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What is a Multi Domain EV SSL Certificate?

Maintaining a  high level of online trust and security in compliance with industry-wide security regulations can be a daunting task for organizations  as it requires timely updates to the IT security infrastructure which are sometimes very expensive. To keep a sense of trust and security intact in the minds of website visitors and at the same time keeping expenditure within manageable limits is thus a very herculian task. This is where a  Multi Domain EV SSL security certificate comes in.

 Multi Domain EV SSL security certificateis a ‘best of both worlds’ product in a way that it provides stringent and tough authentication at par with  industry standard EV SSL (Extended Validation) certificate, and has the ability to package multiple domains , thereby effectively cutting down the costs for the buyer. For example, a single EV SSL MDC can secure- domainA.com, domainB.com, secure.domainA.com, login.domainB.com and anydomainunderthesky.any-tld. The most important thing to note here is that a EV Multi Domain SSL certificate covering all these five domains will cost significantly lesser than the cost for five separate security certificates for the same five domains.

A  Multi Domain EV SSL certificate also saves a lot of time as even though it requires each domain to  go through the domain authentication process separately, the identity of the website owner has to be authenticated only once. This makes it the perfect security solution for small and medium scale business  looking to secure their online transactions.

How do I choose the best  Multi Domain EV SSL certificate for me?
Like every other security solution, the selection of a  Multi Domain EV SSL certificate best suitable for you also depends on a number of factors, such as  price, the number of domains needed initially and flexibility in adding new ones during the time period covered by the certificate. For example, you plan to secure only 5 domains now under the Multiple Domain EV SSL, but anticipate a healthy growth of your business in future and hope to secure 10 domains in an year or so, then you must go for a provider who is flexible in adding new domains under a single certificate and has sales representatives/support available for live chat 24*7. You must also do a proper research on the provider and look for online reviews of their products online.

A detailed article to choose the best SSL provider is here, but these are  some vital features one must surely check while buying a Multi Domain EV SSL security certificate:

  • Security Level: Complete Business or Organization Validation.
  • Encryption Level: The Toughest 256 Bit SSL Encryption.
  • Serve License: Unlimited Server Licenses. (Without Any Extra Charges)
  • Issuance Speed: Within 1 to 10 working days.
  • Compatibility: 99.99% the latest web browsers and mobile device compatibility.
  • Assortment: SAN / Multi-Domain / UCC option obtainable.
  • Additional Plus: Order www.domain.com & additional plus secure.domain.com.

The multiple domain packages offered by SSL security certificate authorities differ considerably. For Example, GeoTrust offers five additional multiple domains with its starting package and provides an option to  add additional domains in increments of five, up to a total of 25. This is completely different from Comodo, while offers only three additional multiple domains with its starting package but gives an option to  add up to 100 total domains, one at a time. Every Multi Domain EV SSL certificate package thus has it’s own pluses and minuses depending on their price, difficulty of installation etc., the key lies in choosing one which best suits your needs.

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How New Privacy Laws will Affect Digital Commerce: Legislation of Privacy- (Part 2)

In my last post, I discussed how many of the newer and upcoming laws regarding privacy in the United States can heavily effect your life, from how you buy insurance to which bits of personal information are gathered while you shop online, go to the bank, or talk on the phone. While the first post of this four part series dealt with the effect of these laws on your digital life; this post, in particular, will focus on the effects of the same on Digital commerce.

Much like your social activities, your consumer habits and activities are also subject to privacy violations, especially when they occur online or through a mobile device. The following are laws that seek to address a number of major issues related to consumer privacy rights.

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)Proposed by Rep. Michael Rogers and co-sponsored by 111 other House members, CISPA is designed to help the government better investigate cyber threats and ensure that large networks are secure against the threat of cyberattack. To do that, the act would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies. While noble in its intention, the act has been widely criticized for endangering privacy and civil liberties, though some large technology companies (Microsoft and Facebook) favor it as a simple and effective way of sharing important cyber threat information with authorities. Read about CISPA in detail here.

  • How It Will Affect You: If CISPA becomes law, it would make it harder for cyber criminals to execute major attacks on networks. However, it may also mean that the government could also easily, and without warrant, track any individual’s browsing history. As the bill is presently worded, there are few limits on when or how the government can monitor an individual, and it may even make certain kinds of spyware legal if it is being used in good faith for a cybersecurity purpose.
  • Timeline: CISPA was introduced in late 2011 and was passed by the House of Representatives in mid-2012. While gaining early support, Obama’s advisors have argued that the bill could be a major risk to confidentiality and civil liberties and it is likely he would veto it if it passes.

CISPA-PDF (Maximize for better readability

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights On April 12, 2011, Senators Kerry and McCain introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights to establish a baseline code of conduct for how personal information can be used, stored, and distributed. The bill of rights has since been picked up by the Obama administration and adapted in a report titled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.” In both instances, the bill of rights lays out principles that would work to protect personal data and to improve consumer security. It is not a piece of legislation in itself, but a guideline for building and enacting future regulations and laws that will impact tech companies and online retailers.

  • How It Will Affect You: While nothing has been passed yet, this outline could help protect your personal data from abuse by retailers and ensure that it’s not sold to a third party or in any other way compromised.
  • Timeline: First proposed in early 2011, it could be quite some time before this bill of rights is translated into any real kind of legislation, especially if there is major pushback from Congress or tech companies themselves. If companies begin to better self-regulate privacy issues, no additional legislation may be needed.

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights PDF (Maximize for better readability)

Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013 Congressman Hank Johnson proposed the APPS Act early this year. The act is designed to address concerns with the data collection being done through applications on mobile devices and would require that app developers provide greater transparency about their data collection practices, ensure reasonable levels of data security, and allow users to opt out of data collection or have the option to delete data that has been collected on them.

  • How It Will Affect You: The APPS Act would ensure that apps on your phone aren’t gathering, storing, or sharing information about you without your knowledge or consent. It doesn’t mean that data can’t or won’t be collected, just that consumers will have greater knowledge and potentially the ability to opt out of certain aspects of this process.
  • Timeline: The draft of the bill was released in January 2013 and is currently just a discussion draft, meaning that it hasn’t been formally introduced for passage just yet. It’s likely that discussions with app developers and consumer advocates will help to shape the final draft and it could be a couple of years before any final decisions are made on the legislation.

Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013 PDF (Maximize for better readability)

Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 Worried about the potential risks for stalking posed by cell phones loaded with GPS and apps that gather information about a user’s location, Senator Al Franken, along with several co-sponsors, proposed this bill to fill in loopholes in federal law that allow companies to obtain location-based information on consumers and to share that information with third parties. While some app developers have complained that this hinders location-based advertising, others agree that privacy needs to be protected and that location-based tracking should only be allowed within apps that consumers have given consent to do so.

  • How It Will Affect You: The Location Privacy Protection Act, if passed, with protect you from having mobile data on your whereabouts tracked, stored, or shared without your knowledge or consent. It would not eliminate the ability of mobile technologies to track your location but would only ensure transparency and greater security, though it may be cumbersome with some existing systems of location-based advertising.
  • Timeline: The bill has been under development since 2011 and is still being refined and tailored take into consideration the needs of all involved parties. Franken is expected to push the measure later this year and if passed the bill could see enforcement as early as 2014.

Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 PDF (Maximize for better readability)
This is part 2 of a 4 part series. The part 1 illustrated in detail Privacy Laws related to Digital life and their effect on the same. Links to part 3 and 4, which will elaborate on effects of privacy laws on Work & Employment and Personal information will be updated soon.
Update: The part 3, which illustrates in detail Privacy Laws related to Work and Employment and their effect on the same has now been updated.
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How to Choose the Right and Best SSL Certificate Provider-10 Simple Tips

With the number of online scams and frauds multiplying day by day, the need for SSL certificates to validate the credibility of a website is on rise. And most of the eBusiness owners are well aware of this fact, taking proper steps to put forth their website as reliable and trustworthy by displaying trusted symbols of web security on their online eCommerce platforms.

However, there is a major problem when it comes to picking the right SSL certificates provider. Most people, when looking for a SSL certificate provider, put their first foot forward with google, which is perfectly alright, but the problem arises when they search using terms like cheap, cheapest, less price, best price, discount, best deal and…you get the picture. And here is the thing- a quality SSL certificate with the strongest encryption technology to build trust, boost confidence and increase conversions does not come at the cheapest price.

Purchasing an SSL Certificate which is the cheapest among the lot will probably save you a few bucks, but it won’t bring with it a 24/7 technical support and admin management tools to manage all your web security needs in one place. Yes, price is a major factor and one must go for an SSL which best suits his budgetary constraints, but price is only one of the many factors, which are perhaps equally, if not more important in a larger scheme of things.

Here is quick list of factors you need to consider before choosing an SSL Certificate Provider that best fits your needs:

Make sure that the SSL provider has a valid EV SSL Certificate themselves.
How to choose best ssl provider.
There are plenty of SSL resellers out there who’ll fulfil your security needs at a very cheap price, but a little background research will tell you that most of them are fly-by-night companies who cannot even get an Extended Validation (EV) SSL themselves after being authenticated and approved by a third party certificate authority. Go for a provider with a Green bar. It’s the most basic prerequisite.

Make sure that the SSL provider Has a Dedicated Phone Support.
When a major portion of your business is online it’s a certainty that at some point you will experience technical issues since web servers are a core part of doing business online. Choose an SSL provider you can call at 3 in the night and have your problems rectified.

Make sure that the SSL provider has a valid mailing address.
Again, when you’re doing business on the web, don’t select a provider who is working from a virtual office or out of their home. Make sure they’ve a valid mailing address.

Make sure that the SSL provider focuses only on SSL.
If a provider is adding SSL offerings to a multitude of products they already offer to munch on a little extra money, then it not set-up appropriately to manage the support needs of their SSL customers and choosing them is the worst decision you’ll ever make. Go for an SSL provider dedicated and focused solely on SSL certificates.

Make sure that the SSL provider offers multiple SSL brands.
A provider offering a single brand of SSL cannot offer unbiased suggestions for all for all your SSL security needs and will always recommend that single SSL brand regardless of whether it fits your needs or not. Go for a provider that offers you a a wide portfolio of SSL brand options to choose from.

Make sure that the SSL provider offers true 24/7/365 live support.
Run a thorough check and make sure that the SSL provider you plan to go for provides 24/7 support via chat, phone and email accommodating all time zones.

Make sure that there is a reference letter available from the vendor for the SSL provider.
Always ask for reference letters and if possible visible confirmation of relationship between the Reseller and certificate authority. You know Barack Obama, but does he know you?

Make sure that the SSL Provider has an auto SSL Renewal system.
Not all, but many SSL providers lack a proper management program to handle client orders, communication preferences and billing systems, and don’t keep a track on the expiry dates of their customers certificates, which results in sites losing their certificate when it expires, thereby coming across as unencrypted, entrusted and unsecure to the website visitors. Pick a provider who promises to remind you before your SSL certificate expires.

Make sure that the SSL provider offers a money back guarantee.
A litmus test to check the credibility of a provider. If a provider doesn’t offer at least a 30 day timeline to submit a cancellation request and getting full refund incase you aren’t satisfied with their services, that as big as a red flag gets.

Make sure that the SSL provider offers SSL tools to confirm SSL installation.
Go for a provider that provides SSL tools to authenticate SSL security features and to confirm whether the SSL has been installed on the web server or not.

In addition to the points listed above, always check the reputation of your provider online. Search for their reviews not only on their websites, but also on forums that’re well outside their control. No one is in a better position to comment on the quality of their services than people who’ve had first-hand experience of working with them.

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How New Privacy Laws will Affect Your Digital Life: Legislation of Privacy- (Part 1)

Technology is changing how we do everything, from connecting with friends to investigating our family history. While most of these changes are for the better, the reality is that many of these new technologies expose us to serious privacy risks, especially as legislation has struggled to keep up. Yet both here in the U.S. and around the world, that could soon change. There are numerous new and pending laws that are starting to seriously tackle the challenges posed by modern technology, helping close gaps in legislation and enforcement that open you up to online stalking, medical data breaches, and disclosure of your online data. Even if you don’t realize it, many of these laws can have a major impact on your life, from how you buy insurance to which bits of personal information are gathered while you shop online, go to the bank, or talk on the phone. What follows is a brief guide to many of the newer and upcoming laws regarding privacy in the United States. You’ll learn what the bills propose, how they’ll affect your life, and when they’ll go into effect, if they haven’t already.

How New Privacy Laws will Affect Your Digital Life:
These laws and proposals are designed to protect your privacy in the online and mobile spheres, ensuring that you and those you care about aren’t tracked, subject to data seizures, or the victims of online predators.

The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011:
Proposed by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, this bill is designed to increase the enforcement of laws related to child pornography and child sexual exploitation, specifically by requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to provide data about subscribers to law enforcement officials. While still on the table for debate, the law has attracted a lot of attention from those who believe it has serious implications with regard to consumer privacy.
  • How It Will Affect You: This law doesn’t just affect those who create and distribute child pornography. If passed, all Internet users would see a reduction in privacy. The law would require ISPs to retain user IP addresses and subscriber information for one year, even in the event service is cancelled. This information would include names, addresses, telephone numbers, and account numbers, with no limits on the scope of subscriber information that can be retained and accessed by the government. What’s more, this collected information could be used to prosecute for any issue with probable cause and a warrant. This not only poses problems for the misuse of data by law enforcement; it could also result in serious security issues if information is hacked. It also opens up that information to gross violations of personal privacy and security.
  • Timeline: The bill passed the United States House Judiciary Committee on July 28, 2011, but hasn’t gone much further since then, despite garnering 39 co-sponsors by January 2012. It seems to have stalled, and little has been heard of it since it garnered widespread backlash. That’s no guarantee, however, that similar legislation won’t pop up in the future.

The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 PDF (Maximize for better readability)
Electronic Communications Privacy Act:
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act is almost 30 years old, so why does it appear on this list? Because it’s likely going to see some major revisions to reflect the increased variety and prevalence of electronic communications. The original act was designed to help expand federal wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping provisions, as well as protect communications that occur via wire, oral, and electronic means and to balance the right to privacy of citizens with the needs of law enforcement. In the years since, the law has been under increased scrutiny for being out of date and failing to protect all communications and consumer records. For example, under current law, government agencies can demand ISPs hand over personal consumer data stored on their servers that is more than 180 days old without a warrant. This wasn’t an issue in the past, when most emails were downloaded to individual computers, but with the advent of webmail programs like Gmail and Yahoo, now nearly all consumer email communications are fair game. Major tech companies, like Google, Facebook, Verizon, and Twitter, have advocated for greater privacy and reform of the law.

  • How It Will Affect You: If reforms to the ECPA go through, law enforcement and government officials will no longer be able to access your personal emails stored on a server without a warrant, regardless of their age. This is a strong first step towards updating the bill and ensuring the privacy concerns are addressed for present day technology.
  • Timeline: No changes have gone through to update ECPA yet, but in November 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would strengthen privacy protection for emails by requiring a warrant to access them. It is set to debate in the Congress early this year. Other legislation will likely be needed to deal with privacy issues related to mobile phones, text messages, and social media but no bills reflecting this type of data have been proposed.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act PDF (Maximize for better readability)

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:
COPPA isn’t new, either, but it has seen some significant amendments over the past year that are worth mentioning. COPPA, which went into effect in early 2000, protects children under 13 from the online collection of personal information. As a result, many sites today often disallow children under 13 from using their services or require parental permission for disclosure of any personal information. In September 2011, the FTC announced proposed revisions to COPPA that expand the definition of what it means to collect data from children. These new rules would include regulations on data retention and deletion and would require any third parties to whom a child’s information is disclosed to have policies in place to protect the information.

  • How It Will Affect You: You will likely only be directly affected by this law if you own or operate a website or have children under 13 who use the Internet. The new amendment is largely positive for parents and children, preventing abuses of data, laying out guidelines for stricter parental approvals, and ensuring that children’s information stays secure. A number of tech giants, however, have pushed back against this legislation. Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, as well as Viacom and Disney, have all objected to several aspects of the new FTC rules stating that they make it nearly impossible for companies to create and disseminate child-focused material.
  • Timeline: In late 2012, nearly a year after revisions were proposed, the FTC adopted the final amendments to COPPA, and they are currently in effect.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection PDF (Maximize for better readability)


The GPS Act: The GPS Act, proposed by Representative Jason Chaffetz and Senator Ron Wyden, seeks to give government agencies, commercial entities, and private citizens specific guidelines to when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used. At present, there are no U.S. laws that directly address GPS tracking data, and with the proliferation of trackable devices like cell phones and GPS systems, the act is aiming to update regulations and guidelines to reflect modern sources of privacy concerns.

  • How It Will Affect You: If passed, the act will detail the legal procedures and protections that apply to electronic devices that use GPS, will require warrants for the release of GPS data, will make it illegal for individuals to be tracked without their knowledge, and will create criminal and civil penalties for violating these new GPS regulations. This could be a big boon to protecting your personal privacy and security, as it will make it illegal for others to track you (including family members) and will prevent data about your activities from being disseminated without your knowledge, consent, or a court order.
  • Timeline: The GPS Act was introduced to the Senate on June 15, 2011. It has not passed, in part because of opposition to two major court decisions, United States v. Jones and United States v. Knotts, which have ruled in favor of allowing law enforcement to place GPS trackers on cars, as well as opposition from the Obama administration. Yet a more recent case addressed by the Supreme Court, United States v. Jones , found that such measures violated the Fourth Amendment, which may help strengthen its passage as it waits to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House.

The GPS Act PDF (Maximize for better readability)

This is part 1 of a 4 part series. Links to part 2, 3 and 4, which will elaborate on effects of privacy laws on Digital Commerce, Work & Employment and Personal information will be updated soon.

Update: The part 2, which illustrates in detail Privacy Laws related to Digital Commerce and their effect on the same has now been updated.

Update 2: The part 3, which illustrates in detail Privacy Laws related to Work and Employment and their effect on the same has now been updated.

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Google Reader’s Death- Not the Wisest Move by Google!

Google is retiring Google Reader as a part of the overall pruning of its services. The doors of one of the most sought after services by Google will be closing on 1st July 2013, eight years after its birth. A company official cites the declining usage of the service and increasing popularity of Twitter as the major reasons for its planned retirement.

For the uninitiated, Google Reader amasses feeds in RSS (or rich site summary) which is a format that creates stream from dynamic web content and provides people with the comfort and luxury of discovering the content and websites of interest and keep a tab over them. Many news aggregating services like Twitter are not as useful, as argued by many.

Save Google ReaderIt’s evident that the “social” aspects like Google+, Facebook etc. are being pushed upon the online users more and more. That’s fine if I want to leisurely scroll through tons and tons of random posts by friends but I’d definitely turn to Reader when I want only the meat and potatoes. I believe that the reasons for Google Reader’s death in nutshell are Facebook & Twitter. They are getting bigger and in order, to compete with the blue mammoths, Google is pushing its Google+ very hard and on pretty much anyone & everyone who is using its other services like Youtube, Gmail and even Google Reader. Certainly, we can have the similar feeds in Google+ but I guess it won’t be going down well with all those geeks who need raw material, and not the fluff that comes with it. World’s techies have already made their outrage evident by trending #SaveReader since yesterday on Google+ and coming up with online petitions urging Google to reconsider the decision.

One of the most dreadful questions that pop up is what next? Consider using Flipboard, if you are one of those who have been using Google Reader quite on and off or not that often to be precise. Lean-back reading is what you can do best with this app and it does what it does exceptionally well. And for the ones who are passionate about Google Reader’s features, ‘Feedly’ has definite plans to launch a clone of Google Reader in near future.

I’d like to leave you with this hilarious video made by one of the loyal users of Google Reader who is visibly angry about the recent development. Don’t let the tongue-in-cheek tone distract you from how bang-on the video brings home the point that why Google Reader is irreplaceable when it comes to ease of use it brought into navigating content on the web.

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What is a Code Signing Certificate and How Does it Work?

There is a common misconception that Security certificates are just for Web servers. Many certificates, and code-signing certificates in particular can be useful in a plethora of fields; they can make your enterprise more secure, make your software more accepted, and even stop malware in its tracks. A Code Signing Certificate is a technology which includes the process of validation for publishers of software, content, code, and scripts based on a digital signature to authenticate their identities to web users. In addition to identifying the identity of the publisher, code signing also protects the code from being tampered with.

How to get a Code Signing Certificate?
Code Signing Certificates depend on a digital signature technology, which is issued by an internationally trusted third party called Certificate Authority (CA). A Code Signing Certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) will identify the software and publisher as trustworthy. For example, VeriSign / Symantec and Thawte utilize digital IDs for application designers. When a programmer applies for a digital ID, it is necessary to provide confirmation of identification. A public/private key couple is produced when the certificate is issued. The key continues to be on the requester’s computer and is never sent to the CA and should not be shared with anyone. The community key is presented to the CA with the certificate.

Once the certificate is issued, the developer uses the private key associated with that group key to sign the content, code, or script. When web users download the signed code, they get a copy of the certificate to authenticate the identity of the publisher/author. The Web browser verifies the digital signature, and the user trusts that the code did indeed come from that particular developer.

What happens when a Code Signing Certificate is issued:

  • The code is put through a one-way hash function. This creates a “digest” of fixed length.
  • The developer’s private key is used to encrypt this digest.
  • The digest is combined with the certificate and hash algorithm to create a signature block.
  • The signature block is inserted into the portable executable file.


Steps of Authentication Process When Code is Downloaded From Another User:

  • The certificate is examined and the developer’s public key is obtained from the CA.
  • The digest is then decrypted with the public key.
  • The same hash algorithm that was used to create the digest is run on the code again, to create a second digest.
  • The second digest is compared to the original.


Advantages of using a Code Signing Certificate:

Protects Your Code
A digital signature indicates that a piece of code belongs to you and has not been corrupted with malware. Unsigned code presents frightening warning messages in an attempt to limit the chance of malicious code harming a user’s PC, device, or network.

Increases Adoption
Because of the proliferation of malware disguised as legitimate software, customers view any software downloaded from the Web with extreme suspicion. Unexpected warning messages from their OS or browser such as those resulting from unsigned code, no matter how benign, cause many users to cancel the install.

Protects Your Reputation
Consumers expect a smooth installation process; warning messages look unprofessional and create suspicion. Code Signing allows you to forgo these types of messages and helps you train your customers to only trust digitally-signed code.

Meets the Requirements of Your Partners
Your partners and distribution channels want to ensure that they are not risking their reputation and their customers’ safety by distributing your code. Digital signatures allow them to verify that the content they are sharing is legitimate.

Simplifies Monitoring and Enforcement
A digital signature using a Code Signing Certificate helps identify the authenticity of signed code, making it easy to screen for modified files. With a DigiCert Time-stamp, any signed code remains valid even after the certificate expires. The time stamp tells users that you had a valid certificate when the software was signed.

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What Are Bitcoins? How Do Bitcoins Work? (Bitcoins- A Complete Guide- Part1)

Bitcoins, the currency on the tech world’s lips lately, sounds endlessly fascinating and builds up curiosity as it is supposedly the first time in the history of mankind that people’ve a way to hold and transfer value without any other person involved or having control over it. It gives complete ownership of money both in storage and transfer. Nobody can prevent you from having it. Nobody can prevent you from spending it. I was hooked up with the whole premise but was skeptical whether a man of the street like me, who is no cryptography expert, can understand the working intricacies of a concept like Bitcoin which works on cold hard mathematics. However, after reading extensively about it on the internet, I realized that it is fairly easy to understand and an average guy with just basic technical knowledge can use them.

What is Bitcoin?
A currency. Just like euros, dollars, yen, pounds, rupee etc. The beauty of Bitcoins lies in the fact that it is 100% virtual and has no counter-party risk to hold and to transfer. It allows a direct and immediate transfer of value between two people anywhere in the world. No banks, governments, or organizations control or influence it. Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin network is structured like a guerilla movement. Built on peer-to-peer Internet technology so that no one person, business, or government controls it ; it is literally enabled by the individuals that choose to use it. . Similar to popular file sharing protocols like BitTorrent, clients talk to each other and propagate transactions through the network. Complex math and strong cryptography are the foundations used to confirm valid, fundable transactions, prevent double spending, and deny inflation.

Bitcoins allow a direct and immediate transfer of value between two people anywhere in the world.
Bitcoins allow a direct and immediate transfer of value between two people anywhere in the world.

How do Bitcoins Work? How do they get rid of governments, banks, and payment companies?
Pretty simple. To use Bitcoins, you download the software from Bitcoin.org. The software acts as your bank account and is called your “wallet.” It stores a secret code on your computer, and this code enables funds to be spent from your bank account. As soon as one has this wallet software, one can receive and send Bitcoins to other wallet-holders anywhere in the world. You don’t need a name, an address, a Social Security number, or any personal information of any kind. Nobody “approves” you for Bitcoin. It’s free and open-source.

Transactions are sent and accounts are secured using “public key cryptography.” Every account/wallet has two keys- a public key and a private key. These keys are long strings of numbers and letters.

1PGFCtrJHUsc7fs4LGWLmXUEwuKyDaHuRa

Your private key, which your wallet software knows, allows you to send money. To send money to someone, you merely need to know their public key (kinda like a bank account number). If you have your private key plus their public key, a transaction can be created and the funds are deducted from your account and credited to the receiver’s account, without anyone else having a say in the matter. Simple as that.

How are Bitcoins generated?
By Bitcoin Mining. A process similar to a continuous raffle draw. Bitcoin Mining secures the transactions to make sure that every transaction (transfer of bitcoins from one computer to another) is verified and
generates new Bitcoins by the aforementioned verification.

What is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin mining is a process where the people who use the Bitcoin system install a software onto their computer. This software is very advanced and does computationally intensive work (SHA256 decoding) of verifying transfer of bitcoins. It collects the transactions on the network (like “A pays B 5 bitcoins” and “C pays D 6 bitcoins”) into large bundles called “blocks.” The software now computes a cryptographic hash of these blocks to verify the integrity of transactions. The people running the mining process get rewarded for completing a block by receiving a certain amount of bitcoins from the system. And this is the ONLY way that new bitcoins are created. So as a Bitcoin Miner all you need to do is run computer programs on a very specialised hardware that helps verify earlier transactions made. And get paid for it.


Video games.
Books.
Servers.
Gifts.
Alpaca Socks.
A detailed list can be found here.

Government Vs Bitcoins
Given the fact that bitcoin could facilitate illegal activities, including the sale of pirated or counterfeit goods, stolen credit card numbers and passwords–even child pornography, there’s a very real chance that the Governments might try to bring down this whole network in future. But, can they? The first step they might take is that they can try to take down Bitcoin websites. Mr. Erik Voorhees, a writer and an entrepreneur, in his recent article described taking down Bitcoin websites as cutting the heads of a Hydra – for each successful severance, publicity and the profit motive would compel more sites to spring up.

So taking down websites is an inadequate strategy if the government wishes to impede Bitcoin. What else could they do? Can’t the government just “shut down” Bitcoin transfers? Bitcoin is not vulnerable to this risk, because there is no central point of failure. There is no Bitcoin office. There are no central Bitcoin servers. There is no president nor employees of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has no home country, it is licensed nowhere. It is a distributed network, a protocol, that can operate as long as the internet exists (and, in fact, even without the internet per se). Transactions occur peer-to-peer, meaning no governing body approves them. Accounts cannot be frozen, because nobody has the freeze button.

Bitcoin cannot be turned off – it is like a benevolent virus which, so long as a few hosts survive somewhere in the world, can perpetuate itself and regrow at the speed of information.

The Future of Bitcoins
It’s too early to say whether Bitcoin will be a success not. An entirely new global monetary system that Bitcoin is, it faces an uphill battle, both technically and legally. The future depends on the inclination of big organizations towards accepting Bitcoins as a payment option, and they’ve started to do so. Exchanges where you can swap money for bitcoins and vice versa are up and running, and the number of vendors that accept bitcoins for payment continues to expand. Beyond the concerns of acceptance, there’s even a bigger issue. Many economists, including Paul Krugman, consider Bitcoin’s sudden jump as ephemeral— they see it as a bubble which will pop once the novelty wears off. Only time, really, will tell the true potential of Bitcoins. However, there’s an urgent need for decentralized currency system, and Bitcoin certainly is a step toward censorship-resistant digital currency. And for that reason alone, it’s worth consideration.

This is part 1 of a 3 part series. Links to part 2 and 3, which will elaborate more on Bitcoin Mining and the proper use of Bitcoins, will be updated soon.

The Future of Bitcoins

Categories
Articles Cloud Web Hosting

What is SaaS? Software-as-a-Sevice Explained!

Saas Explained.When someone explains Software as a Service or Cloud Computing to you – do you have one of those moments where you hear the words, but can’t make sense of what they are saying? Here is an analogy that virtually everyone can understand.

We all understand the cost of buying and maintaining a car. Today, people can either buy or lease a car. In both cases, some repairs are covered under warranty or included in the lease, but there are still costs involved to operate and maintain it. Not to mention the hassle of selling or trading the car in when you need a new one. What if a third option were available – Car as a Service?

In this model, you would pay a flat monthly fee to use the car. All maintenance, repairs, and even upgrades are included. Fuel, oil changes, standard maintenance, unexpected maintenance, body shop work, etc. are all included in the monthly fee. To top it off, when the manufacturer comes out with a time tested new model, your car will automatically get exchanged for latest model at no additional cost. No need to sign anything and go through the hassle of signing a new lease – the new car would be delivered to your home or office, all your personal belongings in the car would be transferred to the new car, and the old one would be taken away.

You might be thinking that this still sounds like nothing more than a fancy lease. But it’s actually very different. In addition to covering all maintenance expenses and model upgrades, there are no long term agreements or commitments. If at some point you no longer need the car, you simply turn it in at the end of the month and the payments go away.

Now let’s say that you have 5 employees and got each of them a car under the Car as a Service plan. These same benefits would apply to all of your employee’s cars as well. If 2 employees leave, simply return their cars and keep the rest. Your monthly fee will immediately be adjusted accordingly. You only need to pay for the cars as long as you need them. You always know exactly how much to budget each month because there are never additional expenses for fuel, maintenance, or repairs. And you never have to worry about your car getting old because you will receive a new model every few years.

If Car as a Service really existed, would you entertain this option the next time you need a car? If the answer is “Yes”, then you need to consider Software as a Service the next time you need to buy or upgrade any software applications or computer hardware. The video below will make things clear as to how SaaS works:

What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a model for using software as a subscription service instead of buying the license and installing the application files on a local computer from a CD, or increasingly as a download from a vendor website. According to technology analyst firm IDC, key characteristics of Software as a Service include:

  • Network-based access to, and management of, commercial software.
  • Server management from a central location rather than at each customer site.

Software as a Service is generally priced on a per-user basis for each application, with billing managed by a major credit card. Sometimes there are minimum user requirements, minimum subscription time periods, as well as additional fees for setup, extra bandwidth and storage.

Saas-Working-Model
Saas Working Model

Who is it for?
In the business-to-business arena, the Software as a Service model is most often focused on the small-medium business segment. Unlike large enterprises, smaller companies have:

  • Little or no staff devoted to information technology, and the employees they do have are often stretched thin and are generalists in their knowledge and skills.
  • Limited budgets, particularly for capital expenditures.
  • More fluid needs for tools and people due to rapid growth and other changing requirements.
  • Greater demands on time, as most small business owners and their employees wear multiple hats.
  • Growing propensity to operate on a ‘virtual’ model, with employees working from home, at remote work sites, or from rented office space that is shared with other businesses.

The flexibility of software as a service is particularly attractive to small business owners –

  • No upfront investment in money or time, and often no contracts.
  • Ability to use powerful business applications without having to acquire the specialized infrastructure and staff needed to manage them.
  • Power to mix and match applications or add and remove users as needed
  • Freedom to work from any location.

How does it work?
The Software as a Service model requires primarily a web browser and an internet connection:

  1. The customer goes to a website and ‘buys’ a subscription – generally monthly – to the desired Software as a Service applications and number of users. An account is set up with a major credit card for billing.
  2. The person who places the order (who generally becomes an administrator) is given login credentials and a web URL for secure access to the Software as a Service application.
  3. Every user added to the account receives his/her own log-in credentials granting them web access to the Software as a Service application(s) for as long as needed and as long as specified terms are met.

Most Software as a Service vendors provide a secure web portal with additional services such as support, along with administrator access for changing the number of users or applications and maintaining other account information.

SaaS BenifitsAdvantages:
Since nothing resides on a single hard drive (with a few exceptions in which files must be installed locally), the application can be used from any internet connected PC, providing greater flexibility.

  • With pay-as-you-go terms, you pay only for what you use.
  • You’re never locked into a license, so there’s no obsolescence and no buyer’s remorse if something doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, or if requirements change. While purchased software cannot be returned, software as a service subscriptions may be cancelled.
  • Reap the productivity rewards from an application whenever you want, without a commitment or big upfront investment in money or an evaluation process.
  • Add or remove users as staffing needs change, and applications as business needs change.
  • Predict and budget how much you will spend, and move the cost from a capital expenditure to a business expense.
  • Redirect financial resources, people and time for other needs and priorities.

Disadvantages:

  • With SaaS, the users do not have a copy of the executable file: it is on the server, where the users can’t see or touch it. Thus it is impossible for them to ascertain what it really does, and impossible to change it. SaaS inherently gives the server operator the power to change the software in use, or the users’ data being operated on.
  • Users must send their data to the server in order to use them. This has the same effect as spyware: the server operator gets the data. She/he gets it with no special effort, by the nature of SaaS. This gives the server operator unjust power over the user.

Final word on SaaS:

  • Software as a Service vendors manage software as a core business with experienced, dedicated staff in professional data center facilities.
  • Security, redundancy and resources are equal or superior to those of the largest, most sophisticated enterprises. With today’s security threats and the growing importance of information technology for productivity and competitive advantage, robust facilities are moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’.
  • Bandwidth has become readily available (particularly with the growth of wireless) and highly competitive, making it more dependable as well as less expensive. Today, homes and offices are routinely equipped with high-speed, broadband internet access.
  • You will have one less thing to worry about. No servers, systems or software to install, administer, backup, protect and upgrade.

Credit: WorkPlace2Go

Categories
Articles Legal News Web Security Web Security

Green Address Bar SSL- A Secret of Online Success

While SSL certificates are the current gold standard for online businesses and e-commerce websites, many people remain unaware that there are a number of different types of these certificates. In fact, there are a few different SSL certificates available to these online business sites, with the extended validation (EV) SSL certificate providing the highest level of online security.

Green Address Bar SSL- A Secret of Online Success

The security capabilities of a SSL certificate are directly related to the level of encryption used. Extended validation certificates offer online businesses the highest level of encryption, generally between 128-256 bit encryption. This ensures that all data transmissions are encrypted to the maximum, with virtually no chance of sensitive information falling into the hands of a third party.

One of the greatest advantages of obtaining an EV SSL certificate is getting the green address bar status, which immediately alerts consumers that the site they are visiting offers the highest level of security. The video below will help you get a better hold of the idea:

The main advantage of an EV SSL Certificate is “Trust & highest assurance” to your customers as an SSL certificate authority conducts strong business validation for issuing EV SSL Certificates. EV certificates offer the highest data encryption and browser compatibility. They supply complete business information of the entity along with business name, locality, contact info and the validating certificate authority name. This increases a potential customer’s confidence and makes it more likely that they do business on that particular site. It also increases conversions online. Below are the images showing that how your website address bar will become different in all major browsers if your website carries an EV SSL Certificate.

The EV SSL certificate not only actively combats phishing attacks, but also increases consumer trust, reduces shopping cart abandonment and helps build a business’s long-term revenue. While all SSL certificates provide encryption, the EV SSL certificate provides the ultimate online security and significantly boosts consumer confidence. The green address bar is the ultimate internet standard for online businesses, book bloggers in India, and e-commerce sites.

About Author:
James Labonte, is a Retail Director at The SSL Store™.The SSL Store™ is an one of the largest SSL Certificate Providers in the World & authorized platinum partner of Symantec. You can reach James on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

Categories
Articles Domain Marketing News Website Development Wordpress

Sub Domain or Sub Directory?

There has always been a lot of talk around using subdomains or subdirectories when creating new pages on people’s websites. So before we step into the war between Sub Domains and Sub Directories, let’s get to know them first.

about subdomain vs subdirectoryThe Domain Name System (DNS) has a tree structure or hierarchy, with each node on the tree being a domain name. A subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a sub-domain is the root domain. These sub domains help largely in organizing your website and making on-site navigation much easier. For instance, in www.wordpress.com, .com is the top level domain whereas wordpress in the second level domain. When you create an account and maintain a blog at the website, it gives you a ‘sub domain’ to the website commonly known as ‘Username’. Hence, yourwebsite.wordpress.com is a complete web address consisting of a top level domain, second level domain as well as ‘yourwebsite’ as the ‘sub domain’. Since your blog can be of all and any subjects, it becomes easier for a user to find you based on how you name your sub domain. If we’re clear with Sub Domain, let’s see what ‘Sub Directories’ are all about.

Subdirectories may refer to folders located directly within a folder, as well as folders that are stored in other folders within a folder. For example, the main directory of a file system is the root directory. Therefore, all other folders are subdirectories of the root folder. While hosting web pages or images etc. on the internet, Sub Directories largely help in creating sub folders under domains to host content. Hence, sub directories are useful for novice web enthusiasts who aim to keep things simple for themselves. For example, www.ilovepromocodes.com is a web address. And, www.ilovepromocodes.com/about/ is a web address along with ‘about’ as a subdirectory which can be used to host any content in terms of pictures, text, media files etc.

Now, Sub domains or Sub directories is the question!
A decision to use either subdomains or subdirectories may arise you/your company is looking to implement and integrate a blog to their site. You would be in a dilemma over blog.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/blog. Both are very different and treated very different.
Blog placed in Subdomain:

Advantages:

  • Typically shorter URL than subdirectory
  • Can pass some link value back to the root domain through cross-linking within template and articles.
  • Can achieve a higher level of SERP saturation as search engines can rank more than the traditional 2 listings per site – multiple pages from your root domain as well as your subdomain.

Disadvantages:

  • Subdomains DO NOT always inherit any or all of the positive metrics and ranking ability of their root domain (i.e. link equity, ranking equity, age benefits, etc).
  • Some subdomains get zero benefit from the root domain they are on (ex: sites like WordPress.com where anyone can create their own subdomain and begin blogging).
  • If you get inbound links to the subdirectory of the blog, it will build equity for the subdirectory. However, since it is technically a different site, it will not inherently pass that juice back to the root domain.
  • More difficult to create and manage from a server perspective.

Blog placed in Subdirectory:
Advantages:

  • Subdirectories tend to inherent some of the ranking benefits of the root domain.
  • Inbound links coming into the blog subdirectory and/or its blog posts can build more ranking value, page authority, and link juice for the root domain.
  • Utilizing the blog as a subdirectory, you can use blog posts to better enhance the root domain’s authority (and ranking ability) for a given topic by building hubs of content around that topic and cross-linking to key pages on the root.
  • Any social sharing equity is passed back to root domain.
  • Easier to organize content within the blog
  • Easier to create and manage from a server perspective.

Disadvantages:

  • Typically longer URL than subdomains
  • Authority and link equity may diminish as your get deeper into a subdirectory structure – farther away from the root (ex: yourdomain.com/blog/seo/google)
  • Won’t have the ability to achieve as high a level of SERP saturation as you would with subdomains.

If you’ve just skimmed this article
If you’re just skimming this article and want a summary, please refer to the info-graphic below. In the end, what matters is your proficiency and understanding of the web and how you use it to keep it comfortable. I would suggest you to opt for sub directories if you’re a novice in the field and after much trials and experimentation, you can move forward towards maintaining Sub Domains. However, I would also like to point out that sub domains are usually hosted by large companies or blogs for users who portray significant individuality in their products. For example WordPress and Google use sub domains for independent blogs and products respectively. However, if you’re simply aiming to branch out your website, maintaining sub directories is a smart choice!

Inputs: Jacob Stoops and Scott Design.

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