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What You Need to Know About Joomla Security

The best things in life are free, and Joomla is no exception. But as with all open-source frameworks, you must be even more wary of security breaches. 

Joomla’s Impact

With over 35 million downloads, Joomla is now second only to WordPress in the Content Management System (CMS) market. Approximately 3.2% of all websites use Joomla’s flexible structure and diversity of features. Its ease of use makes it an attractive CMS for all kinds of websites including government, restaurants, and businesses, just to name a few. 

On Joomla, everyone can contribute; this freedom lies at the heart of open-source philosophy. While open-source provides the ideal landscape for innovation, it also remains vulnerable to hackers and problematic extensions.

Even if security isn’t your specialty, that is no excuse not to protect your Joomla site. Let’s look at typical attacks on Joomla sites, and the preventative measures to keep your site running at full strength.

Joomla Security Tips for webmasters who want to protect their website against threats

Common Security Vulnerabilities in Joomla and How to Protect Against Them

SQL Injections:

Hackers will often go to the jos_users table to steal administrator passwords.

Solution: Change your database prefix to something only you will recognize. Warning: only do this when you are installing your Joomla website, and not after (this will break your site).

Version Vulnerability:

Most security breaches only exist within a specific version of Joomla.

Solution: Remove the version number of all of your extensions. Here is a guide to walk you through the steps.

Old Joomla framework and Extensions

Letting your old extensions gather dust is more than inefficient, it’s a security issue. Most problems in Joomla are resolved in later versions.

Solution: Keep Joomla and your extensions up to date. In fact, hackers tend to take advantage of old Joomla extensions more than the core files.

These are some of the most common issues involved with Joomla, but this list is by no means exhaustive. The most effective way to protect your Joomla site is to hire a third party security company. Some security firms offer services specifically for Joomla. Incapsula, for example, offers custom Joomla security plugin, along with its CDN based website performance enhancement features.

If You Do Get Hacked…

The best course of action is to reset your website to an earlier backup. Backup early and often! Use .htaccess to go offline, and from there put a password protect on the most important folders on your site. Even then, you should be mindful of the possibility that your site and your backups contain well masked malicious backdoor shell files, which could be used for repeat abuse – even after the recovery process. Detecting such backdoor methods requires dedicated security solutions, like the one offered by the extension mentioned above or by similar security services.

Using an open source CMS comes with its risks. Don’t let these warnings discourage you from using Joomla for your site, but do not take them lightly. If you are in charge of your Joomla site’s security, remain vigilant, and take the necessary steps to protect your site.

Computer Tips & Tutorials

How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi – An Expert’s Guide to Safety and Precaution

Whilst Wi-Fi is undoubtedly incredibly useful for modern businesses and web users seeking to access the Internet when out and about, many people don’t realize that it can also pose quite a substantial security risk. That’s why we’ve written this piece focusing on the different ways in which you can keep your device secure whilst using a public WIFI spot, whether you’re using a new HP or a new Lenovo laptop tablet combo or a standard smartphone.

How to Stay Safe Anytime Your Are using Public Wi-Fi

Turn off the sharing features

It’s important to edit your sharing settings before you log onto any public Wi-Fi. Not doing so may allow anyone else using it to potentially access your computer or mobile device.

How to Stay Safe When Using Public Wi-Fi by Olawale Daniel

Things that should be turned off include remote logins and the sharing of any music, printers or files. These can all be stopped by accessing the advanced sharing settings within the Network and Internet Settings in the control panel. On Macs, it’s a matter of simply going to system preferences, then to the Sharing tab and un-checking all of the options.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network routes the traffic through a secure connection even when the actual web is powered by a public Wi-Fi, making it perfect for helping to increase the security of a the computer. Preferably, a paid Wi-Fi is a good idea for anyone that wants to absolutely guarantee security but there are also some free half-decent ones out there.

Don’t connect automatically

Many modern smartphones actually connect automatically to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot without asking, which should be avoided. Double check the Wi-Fi settings of your handset to make sure that any options to disable auto-connection are turned off. Not doing so could theoretically mean that your device automatically connects to a malicious network without you realising.

Try and use HTTPS

HTTPS is a form of encryption that many websites use in order to keep the connection secure. (For instance, it’s used by banks and online retailers, who have to be safe if they’re to maintain the trust of their customers). Fortunately, there is an actual browser plugin that enables users to use an HTTPS connection every single time they visit a website. It’s called HTTPS Everywhere and it’s highly recommended for those that use public Wi-Fi frequently.

Use two-factor identification where possible

Two-factor identification has become more and more frequent in recent months, with companies keen to enhance their security processes. Two factor simply involves requiring two passwords to log-in, with a standard password usually matched with a code being sent to the user’s phone, which is then entered in. Without the user’s phone, a hacker will be unable to log into a two factor account, upping the security of it considerably.

Make sure you double check the network name

Anyone who regularly checks into free Wi-Fi will know that there are usually a number of different networks ready to go. It’s important to make sure that you don’t log into a fake one. Someone trying to catch people out in McDonalds (to use a hypothetical example) might set up a network called ‘MacD Wi-Fi’ in the vicinity of one of the restaurants. Those that think they’re using a legitimate hotspot would then log-in to a malicious network without realizing. Always double check that you’re connecting to the right network.

I know these tips are just few among many that you can use, but I have to leave the decision to you now! So, what are other effective security technique you’ve used in the past that worth sharing?

Motoring World News

Toyota vs. Australia 2017 – A Spelling Doom

“We did many things that we could to transform , but the reality still remains that there are too many actors beyond our control that makes it unviable to build cars in Australia.” Toyota Australia CEO Max Yasuda said on monday.

This is evident enough to know how difficult it is to keep up building and investing in a country without making any gains due to some crisis in the country which the government pay less attention to correct. Putting all the factors in consideration, anyone could reasons why they keep up building in Australia. the factors they listed include, high cost of dollars, high cost of manufacturing and lots of challenges in the country.

Toyota to close Australia manufacturing plants

They have resolved to stop building in Australia come the end of 2017. However, following this resume, other auto manufacturing car companies also resolved building cars in Australia too. General Motors Co. announced that it would also stop its manufacturing in Australia in 2017. Ford Motor Co. also announced it would stop production in May 2016 in Australia.

If these actions should take place, about 2,500 jobs and more would be lost and this would lead people to join illegal practises that will do them and the country more harm than good.

This action, when implemented would spell a doom on the country’s economy and also to other manufacturing companies available in the country. when all car companies are all complaining about the high cost of production and the slim chances of growing financially.

In another development, according SMH report, it clearly shows that Toyota’s decision to stop producing from Australia emanated from its employees’ refusal to accept pay-cut proposed by the company towards the end of last year.

The government of Australia should sit down and think of the right thing to do in order to help curb unemployment in the country at large.

When and if these companies should go ahead with what they have said, it would be hard for Australia to still stand strong economic wise in the business world as one of the leading nations of the world.

We can only hope for the best.

Discovery Information and Communication Technology (ICT) News

Four “Not So” Far Off – Far Fetched Technologies

For those of you out there thinking Google Glass or the latest smartphone wonder are high tech, please consider the following scientific innovations. While Facebook and social media take up much of the tech news space, entrepreneurs and science geeks are headed to the stars, literally. 

Super Earth - The super-Earth has a relatively small rocky core, an atmosphere of methane, water and hydrogen and an extended hydrogen envelope.“A diagram comparing the Earth, at left, to a cross-section of a super-Earth on the right. The super-Earth has a relatively small rocky core, an atmosphere of methane, water and hydrogen and an extended hydrogen envelope. Credit: H. Lammer”

Upcoming and Surprising Technologies and Innovations

Possibility and the Not So “Super-Earths”

Discovered by astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail orbiting the pulsar PSR B125+12, the very first so-called “super-Earth” were at first thought capable of supporting life by many experts. The term “super-Earth” does not actually have anything to do with being Earth-like though. Other than having rocky cores and being situated in a “temperate” zone around a parent start that is neither too hot nor too cold, these celestial bodies range in size from between one and ten times the mass of planet Earth. Therefore the term “super” does apply.

While some scientists might like to imagine thriving civilizations on these recently encountered “Earth-like” cousins, recent research using computer simulations prove most probably have hellish atmospheric conditions with pressures exceeding many hundreds of times our own hospitable one. With 100 to 1000 times the density of hydrogen our own oceans contain, this larger than Earth class of planets are (according to the Royal Astronomical Society):

“Rather than being super-Earths, these worlds are more like mini-Neptunes.”

Does the concept of “super-Earth” habitability being disproven dampen the scientific spirit that pervades the search for extraterrestrial life? The white coats of NASA’s Kepler Mission think not Yesterday NASA spokespersons announced the discovery of 715 new planets orbiting 305 different stars. Many of these, according to NASA, within multiple planetary systems much like our own. What’s most interesting in this discovery is the pointed lack of “super-Earths” as compared to exoplanets similar to our own home’s mass. Fully 95 percent of these new discoveries we the size of, or smaller than our world. John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, offered this hope and this “out there” scientific objective:

“The Kepler team continues to amaze and excite us with their planet hunting results. That these new planets and solar systems look somewhat like our own, portends a great future when we have the James Webb Space Telescope in space to characterize the new worlds.”

Harpoon - An artist’s conception shows a sampling rocket, with a tether linking a return capsule inside the rocket to a recovery craft.An artist’s conception shows a sampling rocket, with a tether linking a return capsule inside the rocket to a recovery craft. Courtesy Chad Truitt / UW

Space Harpoons Away

Since humankind first began the exploration of outer space, the “landing” and return flight home have preoccupied space flight theory. Today, even our most advanced concepts of exploration are being challenged. Why should we worry about landing gently on other worlds when the technology to “harpoon” samples from far off world’s is here? Enhancing our understanding of the solar system and distant space takes on a new complexion with tech like Robert Winglee of the University of Washington describes.

In a recent report to NASA, Winglee outlines advanced concepts in sampling systems destined to grab “cores” from hostile environments, even far off asteroids and planetoids. The project, “Sample Return Systems for Extreme Environments,” proposes rocketed probes hitting the surface of a planet, then burrowing a distance in, and the sample being essentially “reeled in” by an associated spacecraft.

Sounds far, farfetched right? Well NASA has funded the project with over $500,000. Testing of the concepts has already begun.

Robotics - The Astrobotic Team field testingThe Astrobotic Team field testing – Courtesy Astrobotic

Lunar X and the Moon Express Race

On February 19 Google announced the finalists in their Google Lunar X Prize $30 million dollar space race contest for the first privatized moon exploration mission. Finalists include;  Astrobotic, Moon Express, Japan’s Hakuto, Part-Time Scientists and Team Indus, all intent on reaching the moon and more.

Astrobotic, is John Thornton’s affordable robotics into space initiative. Like the other teams, they’re objective is to safely put a lander on the moon and to deploy a rover for what they term “lightweight robotic excavation” from the moon’s surface. As for Moon Express, Co-founders Naveen Jain, Bob Richards, and Barney Pell built a team to pave the way for mining the Moon for rare resources. Using MX1 rocket tech and advanced robotics, this team seems intent not just on commercial success, but as Jain makes mention of; Moon exploration comes imbued with inspiration that John F. Kennedy expanded upon:  “We will go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard!” Japan’s finalis, Hakuto, has plans for a lander and a rover too, but by forming up groups of technology innovators such as White Label Space and Swiss Propulsion Laboratory to make the various components.

Rounding out the competitor list Part-Time-Scientists (Germany), and Team Indus both completed technological objectives to enter the final phase of the Google X competition.

Going Up? Space Elevators May Be Reality Soon

If you look up the term “space elevator” you’ll invariably find a Wikipedia entry that begins:

“A space elevator is a proposed type of space transportation system. Its main component is a ribbon-like cable anchored to the surface and extending into space.”

Then, once you let that sink in, digging a little deeper should reveal NOT that the idea is ridiculous, but that the reality of such space transport is not so far-fetched after all. When Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky envisioned this mode of space travel back in the 1800’s, his colleagues had to have been wondering at the man’s sanity. But while so-called compression or tensile structures have been the fodder of speculation in the past, the development of such technologies as carbon nanotubes, make tensile strength variables far more feasible today.

Back in the 1990s, engineer David Smitherman of NASA/Marshall’s Advanced Projects Office, postulated the feasibility of a “skyhook.” Continual progressive theory, even the 2010  Space Elevator Games, these and more incentives lead us to today. Now LiftPort Group has the vision to; Link humanity from our home, Earth, to our Moon, to our planets, and to the stars. The group says they’ll establish an operational space elevator to the Moon by late 2019.

Impossible you say? Well, the International Space Elevator Consortium says, probable. NASA, The Spaceward Foundation, the Japanese Space Elevator Technical and Engineering Competition, and many others award, fund, and otherwise initiate the reality that such literal elevators will soon carry people and cargo to and from space, the moon, even the other planets. 


The Best Option of Multifunction Printer

When it comes to finding the right printer, everyone seems to have their own unique standards on what the “right” printer actually is. Some people only care about speed and couldn’t care less about the quality of the print. Others care desperately about how attractive the colours are, how clean the blacks look and they’re willing to wait for it. Then there are others who are sort of in the middle-ground on the whole issue. No matter what a specific consumer’s needs are, the fact remains that there is a printer out there that perfectly suits those needs.

The trick is to start out by looking honestly at what is needed from the printer and going forward from there. The truth is that most large offices don’t need to have a printer that produces perfect colours every time. Most of the time, these offices just need something that prints with lightning speed so they can get their reports out on time. On the other hand, professional photographers who do their own prints can’t settle for just “good enough” when it comes to things like clarity and colour reproduction. The sheer diversity of the potential uses for this technology is enough reason to step back and look at the bigger picture.

10 Questions about Ink and Toner you're afraid to Ask

Many people find that they are better off with a printer that can do reasonably well in all regards. For these people, a good multifunction printer is the best option and it can be more than suitable for their needs. In truth, the people wanting a printer like this will likely outweigh the amount of people who would need one extreme over another. To put it more simply, homeowners will be specifically consistent users of printers like this. Businesses will always end up caring about one extreme or another depending on the unique needs of their industry.

In the end, there are a lot of different printing options out there for people to choose from. The trick is to not assume that one printer is more of a necessity than another based solely on specs. It’s important to first look closely at one’s own needs before moving forward with looking at specific types of printers. This is the best way to be sure that the printer being purchased will actually live up to the needs of the user. When this caveat is taken to heart, it’s easy to find the perfect printer for any given need.

What are the other things to look out for when looking to buy a printer that’s different from what I’ve mentioned in this article?