FRII Break Room

Informal tech chatter from the geeks of Northern Colorado’s largest commercially available data center

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What is the Cloud?

What is “the cloud” Really?

Cloud

We have all seen the TV commercials boasting about the speed and reliability of the cloud, but what s it really? Essentially, the cloud is nothing more than an abstract idea for hosting files on the Internet. Put another way, it is the idea of accessing something on the Internet rather than a physical object. A good example of this is file sharing programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Instead of physically moving files over like you would do with a flash drive you can have the same effect but over the Internet. Think of it as a digital locker where you can put your photos and emails and via them from any computer with an Internet connection.

Read on to learn what is the cloud?

Mysterious email settings: IMAP and POP

A chalkboard is covered with advanced mathematical equations. A man stands facing it, back to us, scratching his head in confusion.

Setting up your e-mail shouldn’t be this hard.

Are you excited about the new laptop you bought? Playing with your new tablet? Well it’s all fun and games until someone gets POP-ed. That’s right: we’re going to talk about POP and IMAP.

Don’t be ashamed that you have no idea what that means; for most of my life I have closed my eyes and selected my email settings randomly and hoped for the best.

Read on. No advanced degree required.

Why Internet Slowdown Day Matters

loading wheel as seen when websites are slow to load

If certain large carriers get their way, many sites may load slower for consumers.

Your Internet connection might look like it is slower than normal today, Wednesday, September 10, 2014. This is due to an online, grassroots protest called Internet Slowdown Day. Your connection will be working just fine, but many sites — including top web sites such as Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Reddit — will be showing a constant loading symbol.

Why are they doing this? To gain the public’s attention regarding the on-going net neutrality debate. (see our earlier post: How Net Neutrality Affects You)
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Warning: Email phishing attacks are targeting you

Do you know how to tell a legitimate email from a targeted phishing attack?

fish hook

Phishing scams try to “hook” you into believing they come from legitimate businesses so that you’ll reveal personal or secure information.

Sometimes it’s not easy to tell what’s real and what isn’t, even for the most sophisticated email user. This article will help you or someone you care about learn what to look for so that your information stays safe.

Within the past few years, there’s been an increase in the ability of the average email user to detect and delete spam. This has not gone unnoticed, particularly by the spammers who have a direct financial interest in obtaining our confidential information. Because of this, the percentage of people who respond to spam has remarkably decreased. Now, though, we’re seeing an increase in the type of targeted spam known as phishing. We’ve entered the next evolution of email scams, and things are just heating up.
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Spam Prevention

What is Spam?

in a list of email folders, the spam folder is highlighted for selection

Spam is an annoyance for most email users.

When FRII talks about spam (in the context of email), we’re referring to emails that are both unsolicited and bulk. For your convenience, here is a more technical definition from Spamhaus.org, a reputable anti-spam protection organization:

An electronic message is “spam” if (A) the recipient’s personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (B) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.
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