Jim’s IT Tidbits: Ensure Performance by Checking Load Averages

Written by Jim Taylor on Tuesday, June 7th 2016

Welcome back to our semiweekly series from Senior Systems Engineer Jim Taylor, bringing you some quick IT administration tips. This week, Jim helps you understand load averages and how to check resource consumption on a Linux server using the top, htop, or uptime commands.

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Jim’s IT Tidbits: Check DNS Records with nslookup & whois

Written by Jim Taylor on Tuesday, May 24th 2016 — Categories: Networking and Fiber

Senior Systems Engineer Jim Taylor frequently shares “IT Tidbits” with the Green House Data technical staff, both in person and via e-mail dist-lists. This new blog series brings you a closer look at his latest tips.

From time to time, our Global Service Center staff and customers alike must troubleshoot Domain Name System (DNS) errors on their servers. Every server on the public internet is assigned an IP address by a Domain Name Server. The ISP has a DNS server that looks up DNS records and IP addresses against the master records, which are held in 13 servers maintained by independent organizations around the globe.

DNS errors can stem from many sources, including the configuration of DNS settings. The first step for many network issues is often a DNS lookup to gather more information and see if any of the issues are from a DNS issue. Two methods to accomplish DNS groundwork are nslookup and whois.

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Keep Your Passwords Minty Fresh

Written by Jim Taylor on Tuesday, February 23rd 2016 — Categories: Security

This past weekend the forums for Mint, a Linux distribution, got hacked and their user database was downloaded. Although the passwords were encrypted the hackers have broken some of them. While they were at it, they replaced the downloadable ISO images of Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon with a malicious backdoored version.

While few of you readers may have had an account on that site, it serves as a reminder that you should never reuse passwords on any website, and by all means, make sure your passwords on your personal email accounts are not the same as anything else. 

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Don’t Leave Your Digital Keys Under the Mat

Written by Jim Taylor on Wednesday, January 6th 2016 — Categories: Security

Password tips from Systems Engineer Jim Taylor

While your company may not have to deal with compliance fines like HIPAA if you’re breached, the fact remains that data security is vital knowledge for your employees. The Target and Home Depot breaches cost those large corporations millions of dollars, but even small companies can come shuddering to a halt if they suffer a breach. Some basic training and password security can help you avoid losing access to the data and systems that keep your business running.

Read on to see the biggest password mistakes we see regularly, plus some tips on crafting (and remembering) strong, unique passwords.

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My Dog’s Name is J&k3RsW4 & My Mother’s Maiden Name is Ks8$b!5s6

Written by Jim Taylor on Wednesday, May 27th 2015 — Categories: Security

Hello! I’m Systems Engineer Jim Taylor, and my dog’s name is J&k3RsW4 and my mother’s maiden name is Ks8$b!5s6.

So, what does this have to do with technology? A poll of close to 2,000 adults discovered that 55% of them used the same password for almost every website! Just over 25% said that they use easy to remember passwords such as birthdays, sports, and people's names. That is just asking for a cyber-criminal to have access to your online accounts.

It’s clear that the average user needs some password schooling in order to maintain security, both at home and in the workplace.

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