Why is networking vital to your business?

Networking refers to the transfer and exchange of data between different nodes in an information system. A node is a connection point that can receive, create, send and store data along a network. Networking goes beyond simply having an internet connection. It entails not only the design and construction of the network, but also, management, maintenance and operation of the network infrastructure. This facilitates everything, from telephone calls, to text messaging, to streaming video, to the internet of things (IoT). Technology has improved considerably over the past few years and it is now much easier to set up a network for your business. Networks can be either wired or wireless.


Wired networks

Wired network connections make use of cables to connect to the internet and to other devices on the network. Data is transferred through ethernet cables. These networks represent very limited mobility and are an inconvenience for office workers, installation takes a very long time and the wires and cables make for a less tidy workplace. Wired networks also present benefits, mainly: reliability and stability, visibility, speed, security and cost-effectiveness.


Wireless networks

Most small to medium businesses make use of a Local Area Network (LAN), which comprises a group of computers and/or mobile devices connected to a server.  This allows employees to share a single internet connection, in order to access files, peripherals and software. With unlimited access to documents, emails, applications and other network resources, employees have the ability to roam freely and have constant access to the tools required to do their jobs. This, therefore, increases productivity by encouraging fast information sharing and gives workers the freedom to work from anywhere. Moreover, it gives offices a cleaner look, reduces falling hazards and allows visitors to have access to the internet. On the other hand, wireless connections can also represent vulnerability to cyber-attacks, interference and issues with range. Wired connections may be more suitable for offices with thick walls.

Therefore, businesses may opt for wireless or wired networks depending mainly on the budget, mobility, security and performance requirements.

In today’s internet-driven world, every business needs a reliable network to send and receive data internally, as well as, externally. As your business expands, you will need to set up a LAN at each location, all of which can then be connected to a Wide Area Network (WAN). It is vital for your business to choose a reliable IT Support and Consultancy company in order to have a smooth and efficient move from the old system to the new network.

5 Pro Tips for Safer Browsing

It’s not surprising that these days everyone is getting hacked. We spend most of our time on the internet, yet have no idea on how to protect ourselves against cybercrime.

When surfing the web, you leave a trail of data behind. Internet service providers, ad networks and social media websites can access this data and use it for commercial purposes. There are various ways one can secure their data so as to browse the web more securely and privately.

Here are 5 basic cybersecurity tips for keeping your data safe on the internet:

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

This service allows users to hide their internet traffic from their service provider. But this still sends all your internet traffic to the VPN provider and most free VPN providers sell your data to show you targeted ads. Even premium providers are often accused of not even encrypting customers’ data.

The best VPN providers are the ones you could create and control yourself, such as, Algo VPN. This setup allows you to control the connection, server and your data.


  1. Secure Domain Name System (DNS)

This converts web addresses to computer-readable IP addresses. Most devices automatically use the one set up by the internet provider. This means that your internet provider has access to all the websites that you visit. Moreover, in the US, Congress passed a law that allows internet providers to sell users’ browsing history to advertisers. This is why it is essential for you to have a secure and private DNS. Google’s Public DNS, for instance, is very easy to set up on your device or router. Cloudflare’s secure DNS is another great alternative, which encrypts your traffic, does not sell data to advertisers and only stores data for a maximum of 24hrs. You can get started with Cloudflare here: https://bit.ly/2Il6P9Q


  1. HTTPS

Using HTTPS-enabled websites ensures one has a secure connection from their device to the website that they are browsing. Major websites are generally HTTPS-enabled. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to have access to your online traffic or steal your data. Private and public generated keys are stored in your server and used to encrypt and then decrypt data in transit. Even when using a public Wi-Fi connection, an HTTPS-enabled website will protect you from spies on your network. Not every website you visit will be HTTPS-enabled or it may not be activated. This is why it is heavily recommended to use a browser extension that loads websites in HTTPS, by default. Such tool can be found here: https://bit.ly/18qiajr


  1. Get rid of Web plug-ins

You are more than likely to have forgotten about Flash and Java. This is due to them becoming obsolete. These plug-ins allow users to access interactive content on their browser. These have been replaced by HTML5, a technology integrated into web browsers. Thus, it is highly advisable that you remove such plug-ins from your browser. Most of these contain bugs and make your system more liable to attack, even by just being installed.


  1. Install plug-ins and extensions to increase security

Ad-blocker – apart from blocking ads, this protects you against harmful code that can track your web traffic. This extension also loads websites much faster. A popular open-source blocker can be found here: https://bit.ly/1QB8qq6


Cross-site tracker blocker – very small trackers are hidden on websites that track users from one website to another, in order to learn more about each user and serve the most suitable ads. When enabling this type of extension, users are somewhat hidden on the internet and are not visible to trackers. The following is reliable tool that gets the job done: https://bit.ly/19X2aH0