Techtikus http://techtikus.com Oh no! Not another tech blog. Thu, 02 Apr 2015 02:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How To Avoid Becoming A Ransomware Victim http://techtikus.com/how-avoid-becoming-ransomware-victim/ http://techtikus.com/how-avoid-becoming-ransomware-victim/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:48:48 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4384 ransomware

Ransomware infection would be very bad news if it hits your PC.  If you’re not careful in opening attachments in your e-mail or downloading files from sketchy websites chances are quite high for ransomware to be able to slip into your machine.


What the virus does to your computer is it encrypts all your data, disabling you from accessing them.  The only way that you can retrieve them back is by paying the ransom that the ransomware creators demand.  It could a small amount or could even be up to thousand of dollars.  Some even raise their ransom over time to get the victims to pay up the amount of their demand immediately to avoid it getting higher.

One silver lining though is that once you’ve paid the ransom, usually they will decrypt your files again and you’ll be able to gain access to them.  Imagine having your work laptop hit by this malicious virus, it would mean years of work going down the drain if you were to ignore the demand.

First and foremost to keep out the malicious virus from infecting your PC is that you must always keep your machine and the software installed updated.  Plug everything up to keep the virus away.

Secondly, do install a security software and scan once a week to see if anything shows up.  These virus are very sneaky and could already be sitting there quietly to attack your machine.  To add another layer of security you can change your DNS to use OpenDNS which is a part of a group committed to combat ransomware.  OpenDNS automatically blocks the virus from communicating with all known and suspected servers.

Last but not least is that you should be diligent in creating backups for all your important files.  It may be a hassle to restore them but at the very least you can reformat your machine and clean out the virus and avoid from having to pay the ridiculous ransom.

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WPHostingSpot Review: An Amazing And Very Affordable Managed WordPress Hosting Provider http://techtikus.com/wphostingspot-review-an-amazing-and-very-affordable-managed-wordpress-hosting-provider/ http://techtikus.com/wphostingspot-review-an-amazing-and-very-affordable-managed-wordpress-hosting-provider/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:36:56 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4362 WPHostingSpot

About two months ago I made a decision to move my WordPress blog to a managed WordPress hosting provider, WPHostingSpot.  One of the reasons for the move is that the weakening of my country’s currency and to pay my previous hosting fees was unbearable.  I guess I am very lucky to stumble upon my current hosting at the WHT forum.  After doing some research about them, I did not even have to consider any other WordPress hosting services anymore.



The first aspect that attracted me to WPHostingSpot would the pricing of their WordPress hosting packages.  Most players in the specific niche of providing managed WordPress hosting charge quite high for their web hosting plans.  After determining my usage and expansion for this year, I chose the WPHS BC-01 plan which cost about $12.95.  Here’s what I got for subscribing with the BC-01 plan:

  • 10GB SSD storage.
  • 200GB bandwidth which is more than enough.
  • 3GB RAM.
  • Up to 5 WP installations managed with WHM that I get to handle by myself.
  • A boat load of features to help my blog run faster.
  • And superb security features to ensure that my blog always stays online.

WPHostingSpot is a relatively new player in this market segment but the team behind this venture are veterans of WordPress.  Matthew Williams or better known as Matt in the technical area is a super friendly guy.  He’s like the long lost best friend that I’ve finally met again.  Support tickets are answered swiftly and requests are resolved quickly depending on the severity of the case.  Kudos to him and his team in making WPHostingSpot a nice place to host my files.

I’ve also noticed that my WordPress blog seems to load faster since I’ve moved to their servers.  A quick check at Pingdom a few minutes ago reveals that my site loads around 1.94s the fastest and 2.47s the slowest.  A nice improvement from my previous hosting.  A lot of aspect has been taken into account to achieve this result.  It’s too long to write about so I’ll just paste some images here alright:

WPHostingSpot

WPHostingSpot


I guess I do have to stop now since I’m just coming in to two months of using their managed WordPress hosting services.  Maybe I’ll do another review when I reach the sixth month but so far I am glad to say that I am very happy that I made the jump to WPHostingSpot.

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Just A List Of WordPress Hosting Providers http://techtikus.com/just-a-list-of-wordpress-hosting-providers/ http://techtikus.com/just-a-list-of-wordpress-hosting-providers/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:45:55 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4353 wordpress hosting

The web hosting industry is a very competitive market to be in and nowadays specialized WordPress hosting providers are adding themselves into the mix.  Some of them really do add quality and extra services when compared to the normal web hosting providers and some of them are just using the WordPress name as a gimmick to sell their web hosting packages.  Well a big boo to them for besmirching the WordPress name.



I’ve been roving the Internet for quite some time in a bid to list down WordPress hosting providers.  Some of them you may have heard off and some maybe new to you.  Oh and if you know or are running a web hosting service specifically for WordPress do tell me in the comments section and I’ll add them into the list.  Well let’s get on with the list:


1.  WPHostingSpot

wordpress hosting

I’ve just moved my blog to WPHostingSpot and transferring my blog to their servers was indeed a breeze.  Furthermore they’re committed to make every single WordPress blog which are on their servers load within 2 second or lower to comply with Google’s standard.  Not to forget, the staff there managing the WordPress web hosting services are super friendly too.  It’s like we’ve been friends for years already.

Read my review of WPHostingSpot.


2.  WPEngine

wordpress hosting

One of the most experienced players in the WordPress hosting industry.  They’ve been around since before I started blogging on WordPress.  Their plans are quite expensive for those who are new to WordPress but they provide top notch extra services in the packages that they offer.  I’d recommend them if you have a stable revenue from your blog.  Their plans starts at $29 – $249 per month.


3.  Pagely

wordpress hosting

Here’s another one of the old timers in the WordPress hosting industry.  Started in 2006 and still going on strong in 2015.  They have a wider range of web hosting packages when compared to WPEngine and a slightly cheaper monthly fee for their starter plan.  I have still a long, long way to go before I can safely afford their WordPress web hosting packages haha.


4.  Pressable

wordpress hosting

If I ran multiple WordPress sites, I’d think that I’d host with them.  Their hosting packages caters more towards webmaster who are managing many WordPress sites at a very reasonable asking price.  The downside like many other WordPress hosting providers is that they limit visitors up to a certain pageview which I am not inclined to agree to such a limiting policy.


5.  Kinsta

wordpress hosting

They have data centers in 8 different locations across the globe and you may choose to host your WordPress site in either of those 8 places.  Not only does hosting your files nearer to your targeted visitors enables them to access your resources much more faster, it also scores you better points with Google and helps you to retain your visitors as well.  Another aspect worth mentioning is that Kinsta does not limit the number of visitors or pageviews that a few other WordPress hosting companies impose.  A tad higher than Pagely for their beginner’s package but still affordable if you can spare $27 a month for their lowest package.


6.  Flywheel

wordpress hosting

A web designer and developer friendly WordPress hosting provider.  They’ve got a lot of tools for people looking to collaborate in building a WordPress site without sharing login credentials and you can control the access for your team members too.  For WordPress designers you can opt to transfer the bill once the site is completed so there’s no need to fork out money from your wallet first.

You can get a free t-shirt as well in their lucky draw and right now they are having a 28 Days of Design giveaway you can stand a chance to win fabulous prizes until Feb 9 2015.


7.  HostAwesome

wordpress hosting

A good host to start your blogging journey.  They offer a free account but with restrictions for those who want to get your feet wet with WordPress.  Their paid plans aren’t that bad either, starting from $5 – $20 and with the option of customizing a package to suit your needs.


8.  AcceleratedWP

wordpress hosting

Having a managed WordPress hosting leaves you free to focus more on what really matters, the content of your blog and bringing in traffic.  AcceleratedWP handles the security and optimization of your blog making your blog safe from malicious attacks and loads faster for your visitors.  Pricing on the hand is quite reasonable but not the best.  The best bet in my opinion is to go for the highest plan if your blog is utilizing a lot of disk space to get the best bang for buck.  They’ll optimize your theme too if you sign up for their Pro package.


9.  Pressidium

wordpress hosting

Looks like the best of the lot of webmasters who are managing multiple WordPress sites.  A little bit costly but a suitable offering from them in every package that they offer and a generous amount of allowed visitors in each plan.  If you’ve reach the amount of visitors that they restrict in every package it means that your site is successful and warrants an upgrade to their next level hosting package.


10.  Presslabs

wordpress hosting

If you’ve got money to burn or if your WordPress blog is super popular with droves of visitors reaching hundred of thousands a day, by all means to go ahead with Presslabs.  The lowest of the package commands $149.00 per month.  You’ll be in safe hands though as they’ve hadn’t been hacked since 2009 and have a high uptime reliability ensuring your WordPress site is always online.   Take a look at their displayed stat below:

wordpress hosting


11.  Media Temple

wordpress hosting

One of the oldest WordPress hosting company on the net.  Their business started in 1998 and is still gunning down other competitors in 2015.  Media Temple WordPress package is valued at $29 per month and includes unlimited bandwidth with 20GB of SSD storage.  Certainly a lot cheaper than what most WordPress hosting providers can offer.  Furthermore you’ll get access to their ever expanding exclusive WordPress themes library and be unique from the others.  You can save a couple of bucks too in the process.  What’s not to like about this, right?

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ASUS Router Security Flaw Opens To Exploitation By Hackers http://techtikus.com/asus-router-security-flaw-opens-to-exploitation-by-hackers/ http://techtikus.com/asus-router-security-flaw-opens-to-exploitation-by-hackers/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:00:22 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4323 asus router

An Asus router security flaw could cause it to be hijacked by hackers who are within a certain range.  The vulnerability is caused by a poorly coded  identification protocol for made certain Asus router models.  Hackers can exploit this flaw in the protocol to gain the ability to remotely execute software through your router.



Up till now there hasn’t been any fix for this issue.  3 models of Asus router range are confirmed to carry this flaw which is the RT-N66U, RT-AC87U and RT-N56U.

To avoid being a victim of malicious attacks you can opt to install a free network monitoring tool to ensure that non-authorized individuals are piggybacking on to your network.  If you notice any unidentifiable connections you may block them from your network until a fix has been made to address security flaw.

Furthermore always keep your anti virus up to date and have it running actively in the background.  A lot of todays anti virus are not intrusive and resource hogs like it was before.   It would help a lot to prevent more damage if an attacker gets into your network.

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Google Ends Critical Security Updates For Android WebView Feature http://techtikus.com/google-ends-critical-security-updates-for-android-webview-feature/ http://techtikus.com/google-ends-critical-security-updates-for-android-webview-feature/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 05:41:41 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4318 android webview

Google has quietly decided to end support and critical updates for Android WebView feature and this could leave around 930 million users susceptible to attacks through this flaw.  Good news though for Android KitKat & Lollipop users as this issue only effects Android version 4.3 and below.



For those not in the know, Android WebView is a feature where it lets apps open web pages without accessing another app.  The feature as well interacts with other apps in your gadget as well as other features on your smartphone.  It is a major concern for Android users as WebView is full of bugs and if a malicious hacker gets access to this feature than they can access your smartphone.

It is as one of the favourite features for Android attackers to exploit.  The hackers get access to the Android WebView feature either by implementing exploit code onto a web page that would be displayed by a targeted app or they try to trick a user into opening malicious links and the app then renders WebView to open it.

Whilst Google themselves will not support this feature anymore they might still push security updates to users if any good third-party Samaritans finds and provide the patches themselves.  But don’t get your hopes up.

To avoid being a victim, you can opt to avoid clicking links within the apps and instead copy the links and open them in your smartphones web browser.  Secondly you should never open a link from untrusted sources and from people you do not know as it may open the door for attackers to infiltrate your smartphone from the Android WebView flaw.

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New Year 2015 http://techtikus.com/new-year-2015/ http://techtikus.com/new-year-2015/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 03:47:32 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4312 new year

I would like to wish Techtikus.com readers a belated happy new year.  A week has past since the start of the new year and I wish that this year will be a fruitful one for everybody.

2014 was a good year as well for Techtikus, gaining more than twice the of visitors when compared to the whole year of 2013:

2014

new year

2013

new year

The traffic kind of toned down during Q3 & Q4 and that was totally my fault because of lacking in updating this blog due to a big project kicking off at work.  Still a few articles here and there but I lost the momentum.  Have to renew my resolve to keep this blog running :).

Financial wise I made a lot less than what I made in 2013 mainly because the focus was to attain an increase in readership.  As you can see it worked out great and hopefully in 2015 I can double it again.  It’s quite hard running a blog on your own and administering everything.  Anybody interested in helping? lol.

My target this year is to gain more subscribers from e-mail and social media.  The numbers are quite low especially from e-mail subscribers.  Anybody got tactics that you want to share?  Furthermore I would like to fine tune this blog to more specific niches.  Hopefully that works out in 2015.

Now on to creating more superb articles in 2015 :).

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How To Turn Off BitLocker Drive Encryption http://techtikus.com/how-to-turn-off-bitlocker-drive-encryption/ http://techtikus.com/how-to-turn-off-bitlocker-drive-encryption/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 08:51:47 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4298 BitLocker

Here’s a simple tutorial on how to turn off Windows BitLocker for what ever reason you may to turn it off.  I had a little bit of trouble myself finding the option.


1.  Go to your Control Panel and select “System And Security”.

BitLocker


2.  Click on “BitLocker Drive Encryption”.

BitLocker


3.  Click on “Turn Off BitLocker”.

BitLocker


4.  A pop-up will show up and click on “Decrypt Drive”.

BitLocker

There you have it.  Not so hard isn’t it :).

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HP Stream 7: A Superb Lightweight Cheap Tablet For The Masses http://techtikus.com/hp-stream-7-a-superb-lightweight-cheap-tablet-for-the-masses/ http://techtikus.com/hp-stream-7-a-superb-lightweight-cheap-tablet-for-the-masses/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:36:22 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4284 hp stream 7

For people looking for a good lightweight device to lug around the HP Stream 7 should be added onto your list.  Retailing at $99.00 it is a superbly cheap offering from Hewlett Packard.  Heck I’d buy two and give one away as a Christmas present if I could get my hands on them.



Powered by an Intel Atom quad-core processor and 1GB DDR3 RAM this 7” tablet should be handle anything that you can throw at it.  Although I think nowadays a 2GB RAM should be the minimum for a little bit of future proofing.  Maybe something for the HP guys to think about for the next iteration.

It runs on the buttery smooth Windows 8.1 operating system and comes with a 32GB hard drive.  You can as well extend the storage with a MicroSD card if you need it.  If you need more, there is always the option to use cloud storage which is now becoming the norm to store your photos and videos.

In terms of display quality, the tablet comes with a HD IPS touchscreen at 800×1280.  Not the best but still not the worst either.  The IPS display makes it worth it though.  Crisp and vivid colours for the colourful Windows 8.1 OS.

Camera wise, this is where the device falls behind.  Only 2.0MP for the rear camera and a measly 0.3MP for the front camera.  If you can live with it than this tablet is certainly for you.  On another note, I always find it a little bit amusing seeing people taking photos using a tablet.  It looks a funny in a way.

For the workaholics, the HP Stream 7 comes with a year’s free subscription of Microsoft Office 365 personal plus 1TB of Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage to store and share your work with your colleagues.  I am not sure who needs 1TB of online storage to keep work documents but that guy surely needs to take a break.

Overall the HP Stream 7 is a good entry level tablet.  Retailing at $99.00 it surely is a good buy for yourself or your kids.  The only downside is the camera.  If you can look past this flaw, then this device surely most top your list if you are in the hunt for a superb and cheap tablet.

Buy the HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Tablet For Only $99.00

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Udemy Black Friday Sales Is Back With A Bang http://techtikus.com/udemy-black-friday-sales-is-back-with-a-bang/ http://techtikus.com/udemy-black-friday-sales-is-back-with-a-bang/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:43:50 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4253 Udemy Black Friday Sales

Udemy Black Friday sales is back and it is back with a big loud bang.  If you scouring the Internet to learn stuff, Udemy’s is a place where you have to stop by.  They have a wide range of online video courses from certified and experience tutors.

You can save up to 90% on more than 6,000 courses!  This would certainly be good time to pick up a course and learn a new skill as well as add more knowledge and experience on a topic that you already know.  Don’t put it on the back burner anymore.

One of the advantages of subscribing courses at Udemy is that it is accessible anywhere in the world even if you are offline.  Using the Udemy app that’s available on Android and iOS you can tap the resources where ever you go 24/7.

I’ve as well subscribed a few courses at Udemy before mainly about how to improve my skills in playing the guitar and thanks to the instructor and the excellent Udemy platform I can say that I can play better than previously.

Not only that, coming from an IT background and working in the IT industry I try to pick up new skills and improve them when I have some free time.  Having Udemy in my pocket certainly helps me to stay relevant in the game.  I am not shy to say that mostly I subscribe to the IT courses that I have now only during promotional times like this.  It’s too cheap to let it slip by just like that.

The Udemy Black Friday sales lasts until 28/11/2014.  Get the word out to your friends and family by sharing this page using the floating social media icons beside this article.  I am sure that they’ll be excited about the savings whilst getting a good course to learn something new too.


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Free GrovePixels WordPress Themes And A Lifetime Membership Plan http://techtikus.com/free-grovepixels-wordpress-themes-and-a-lifetime-membership-plan/ http://techtikus.com/free-grovepixels-wordpress-themes-and-a-lifetime-membership-plan/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:26:55 +0000 http://techtikus.com/?p=4230 GrovePixels WordPress Themes

Yup, you read the title correctly.  Head on over to GrovePixels.com to claim a bundle of free premium GrovePixels WordPress Themes and a lifetime membership plan that costs $195 just by sharing their awesome promotion that’s currently running until 2nd December.



You can share the promotion using Twitter, Facebook or Google+.  After you’ve completed the task, the promotion will then be unlocked and you can claim both of the prizes.  Sweet!

Grab it fast as only the first 1000 people will be able to get the membership plan and prizes for free.  If you’re a little bit late, you still can share the promotion and claim the GrovePixels lifetime membership plan and the bundle of cool WordPress themes at 90% off.

Once in a blue moon only you can find this sort of deal.  So if you’re still scouring the web for a premium magazine style WordPress theme than you really should stop by GrovePixels and take a look at what they’ve got to offer.  In my opinion, the designs and features are great and I’m as well thinking to change this blog’s theme to use the Techfind Premium Theme.

Quickly head over to GrovePixels blog before the 1000 spots are filled up.  As of writing there’s still around 500++ accounts left.  Good luck!

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