The Importance of Cybersecurity
November 30th marks Computer Security Day, and in today’s world, technology plays a large role in most of what we do both professionally and personally. Much of our private information is shared electronically on various websites. It’s important to remember that the data stored on our computers and mobile devices must be kept secure and safe. However, taking steps to ensure our private materials doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly daunting.
Here are four tips to ensure you’re up-to-date when it comes to protecting yourself online.
Always use strong passwords.
You’ve heard it before: it’s not wise to use password as a password. It’s also not in best practice to use words, dates, or phrases that others might be able to guess, such as the names of your children, your anniversary, or your address. Using these elements in your password opens your information to being hacked or stolen. Strong passwords require a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that would be difficult for others to guess. It’s also wise to use different passwords across all of the sites that require a login. Using the same or a similar password could lead to being hacked on multiple websites.
Protect everything possible.
We store all sorts of information electronically these days: bank account numbers, confidential documents, passwords, among other items. If the information should be protected in any way, it’s imperative to do so. Passwords can be used to protect documents, and online banking and credit card site login information should be kept private. Any files that should be kept need to be backed up in some form or another, either through the cloud or on a hard drive.
Keep software up-to-date.
Every type of cable has a maximum distance. These distance limits can vary greatly from one type of cable to the next. Along with determining whether a cable will work, distance limits will also determine how well a cable works. Knowing the fundamentals behind cable distance limits is the first step in selecting the best cable for your needs.
Cables will always have some sort of “maximum signal” rating, depending on the type of the cable. For ethernet cables, it will be the maximum upload/download speed. For HDMI, it will be the maximum resolution of the video. And so on and so forth for other cables. Any type of “maximum” rating should be taken with a grain of salt.
Those ratings are the best possible rating the cable is capable of under theoretical, perfect conditions. For example, modern HDMI cables are all rated for 4k. But if the HDMI cable is running through a coupler, users will almost certainly not get 4k. Each time a signal passes through a connection, even just connecting a cable to something like a TV or computer, the signal quality degrades a little. Using devices like extenders and couplers will make the signal weaker; for example, coupling a 10’ cable to a 5’ cable will result in a weaker signal than just using a single 15’ cable.
Another key factor for signal quality is the distance of the cable. The further a signal has to travel, the more it will degrade by the time it gets from Point A to Point B. Going back to our HDMI example, a 15’ cord will give a clearer image than a 50’ cable. It is possible to get around this issue using an extender/boo
Most devices that use USB cables come with one, but these prepackaged cables tend to be too short. Few things are as annoying as having to leave your device in a weird spot to recharge or trying to keep your phone charger from falling off the table. Using USB extension cords to get a little extra distance can be convenient or outright necessary in these situations.
There are a few facts to keep in mind when it comes to USB extension cables. First off, make sure you are picking out the correct type of extension cable. The average USB extension cord is going to be USB 2.0 A Male to Female. Some other types do exist, but typically “USB extension” means an A Male to Female cable.
Another other key detail to check is whether you need a USB 2.0 or 3.0 extension. Usually, the plastic inside the metal end of the USB cable will be color-coded, with 2.0 cables being black or white and 3.0 cables being blue. Not every manufacturer does this, so it never hurts to double-check your cable beforehand. You can use 2.0 extensions with other 3.0 cables, but you will only get USB 2.0 data and recharging speeds. If you want 3.0 speeds, every piece of equipment you are using must be 3.0 rated.
What are Lightning Cables?
Lightning cables are a type of cable designed to be used specifically with iPhones. Functionally, they are very similar to the standard types of USB cables used with Android phones. Lightning cables are proprietary to Apple and the only type of connection that will work for charging most iPhones or connecting them to other devices.
Apple introduced Lightning cables in September 2012 to replace older, bulkier connectors. Any iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device made after late 2012 likely uses a lightning connection. Lightning cables are not compatible with older Apple devices that use the wider, 30-pin style connectors.
There are some MacBooks that use a USB-C connection instead of lightning cables. Be sure to check a MacBook to see what it uses before purchasing a cable. Being proprietary, it can be a bit tricky to find lightning cables and accessories without purchasing expensive items from Apple directly. Thankfully, Apple does allow a certain degree of freedom to third parties and that is where our new adapter comes in.
Charge Your Phone and Listen to Music at the Same Time
On an iPhone, the lightning port has two main uses. The first is to charge the phone, keeping the