term memory. High-end RAM kits are typically multi-channel, rather than dual-channel. They may support three or even four RAM modules.

When installing new RAM modules, it’s important to pay attention to the color of the slots on the computer’s motherboard. New RAM must be installed in the right place. Each motherboard is different, but information about where to install RAM modules can be found in each machine’s individual help manual.

Understanding the Labels

By now, consumers should have an idea of how to evaluate their computers’ current RAM and whether or not they need to upgrade. Choosing the right RAM can be difficult even for those who know exactly what they’re looking for, though, as the labels typically consist of long strings of numbers and letters.

The first number following the DDR designation will be the RAM’s MHz speed. Often, this number is followed by a “PC” label. This will appear as “PC” followed by the MHz speed multiplied by eight.

Timing is typically listed as several numbers that are separated by dashes. These numbers refer to the latency of the memory. Although hardcore gamers may need to purchase high-performance RAM that features increased timings, the majority of average consumers really don’t need to worry too much about this feature.

The Bottom Line

RAM functions as short-term memory. When a computer doesn’t have enough RAM, it can slow things down significantly. Although many niche and high-quality RAM kits are available, the average consumer doesn’t need more than a standard DDR4 dual-channel kit. However, top-tier gamers may find that it’s worth investing in more advanced GDDR so that they can run games with complex graphics at optimal speeds.