Summer is just around the corner, and we're dying to escape our home after over a year of stay-at-home endeavor. Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, a new normal was established where we are working from home, and have meetings over video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meeting. We anticipate over 50% of the population will be vaccinated by end of May in the USA, and nearing the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, but we aren't quite ready to freely travel the world like we used to. Countries defending well from COVID-19 are working together to create travel bubbles, and allow people to travel freely between regions.
Cloud computing services are a new way for IT companies to utilize the as-a-service models instead of building their own infrastructure. The as-a-service models include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (Paas) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each model offers a set of cloud services to businesses, and the business relies on computing services provided by the cloud vendors and build their own applications and virtual resources like servers, databases, and node balancers.
Cybercriminals operate on stealth mode. They will often catch you unawares and can cause a lot of damage. Unfortunately, anyone in the online space can be a target. Governments, organizations, and individuals have come under attack. Vulnerability levels are especially high for small and medium businesses. At-risk industries are healthcare, government agencies, the energy industry, and higher education.
For the last several decades, we have been using local hard disks or Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives to store our data. The photos we accumulated over the years, videos we created on special events (or YouTube), and documents we use on a daily basis are critical data we cannot lose. The advantages of using local drive over cloud storage are that it is fast (10X faster), cheaper (per megabyte), large capacity (1TB+), and available locally (portable and private). The disadvantages of using local hard drives are reliability (corruption and crash) and local (physical damage, fire, thunder). The average lifespan of physical hard drives is anywhere from 3 to 5 years, and they will need to be replaced for reliable backup. To circumvent reliability issues, one may choose to use NAS drive with RAID 1 mirroring instead. Video content creators such as YouTubers may want to use NAS drive along with cloud storage to utilize the best of both worlds.
To send data packets from one IP address to another IP address, the intermediate routers must know how to pass the data to the next-hop so that the data will finally arrive at the destination IP address. The IP address is the destination address where the data is delivering to, and the Internet must know how to deliver the data to the final location. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the protocol that helps routers find the shortest path to the destination, and also provides an alternate route if the shortest path is blocked. In other words, BGP is guiding routers on how to get to the final IP address.
We've recently heard that about a half-billion Facebook accounts were breached, and posted on hacker's forum for anyone to grab. We often hear the world's largest companies were hacked, and our personal data are leaked. A website like HaveIBeenPwned search data breaches, and tells you if your email or phone number has been pwned. It's not your fault that your personal data has been breached, but you'll be the next victim of identity theft if you don't protect yourself.
A wide area network (WAN) is a network generally transmitted over the telecommunications network that interconnects long-distance networks. If it wasn't for the WANs, the Internet wouldn't exist, and the smaller LANs and Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) wouldn't be interconnected. The telecommunications network was originally built for voice traffic but as the demand for packet ("data") traffic grows, the existing telecommunication was used to deliver data traffic over WANs.
We often share our photos on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. We also send our photos via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype without much privacy concerns. Did you know that the person who receives your photo can reveal your personal information such as the location of where the photo was taken and when it was taken? If the photo was taken from your backyard, you are advertising where you live to anyone who has access to your photos. A stalker can find your home from an Instagram photo you've posted a few days ago, and a thief will be able to determine your whereabouts by looking at the timestamp embedded in our photo you posted an hour ago in Hawaii. We often share too much information on social media, and they can work against us if someone abuses them.
No one is thrilled with making backups but some of us who lost data in the past know how critical it is to backup our data regularly. I used to make a backup of my PC on an external HDD, and replicate the contents back to forth when I get a new PC or new HDD. As size of HDD gets larger, I've upgraded my HDD a few times and finally moved to a NAS drive with RAID 1 mirroring. Having an external hard drive was great until cloud drives debutted in 2008.
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