November 2021

  • Internet, Website

    Guide to Choosing an SSL Certificate

    SSL Certificate – What is it?

    The Secure Sockets Layer certificate, or for short SSL certificate, is a useful cryptographic protocol that serves for authenticating the identity of a website. 

    Secure Sockets Layer is a data file that produces an encrypted connection between a browser and a server. When they connect, the SSL certificate is verified. That allows accomplishing a communication between them that is protected. The result is protected access to the user’s sensitive data, for instance, email address, payment specifications, and so on. In addition, only the particular user and the website are allowed to examine that info.

    As a user, usually, it is very easy to identify visually if a website holds an SSL certificate or not. In case there is an added “S” appearing after “HTTP,” the website has such a digital certificate.

    How does it work?

    It starts when a user wants to visit your website and connect to it. If you already hold an SSL certificate installed, the server is going to transfer it to the device of the user. Next, the user’s browser is going to utilize the public key of the certificate and decide if it is genuine, and also, it will create a symmetric session key. Then the server is able, with its private key, to decrypt the symmetric session key. So now both participants have trust in each other. If it is needed, they can utilize the session key for other further decryption and encryption. This process is also commonly referred to as an SSL handshake.

    Types of SSL certificates

    Domain Validation (DV SSL). This type of SSL certificate is actually cost-effective, plus getting it is easy. With it, you receive a basic level of encryption and security. In order to get one, the Certificate Authority (CA) is going to check through email if actually, the one appealing for the certificate is the true owner of the registered domain name. Moreover, the CA is going to review if the email you presented is matching with the one registered for the domain in the WHOIS record. Then, you are going to receive a message, and in case your response is accurate, the DV certificate is quickly issued. Finally, you should receive it in a file that you simply add to your website. 

    The DV SSL is suitable for websites, such as portfolios, blogs, that are not operating with the sensitive data of the users.

    Organization Validation (OV SSL). This type is more pricey compared to DV SSL, and the process is more time-consuming because it’s more detailed. Moreover, the level of encryption that it offers is higher, plus it strongly authorizes the company’s integrity and legitimacy. The CA is going to check the company’s information, including name, current physical address, telephone number, and domain ownership, to prove that it is actually a reliable organization. In case the CA decides that your company is authentic, the OV SSL can be published in a few days. It is going to present the company’s name, city, and country where it exists. This certificate is suitable for larger companies and also for government agencies. 

    Extended Validation (EV SSL). This type of certificate provides a pretty strong level of encryption, security, and company integrity authentication. Yet, compared with the previous two, the EV SSL takes a longer time and is more expensive to get. The CA makes some extra steps to validate your company, such as examining legal documentation and more. Typically businesses that handle a lot of continuous transactions are the ones requiring such certificates. It is a necessity for them to ensure security for their users and make sure every payment or data transfer is protected. Such organizations are the different financial institutions, banks, global brands, government, e-commerce enterprises, tech, and more.

  • Internet, Network

    Uses for FTP that you may not know about

    FTP is one of the protocols that are a lot popular. Moreover, it has been around since 1971​. In present days, it could be implemented in some interesting situations. So, let’s take a minute to explain a little bit more about it.

    FTP (File Transfer Protocol) explained.

    File Transfer Protocol, or just FTP for short, is a standard communications protocol used to transfer files between devices over a network. In addition, the two have a TCP/IP (Internet) connection. As a network protocol connecting a user and a server, FTP gives the ability for users to download different files, pages, or programs which are available on other services. When the user requires to download the data to their personal device, they are utilizing FTP.

    It is important to note that FTP does not apply encryption. For the purpose of authentication, it only relies on cleartext usernames and passwords. Unfortunately, that makes the transference of information sent with FTP defenseless to common practices of impersonation and other types of attacks.Yet, there is SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) which is able to provide secure transfer of files.

    ​What are the advantages?

    • It provides schedule transfers. 
    • With FTP, you are able to transfer very large files.
    • It is possible to renew an interrupted FTP connection.
    • With it, you are able to send several directories with files at the same time. That way, you speed up the transfer process a lot.

    ​When to use it?

    • It is common to use File Transfer Protocol to download big files over the Internet.
    • It is possible to use it for uploading an extensive file to your web hosting.
    • It is a great option when you want to make a backup of your website.

    Interesting uses of FTP

    1. You can collect data for connected devices – The number of IoT devices is increasing, and all of the machines are connected to the Internet, like laptops, computers, tablets. You can get all of the data and transfer it over a wireless network without the need for human interaction. By setting up automated FTP transfers, the data transfers regularly. 
    2. Content distribution network (CDN) – Large media content organizations and different radio and TV shows require quick and stable data transfer. That way they achieve shows to air on time. The ability of FTP to carry huge amounts of data is a benefit for them. 
    3. E-commerce business – Online shopping is great, and it has a lot of benefits. Yet, there is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) assists e-commerce companies by transferring the information to different essential for the company systems, like analytics. That way, the organization can keep moving forward.
    4. Third-Party Logistics (3PL) – We all desire things to happen as fast as possible. A lot of 3PL services utilize secure FTP for sending packages and transaction data. In addition, they have to share information fast and keep the order fulfillment correct.
    5. Mars Roving – Due to its reliability, one of the most critical photographs of a generation was trusted for transfer through FTP. It was set up as an automated process to send images from Mars to Earth. The File Transfer Protocol was capable of handling it.
  • Network

    Load balancing for efficient traffic management

    What is load balancing?

    Load balancing is a great and very commonly used method implemented for managing the traffic of a hostname. With it, you are able to effectively and in a coordinated way to spread the incoming network or application traffic through a number of servers.

    If you own and maintain a website with a lot of popularity, that definitely means your website is going to receive massive traffic daily. In addition, it has to be able to operate with a large number of receiving requests from the users. Also, for every request has to be provided an answer that is right and with the exact part of the information, like text, picture, video, or application data. The whole process has to be performed in the quickest and safest way.

    First, the load balancers are going to implement several criteria and examine the incoming traffic. Next, as the following step, they decide and decide to let the traffic proceed or, in a different case, to prevent it from continuing. They could redirect it to a separate server based on the load of packets at the moment or other parameters. 

    How does load balancing work?

    The usual order of how load balancing work looks like:

    1. Traffic comes to your website. Users send many requests to your website’s server through the Internet.
    2. The traffic is spread over the server resources. The load balancer receives every request and guides it to a suitable server.
    3. Every server works with a reasonable workload. The server gets the request and is able to approve it. Then it returns an answer to the balancer if it is not overwhelmed with an extreme amount of requests.
    4. The server replies to the query. The process is performed in backward order to transfer the server’s reply back to the user.

    Types of Load Balancers

    The load balancer manages the upcoming traffic, and it could arrange it depending on:

    • When was the arrival of the query? – This method is a very simple and popular way to balance the traffic. Every query goes to a different server, depending on the time it arrives. For illustration, request one proceeds to server one, request two goes to server two, and so on. It starts all over, after that. 
    • What is the location of the query? – In that case, the load balancer recognizes from where the traffic is appearing. Next, it redirects it to a specific IP address that is going to provide a quicker answer and better performance. The perfect example of this type is GeoDNS. 
    • Is the server busy? – A wise way to manage the traffic is to base it on the occupation of the servers. The queries are going to move to the next most nearby server in a case when the primary server is overloaded. The network will continue to operate efficiently.
    • Weighted balancing – You could choose what value to be based on. It defines which server should, and it is able to receive more traffic. For instance, such value could be the server’s computing power.
  • Website

    5 easy ways to improve your e-commerce website

    So, your e-commerce site is going well, but you want it to go great, right? Then, you came to the right place. Here we have 5 easy ways to improve your e-commerce website and boost its success.

    They will all give you a real advantage over your competition. Applying the to your e-commerce will change you from a small fish in the sea to a giant white shark!

    1. Make your e-commerce website fast

    There is no other single factor that could improve your overall website than speed. Your customers will be happier. Your site could rank better on search engines and all of that with just a bit of extra money.

    It depends on how much you are willing to spend, but here there are a few tricks.

    Managed DNS. One of the cheapest solutions that could have the most result. It is the system that resolves your domain name, the first step when somebody visits it. Additionally, it could offer features to manage this DNS traffic and reduce the downtime due to DNS outages.

    Better hosting. Improve your server so it can manage consumers’ queries faster. More power means better speed.

    CDN (Content Delivery Network). If you are a global company, have servers right where your clients are. Having more servers and a CDN will help you with speed and redundancy.

    2. Excellent products’ photography

    Nobody wants to buy a product that they can’t clearly see. So pay attention to the photos. They must be professionally taken. The products sizes should be easy to understand from them. Also add pictures of particular details of the products, that could be vital for the buyers. Yes, it costs, but if your shop has not so many items, you can also create a small photographic studio at your office and do the photos yourself.

    3. Have a blog for your e-commerce website

    Why would you need that? The answer is simple: it can get you closer to your audience and attract more potential buyers thanks to the blog’s articles. Starting a blog in WordPress is simple. Then think about content that could be easily relatable to your products. Excellently written content is a must. When you are writing it, add links and make it easy for the visitors to go to your e-commerce site. You will see both increased sales from your typical visitors and from newcomers too.

    4. Excellent customer service

    Who is the key to your success? Your customers! Your e-commerce site is growing thanks to them, so you should really think about them. Make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. Add Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook, or another channel of communication that they prefer. Creating chatbots can help you improve your customer service significantly because it can reduce the work for your employees.

    5. Fast check out

    Reduce the friction for your clients. Make the checkout process simple and fast. Yes, it helps a lot if you get profiles of all your clients and what they buy, but think about those who just want a quick purchase. Leave an option to buy with only essential data and no registration.

    Also, think about what payment methods and delivery options you include. Offer what is most popular in the clients’ countries, not only what is easiest for you. You will see that this care about the clients and their experience will pay off significantly in the future.

    Conclusion

    Here we gave you 5 ways to improve your e-commerce website. Go ahead and try them out. Have a great e-commerce site and plenty of clients!

  • DNS

    ​Verifying your domain with a TXT record

    Before we start the topic of the TXT records, we are just going to scratch the surface of the DNS (Domain Name System). First, we will learn what DNS is, a DNS record, and the TXT record. That way, you can better understand the process of the verification of your domain.

    ​What is DNS?

    DNS is the universal translater that links domain names to their IP addresses. It is used on all websites and many services like, for example, web hosting and emails. You should know that DNS works with DNS records, which are instruction sets, linking various resources (names, IP addresses, services, etc.) together.

    ​What is a DNS record?

    A DNS record is a simple text file that DNS uses to add data. The data can be which domain has which IP address, which domain name has another canonical name, which server is located, and more.

    ​What is a TXT record?

    The TXT record is a type of DNS record that can verify your domain and various authentication processes. The most common ways that you can use TXT are:

    • Sender Policy Framework (SPF). It is a technology that can give you feedback about your emails. Basically, it shows who can send emails on behalf of the domain’s owner.
    • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM). It is a method of encryption for your emails by linking the domain name and the emails. It is another anti-forging technology that improves the security of your emails.
    • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). It combines the features of the previous two and provides a more complex reporting mechanism. For example, it can show if the email was sent from the right domain and, if not, what the receiver should do.
    • Verify your cloud account. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others will use TXT records with a particular string of information that they will want you to add to your DNS.

    ​Verifying your domain with a TXT record.

    If you are using a service that wants you to verify that you are the real owner of a domain, that is often performed by adding a TXT record to the domain host’s zone. A service like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Google Console must first verify the owner before starting working.

    They will usually provide you a code, a string of random text, that they want you to put where your domain’s DNS records are located.

    If you are the owner of a domain, you would have access to your profile on your domain registrar’s site, where you bought a domain name. There you will need to create a TXT record. Depending on your provider, the type of record could be listed as TXT, DNS TXT, or TXT record.

    So go to the domain settings and search for DNS management (or similar, depending on your provider).

    Add a TXT record where the host will be your domain name, and the TXT value will be the code you previously copied.

    Save the new record.

    Now you need to wait until the propagation ends. Sometimes, changes can take up to 72 hours until your newly created record gets on all the DNS servers of the host.

    Done! You will be able to use the service already.

    ​Conclusion.

    Verifying your domain is a must when you want to use many services. The way to do it is simple, by adding a TXT record to your domain’s DNS zone.