Passwords In Words

Creating strong passwords may seem like a tediously daunting task, especially when the consensus is to use a unique password for every site you visit. 

It’s simply nuts trying to keep track of these things along with everything else in your life. Consequently, you may be more inclined to use one password despite the fact that we know it’s unsafe and potentially compromises all of our information. Or you may use numerous passwords, although they are simple words, or include numbers that relate to our lives which are easy for hackers to guess. 

Those hard-to-remember passwords (probably because your business or a website forced you to) are just that, hard to recall. So these passwords are right next to your computer – even though this also compromises safety on a shared computer.

Forgettable passwords are useless. And passwords that are too easy can lead to an attack. With most of our personal lives increasingly migrating to online status, iStratus is here to give you some ideas on how to create strong passwords and keep your information safe in a technological world. 

What’s A Strong Password You Ask?

Strong passwords are typically longer (the longer the better); a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, not connected to personal information or dictionary words. 

The good news is you don’t have to memorize awful strings of randomness, impossible to remember. It simply takes a few effective tricks.

Weak Passwords Are Easily Spotted

Passwords can be memorable and remain difficult to guess. Creating them can be fun and safety is a huge payoff.

Let’s consider what constitutes “weak passwords” to understand why these are risky:

First, a word akin to “Password” is a NO.

Password is the most commonly used password. We also believe it’s pretty clear why such a password is weak – as are words like: ’default’. Programs that use automated assault can easily identify these passwords. As is using a last name and year of birth (i.e. Smithy1965) combination, particularly if someone knows you well. Identifying pieces of information also means it can be easily deciphered.

Secondly, let’s say, you use “F1avoR” as a password, mixing up capital letters and numbers. Here are two important reasons why this password example isn’t safe: 

  1. It’s a common word and
  2.  If a password is too short, it isn’t safe either. A long password is a strong password, as it’s harder to decode/break. Also, substituting the number “1” for the letter “I” is easy to guess for both humans and software alike.

Staying Password Strong and Secure

By now, you’ve likely discovered that the “perfect password” is a lengthy combination of obscure letters, numbers, cases, and symbols. You’ve got it. 

It’s also important NOT to: 

 

  • Write your passwords down: This can be tempting, especially in the workplace, to keep track of passwords the old-fashioned way, but these are easily discovered.
  • Reuse your passwords. If your passwords are identical across email, and other websites holding sensitive personal data, it is easily exposed and is at risk of being breached.
  • Don’t share your passwords. It’s a total no-brainer and if you absolutely must, change it as soon as possible.

Create a Unique Password (That’s Also Strong)

The short answer is: A hard-to-crack password is unique and easy to remember. 

In addition, we encourage you to use a password manager, like our iStratus Vault, which is specifically designed to offer you a way to store passwords securely. Learn more about organizing your passwords with a password vault here

Password Induced Stress

New research by NorPass suggests, the stress of trying to recall our passwords is contributing to the vicious cycle of mental health, anxiety, and stress.

Their evidence indicates,  “the average Internet user has around 70-80 passwords” for their accounts? So each year, “we spend 7-12 hours on average trying to remember and reset those passwords.” 

Thus, trying to keep track of these procedures and memorize our passwords results in a lot of time wasted, which inadvertently contributes to the experience often referred to as password stress.

Our suggestion in creating a password is to apply a phrase and incorporate shortcuts or acronyms that either mean something to you, or you associate with a type of website, with minimal effort.

For example, it could be a phrase about money for a banking site, and so forth. You can be Shakespeare’s Hamlet: 2BankorNot2Bank_Thisis$? (Based on “To be or not to be? That is the question”).

Also, Use Commonly Accepted Symbols:

This is self-explanatory, symbols such as ! # $ % * & + = can help you create stronger passwords

Give Emoticons Some Love

While there are some limits with the types of symbols you can use, most sites allow a decent range. Try turning them into “smiley” faces, :))) and give a fun boost to your password power. You already know that a smile is easier to recall! 

Check Out Your Keyboard

Given that most computer keyboards contain anywhere from 101 to 105 keys, there are countless options to craft unique passwords. It’s a canvas to draw on! So get creative with your system of symbols, abbreviations, and combinations that works for you.

iStratus hopes you find these ideas helpful. Share these tips around. Just don’t share your passwords and change them regularly!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Are Your Passwords Organized Yet?

We can run into all kinds of password dilemmas when they are kept in unbelievably random and insecure places…

The truth is: We don’t want to know your info! It is no secret passwords are the key to unimaginable disaster or chaos in the wrong hands! It pays not to be careless or flippant with this information. 

Things are bound to go wrong with that eventually, trust us.

And don’t get us started on the views of: “I don’t need a password system… I have one that I use for everything.”

This is yet another cause for ruin and disaster! If this is you, we at iStratus are providing some friendly advice to please think again. 

We are all likely to know a person whose e-mail password was compromised, and horrifyingly with this, there’s also the potential for any thief to infiltrate things further. 

If your e-mail account is compromised, for example, the thief can use the  ‘forgotten password functions’ on other websites to unlock many more accounts (as details are emailed directly to the perpetrator). Everything can be completely swiped – it’s a piece of cake or the whole chunk of it, for hackers and bots to initiate multiple breaches if the password in question is an identical one. What’s worse, often by the time one discovers the disaster – all hell has broken loose already, with hundreds of thousands in funds swiped… it is no joke.

Lessons to be learned: Adopt very strong passwords and use passwords managers such as iStratus’s Password Vault with its encryption to protect your passwords. In addition, guard the security of your email account/s fiercely. iStratus recommends using different passwords to avoid compromising every other account you have. Also, change your passwords often and take notice of any usual changes. Set your notifications at the ready.

Furthermore, we suggest that people also need to be mindful of being run over, smack bang by the proverbial freight train. Would important people in your life know how to access this information if something unexpected happened to you? It is pretty critical, that there’s a clear system someone else knows how to reach in the case of an emergency.

Like Our Vault: Electronic Password Keepers

There are abundant database applications made for storing passwords. We don’t want this to seem like a sales pitch here. We just want you to know there is a benefit to transporting all of your important information with you, securely encrypted, when away from my desk. 

Pro-Tip: Whatever application it is you choose, please DON’T trust a Word or Excel document for this purpose of recording (particularly one conveniently named “Passwords”) which can be effortlessly intruded.

Staying Secure When Cyberspace is Endlessly Vast 

The point is: Keep your passwords on the down-low. Think of it somewhat like this: Leaving your passwords easily accessible, is kind of like locking the front door, or securing your home with the latest, most fan-dangle, expensive security system — and leaving the backdoor wide open, as an invitation. Along with a welcome note saying: Check out my fridge, please feel free to help yourself.

Avoid writing or recording any password hints that are comparative to other accounts held, such as “same as PayPal”. It may seem obvious, but it needs to be said – this can become a big cross-referencing mess very quickly, particularly when you change the “referred-to” accounts and forget to reference this!!

Yes, a frustrating muck, you’ll likely spend hours attempting to rectify with frustration. Chances are, you’re not alone in this experience.

Here are some unforgettable words of golden password wisdom from people in the know: 

 

“Passwords are like underwear. You should change them often. Don’t share them. Don’t leave them out for others to see. They should be mysterious.”~ Chris Pirillo

 

In other words, ensure your passwords are cryptic to people.

And…

“Treat your passwords like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it and get a new one every six months.” ~ Clifford Stoll

All humor aside, your security is important.

So, on a final note, pretty PLEASE avoid using your birthday or any significant names associated with you! Choose something long but memorable. A nonsense sentence is a good password, such as “Myfavoritemorning2drinkisColdBrewCoffee!” We repeat: Don’t use something obvious, and if you must, record the master password if you tend to worry about forgetting such things.

In offering this advice, there is no bias intended, but one of the greatest advantages of adopting an electronic system is that you can use even more secure passwords and switch them up regularly since you are no longer relying on your memory to hold everything within.

Free up your mind – we’d love you to join us. Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Are You Cyber Safe? iStratus Tips For Students.

With the school year well underway now, most students are focused on using cyberspace for projects, making some headway and achieving grades, and of course, socializing on Social Media. At the same time, they also need to be aware, staying up to date on phishing schemes, safe computing practices to guard data and sensitive information. Whether they are in elementary, high school, or college, today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce.

It’s an uncertain world out there in Cyberspace. Here at iStratus, we’d like to share some tips with the students in your life. 

From malware and scams to cyberbullying, it can be a vicious cycle of events. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to keep you, your kids, and your devices protected from the latest threats: 

Keep Software Up-To-Date

We almost feel like a broken record, however, keep the operating system, browser software, and apps fully updated with patches. Even new machines can have out-of-date software that leaves you at risk. Operating systems and applications are constantly being updated to fix bugs and address security issues. You should use automatic updates to ensure you’re using the most secure version of the software that is available. Also, review the privacy settings — when an app is updated, it may change your settings! 

Practice Safe Computer Usage

Use trusted apps and only browse to trusted websites. Malware is often hidden in apps that trick you into downloading them or in fake websites that lure you in with interesting pictures or stories! Make sure everyone who uses the device takes the same precautions. 

Malware Protection, It Does What It Says: Protects YOU

To put it simply, set your devices to update automatically and run virus scans at least once a week. Let’s not forget malware is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems.

Malware today has become increasingly sophisticated and can evade antivirus software installing Ad and script-blocking browser plugins will help.

Most Internet and device security offer parental controls, which are great for managing applications that can be downloaded and the time spent on the device, whilst students are communicating with friends on social networks in a safe way. Enable security settings on devices, and as any software or apps are installed. Pay particular attention to information sharing options and be sure to verify your firewall to protect your information. 

Think Twice Before Sharing

It’s easy to get excited and overshare online. Be aware of divulging personal information on Social Media Platforms – such as school names, team names, and key interests which reveal particular details inadvertently. 

Be a Savvy Network User

In this day and age, this might seem like we’re stating the absolute obvious, however, reminders don’t hurt. 

Try not to access personal or financial information over unsecured public WiFi networks such as the “free WiFi” in coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, and schools, as this data can be easily intercepted and viewed by unauthorized people. Instead, consider using your smartphone’s more secure cellular signal or “hotspot” to surf online and take care of business.

Stay on Guard 

For students, there’s a general lack of privacy and personal space at school. Whether it’s a shared living space, crowded workspace, or the typically communal environment of a college campus, they’re continuously exposing their devices, leaving them vulnerable to access by others. 

The most important thing to remember or remind your kids of is to be aware of their surroundings. Be vigilant in keeping computing devices with you or locked in a safe and secure place. 

Avoid Jailbreaking Your Devices! 

Jailbreaking devices relate to gaining “root” access to it, which means disabling the manufacturer and operating system protections so there is access to functions, not originally intended to have access to. 

This access may allow greater functionality, on the same hand, however, it also reduces the security of devices, making them more susceptible to infectious malware. 

In addition, Jailbreaking devices essentially render them at greater risk of getting hacked, and malicious apps which phisher sensitive information disclosure. 

Frequently Backup Data

Given the growing risk of malware/virus infections known as “Ransomware,” iStratus recommends saving important data often. By definition, Ransomware holds a person’s files “hostage” until the victim recompenses the hacker. 

It is most practical to backup regularly, using both a physical storage device such as a USB flash drive, external hard drive or a cloud-based account, like iStratus uses to protect your files.

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

~ Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)

Bottom line, as we always say, we want you to stay safe out there on devices significantly central to our world. 

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Cyberspace, Let’s Stay Safe

Every day we engage in the world of cyberspace, and consequently, there are risks associated with security breaches for people and businesses all over the world that are appearing in media headlines. These attacks reveal the vulnerability of our data and the lack of robust security strategies in organizations, regardless of size. 

Overall, data security is vital to the well-being of businesses. Operations and records require protection. If compromised, reputation and fiscal damages occur.

In this article, we’ll look at ways iStratus protects you and your data:

It’s Why We Encrypt

In today’s world, people increasingly conduct their work on mobile or personal devices. Do we ensure our app is trustworthy and secure? Yes, all data is stored in an encrypted format and remains encrypted whenever it is stored in the ‘Password Vault’ or during migrations.

Begin with Strong Passwords

Create passwords that are long, complex, and varied. Specifically, passwords must be at least 8 characters long, include a mix of letters, non-sequential numbers, special characters, and ideally be as nonsensical as possible. In a point-blank attack, hackers try combinations of millions of dictionary words and numbers per second until one brings up a hit.

Implementing strong passwords is the first step to take in strengthening security in this space, to protect and prevent access to sensitive and valuable data. We recommend changing passwords at least every 90 days. Avoid using passwords like “1234567” or “Password1,” or having them written down for people to find.

Delete Any Redundant Data

We suggest deleting information and files you don’t use or need to access regularly. Applications like ours deal with sensitive information constantly as an essential element of our business. With appropriate information deletion or disposal mechanisms in place, this helps prevent stale data from being forgotten about and stolen at a later date. Erasing or otherwise modifying redundant data to be indecipherable also ensures it’s not stashed away somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Update Operating Systems and Applications Regularly

Having the most up-to-date iOS or version of an app is often the best way to ensure data is adequately patched and protected. Security with iStratus is regularly revised to ensure encryption is functioning adequately. We always recommend having the most recent update available. Since hackers and phishers are constantly adapting their approaches to exploit weaknesses in earlier software, it is advisable to update these applications frequently as possible.

Back-up Your Data Habitually

To this end, it also pays to back up your data frequently. It is not new information that this should already be a crucial part of your own IT security. With secure backups in place, you can survive essentially everything from accidental file deletion to bug-lockdowns.

Secure ALL Social Media Applications 

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are fun and engaging ways to communicate with all networks these days. However, to continue safely, it’s recommended you review the privacy settings of each account periodically to protect the privacy rights of any information purposely or inadvertently shared. 

It’s important to know who can see what, where, and which platform is sharing what data you have and with whom.

Check the Privacy Policy of Apps

iOS applications automatically enforce regulations for all users through their HTTPS, but the same cannot be guaranteed for Android apps. 

It’s best to either check out the privacy policy or inspect the website for an official stamp from a data protection organization. 

iStratus, as we’ve expressed repeatedly applies encryption to secure and protect any data you send online from hackers, network snoopers, and also third parties. We do not store or share your information anywhere.

Be Vigilant Against Phishing or Similar Scams

Databases with personal information are a goldmine of information. A phishing scam relies on tricks into replying or clicking on a link in a bogus email or text message to spread malware, steal credentials, or even worse. We all receive these kinds of text messages daily. 

The reality is, Cybercriminals will use unprotected information to attain fraudulent loans, steal identities, and infect entire networks, crashing them entirely. We don’t envision this happening with iStratus, however 

“A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and of vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness.”

~ Ann Radcliffe (1764 – 1823)

What’s The Best Solution? Prevention!

In current times, always be on the safe side and never click on links in COVID-19-themed emails for example. You can typically detect a phishing scam by reading the sender’s address. However, as life is often hectic, most of us would be none the wiser at first glance. Be aware, iStratus won’t ever send you emails. Another clue is often errors appear within text from automated bots. 

Vigilance is the key essential. 

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Raising Internet Savvy Kids & Teens

As parents, we want to do everything we can to keep our children safe and out of harm’s way, from looking both ways when crossing the street to always wearing a helmet when cycling. However, are we doing enough to protect them from bullies, predators, and stumbling across inappropriate content online?

Let’s face it, the internet is here to stay and with an ever-increasing amount of teens using apps on their smartphones, there’s always time to have regular discussions regarding cyber safety, if you don’t already provide those reminders to your loved ones. 

In this article, iStratus provides some handy tips for your parenting toolkit.

Be Open and Honest About Online Activity

It’s important to be informed. Have discussions with your kids about what apps they are using, what they are reading, watching, and who they are communicating with online – and keep the conversation going. Use iStratus to create a list, and look at them together. It’s essential to always remind them that this may be different for other parents and their children.

The bottom line? Listening and reaching an agreement about what is right for your family is what matters most. The internet and smartphones are everywhere, there’s no avoiding them. 

We need to reflect on our online reputation too if we want our kids to consider how they behave, interact with people and represent themselves in a public forum. They must always remember that these spaces aren’t private.

Who Are Your Children’s Friends Online?

As grown adults, we recognize that people aren’t always who they say they are online. Truthfully, young people can be alarmingly naïve about whom they are chatting to or connecting with if they are not taught to be cyber-wise from the onset.

iStratus suggests, becoming friends with your child’s social media circles and ensuring you monitor posts. There may be resistance to this but that can be a set condition for them to have online access.

Similarly, Stay #SocialMediaNetworkSavvy

Educate yourself on what social media networks and apps your children are using and use them as well. Remind your kids regularly about the privacy settings and reporting mechanisms on social networks. And being aware of what constitutes online bullying – both as a perpetrator and a victim.

Every photograph and personal detail that is posted and shared on social media and the internet contributes to someone’s digital footprint. The biggest risk with this is that once information is shared publicly, it can be used in untoward ways not necessarily expected.

Assume that anything that is put online is permanent (it can be deleted, but not necessarily before others have seen it or saved it). As parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to ask themselves before posting anything online if the information being shared (for example, their name, phone number, address, name of school, email) or a photo is something they would give a stranger. If the answer is no, then don’t post it.

If your child uses social networks, be sure they know how to:

  • Report inappropriate and/or offensive posts
  • Block someone
  • Keep posts set to “Private Between Friends” and not “Public.”

Use iStratus filing and folder systems to stay in control of your digital footprint, keep it all secure by only sharing important or personal information with people known and trusted.

Protect Privacy: Keep Locations Private

Most apps, networks, and devices have geotagging features, which reveal your whereabouts publicly and can lead someone directly to you. These features should be switched off for obvious privacy and safety reasons. Digital photographs also contain metadata (referencing the time, date, and GPS coordinates), which may reveal more than planned. Some social media platforms automatically hide or remove these details, but not all do, thus investigate these settings and be fully aware of how much info is being shared.

“The definition of privacy has changed – kids are more comfortable baring their souls online, but they don’t think about the consequences or permanence of the Internet.”

~ Elizabeth Wilkins, Editor, at Empowering Parents.com

Leading by Example is Key

Modeling the kind of positive online behavior we would like our children to use is fundamental. If they witness influential adults in their world being cautious and respectable while online, then they are more likely to follow in those footsteps. And, yes, this also includes limiting your own screen time.

Finally, the point is not to instill fear in our children or prevent them from experiencing the many educational, social, and entertainment benefits of the Internet, Social Media, or Apps. Rather, we must provide them with the skills and knowledge they require to make the most of the pluses while avoiding the dangers. 

There’s no doubt we’ll all sleep better by regularly discussing these points upon our checklists today.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

iStratus Technology For The 21st Century

Technology has become such a critical part of the survival of the 21st-century. Any business without some level of technical “savvy” employed will likely fail. It is that essential.

We’ve previously addressed how iStratus contributes to effective communication in the workplace; on the same hand, it’s also an effective contributor technology-wise to ensuring that businesses operate more efficiently as a whole. 

At its most basic level, technology enables more productivity. Whether you’re using a processing program that like Google Drive allows you to edit with ease on the go or using the iStratus calendar system that pulls data at a tap of qwerty keys, technology makes life easier. 

You can schedule calls and appointments, and as a Manager or CEO, track employee time, whilst performing all tedious tasks that once took hours in front of a screen, in only minutes, in the palm of your hand.

Let’s explore, how to stay ahead in today’s technological world with ease.

Proficiency with Accuracy

When it comes to business, you can’t stay in business if you don’t have your agenda scheduled right. In the modern world, it can be hard to keep track of the multiple things that require completion all at once of course!  iStratus is here to help you stay on top of all “organizational formulas” maintain your professional ethos with a sense of confidence and accuracy. 

Consider the time and cost once required to compile a long list of information. Now, your schedule can be regularly maintained utilizing software that allows it to be generated or repeated as necessary within moments.

Be Diving Force of “Competition”

As much as we may dislike a cutthroat world, to some degree we need to compete against the rest to be successful or simply, survive. 

In business, your competitors no doubt use technology, so you need to employ and embrace it also. These days the connectivity of the Internet expands business horizons. 

We no longer sit in our backyard, so to speak. We are a global community, which allows us to stand out if we choose to. At iStratus we strongly promote and believe in our product, not because we simply want to “get ahead” of other businesses; we also have the desire to support and push your organization and productivity gains ahead too. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all took upon it ourselves as human beings, to recognize that becoming a collaborator turns us into a valuable force instead of a competitor? We can all collaborate beautifully with iStratus technology. That’s the competition.

Communicate More Effectively

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, iStratus effectively increases communication in the workplace for the better. Truthfully, none of the elements noted above functions effectively without it. Is a vital key towards success and the organized “survival of the fittest” for want of better words. 

Whatever the modality, be it an instant message, with a co-worker across the room, or across the ocean, there are no limits to a sharing interface like iStratus. The constant ease of communication allows us to forward information with clients, colleagues, or relatives, regardless of location. Technology has certainly made connecting in real-time easier than ever. 

On the flip side, putting your faith in technology to conduct business can be difficult, but sometimes you have got to take a chance. No matter what your objectives are, in iStratus you can create and address whatever it is, instantly. Your notes, lists, are placed directly where you choose, to get the job of being more organized done.

“Almost everything worthwhile carries with it some sort of risk, whether it’s starting a new business, whether it’s leaving home, whether it’s getting married, or whether it’s flying into space.”

~ Chris Hadfield

True, yet not all risks are created equally. Going into space is a greater risk than trusting technology to assist you. However, nothing is without risk, of some sort. 

Relevance Matters

Regardless of your industry or profession, iStratus is designed to make life easier. Anything we can do to help lessen the pressure upon us in some way, we will try to achieve it. The point is to make things relevant to your needs and only you can decide what works best for yourself with iStratus. We do hope you notice a difference.

We can say with integrity that our technology values your business. We strive to protect your privacy rights and ensure you find something useful in the App that supports your daily life. As the decades pass, the next generation won’t be functioning without such technology. Therefore, we will continuously strive to improve iStratus’s delivery and positive impact. The world is full of enough demands as it is – we want to help you stress a little less towards success.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Protecting Your Privacy

Ok, so in previous articles, we’ve looked at the military-grade encryption iStratus provides because it goes without re-emphasizing it, we highly value protecting your information. Yes. We do our part, but we feel it is also important for us to look at how you can do your part to protect yourself from “online gremlins” too. 

And stay cyber safe.

It is no surprise that technology is pretty savvy towards what we do.  — By basic definition, marketing technology, in particular, is the industry devoted in part “to tracking people” and merging their information, so advertising can be tailored to suit our interests more effectively.

This tracking occurs on multiple levels: There’s physical tracking, because we carry our cell phones everywhere we go. And virtual tracking, of all the places we visit online.

The more that is understood about how the information is being collected, shared, and sold off, the more people tend to want to protect their privacy. Still, in practice, it’s difficult to know what is effective and what is a waste of time.

Everyone wants to protect their stuff, don’t they? So here are some ideas of what we should do.

Employ Good Security

This makes sense for most of us. We’ve all seen the words and rating scales of “strong passwords” at some point when setting up an online account. Passwords are the obvious thing we need to protect, so that doesn’t need repeating here. We think you understand the importance of this.

There has been much debate surrounding online privacy within the last decade. And it must be noted there’s a definite distinction between ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ when it comes to your data.

Generally speaking:

  • Security: refers to protecting against unauthorized access of your stuff — such as phishing credit card information, or hacking bank accounts.
  • Privacy: relates to preventing your movements from being tracked for purposes of advertising or monitoring.

Download The Latest Security Updates.

You know those pesky reminders you receive from your computer or phone to install the latest security update? Download those.

As App Designers we at iStratus know Apps can be compromised by problems that people know exist and publicly report. Security “bugs” are always worked upon so such situations can be avoided at a high standard. Thus, update, to get the benefit of security.

Beware of Phishing.

There’s that word again” phishing” 

Not every attack on our security arises through malware or hackers invisibly breaking into your account. Commonly, we’re hoodwinked into divulging our passwords or personal information to some shockingly awful actors.

Bear in mind, iStratus won’t send you anything. So if ever you receive anything claiming to us, it’s not us. And please let us know!

We all recognize, scammers enjoy hitting up our phones, in calls, texts, or emails and there are also signs that these messages aren’t legit. ALWAYS check for spelling or grammatical errors, links to third-party websites other than those these should be linked to, or emails coming directly from a strange domain.

If it feels fishy, it usually is! Trust those instincts!

It’s difficult to protect your privacy online if there aren’t exactly laws to protect it in the first place.

However, in truth blocking some advertising options on major social media platforms does help. It’s a dead giveaway when things you Google show up in Social Media Advertising!!

That said, privacy settings are only so effective, without any actual laws for privacy protection itself.

There are laws involving health and credit and financial information, however, there is much evidence available online that suggests, nationally the U.S. and other countries such as Australia don’t have a universal data privacy law safeguarding our everyday online privacy.

Numerous cyber-security experts propose avoiding “blockers” and so forth as they are frequently inadequate in their effectiveness anyway because of the attention such technology requires. Besides this, it is a multibillion-dollar Ad Tech industry out there. 

Like all values of communication we’ve spoken of, you would probably be better off to advocate for rights to inform policymakers that you wish to see change with today’s online privacy.

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take One Step at a Time…

When faced with this daunting issue, digital privacy and security can feel uneasy – we understand that. 

Services such as our iStratus “Password Vault” help – even just employing the basics to strengthen and protect your passwords makes a difference. Always having a vigilant eye for scams will make your accounts and information more secure. 

The Internet is not going anywhere – that’s the reality. Thus, the more aware each of us becomes towards understanding how our data is collected and used — the more we can tackle our privacy to keep it private. At iStratus, we want you to feel better and safer in mindset regarding how our digital lives will be for years to come. The only way is up!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

The Importance of a Password Vault

The gist of Password Managers (PMs) and encryption in applications is to provide users with a safe and secure way to store credentials. This process typically includes applying a password, or pin to correctly verify data whenever access to personally sensitive information within an application or on a device is required. In this article, we’ll explore some of the mechanisms in our “Vault” that make password storage secure and easier.

At iStratus we know that security is a top priority for everyone. Hence, it’s the thing we value within our App most of all. We want you to feel secure in the way you store your credentials in our database for future reference and use. 

So, How Are Storing Passwords?

A “simple” approach to storing passwords is to create series of algorithms or tables in our database which maps use. When a user logs in, the server receives a request for authentication with a master password and, if things don’t match up in our vault, it’s a no-go. Again, the safety and security of your information are our primary focus. We keep things locked tight (no puns intended) and rest assured to access files and sensitive information your master password is immediately compared with the password provided and stored within the iStratus database. A secure match then provides the user access to the application.

A far more secure way to store a password is to transform it into data that cannot be converted back to the original password. Thus, at iStratus, we apply advanced encryption techniques to ensure your private/secure information is trolled all over the world of the Internet. Let’s learn more about the theory behind encrypting, its benefits, and its limitations.

Setting Your Master Password

We all have little memory space outs. In case that occurs iStratus has a sweet featured where you send yourself a nice little email with a few hints.

You don’t have to worry, you’re not superhuman you don’t have to remember everything!! We don’t necessarily like the impossible, it is just unrealistic, to think occasionally there is that chance you may forget.

As usual, iStratus akin to other elements within the app, ensures your passwords are neatly organized into categories so you have the option of deciding what goes where.

It’s all up to you. You decide which direction you wish to take.

It’s not surprising to hear the question: “Are password managers (PMs) safe to use?” The short answer is “yes.” The vast majority of cyber-security specialists agree that password managers are indeed the most secure way to protect your passwords.

Further research suggests, “123456” and “password”— are two of the most widely used passwords on the web for security. We might be biased but this is all the more reason to adopt and use our “Password Vault” in iStratus, because like the healthy fruits and vegetables of the Internet. Essentially, everyone knows these foods are good for us; however, most people are happier snacking on a password equivalent of a Snickers bar. 

Stay Safe & Sound

Despite the reliability of the PMs, the technology industry as a whole always takes a hit when media covers the latest vulnerability or security breach. Therefore, we hope this blog helps you feel confident about using our password vault without the fear-mongering often associated with these tools.

Of course, in this technological era, we need to always be conscious and aware of how we store our sensitive information. So we must emphasize whilst use iStratus, even if “hackers” do attempt to have a field day, we used military-grade encryption so that even with a “cyber attack” your data will be protected.

Let’s face it, the safest way to store them in your head is to memorize them all, keeping them all long, strong, and secure as a rule of thumb!

We’re joking. That might be possible for a unique genius but for the most part, we need to offload our data into secure vaults so that we make room in our minds and give our overworked memories a decent break.

The iStratus Password Vault offers convenience and, more importantly, helps you stay organized and keep them, which makes your online existence less vulnerable to password-based attacks. 

So yes, we’re advocates for using a password manager as a handy tool. In one click, as well as securely storing other types of data like your credit card or home security information, you can instantly print selected pieces of data you have stored. As always, our App is designed with organization in mind. And we want the sharing of your data with family and friends to be safer. We feel this is a significantly better way to share your login details than in an email or some unencrypted messenger. This approach also ensures you won’t lose anything should the unexpected happen. Breathe easy.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Encryption Explained.

In today’s world and advancement in the use of technology over the past decade, there’s an ever-growing potential for escalation of hackings, and security breaches in our private data are pervasive. To protect technology (and ourselves) now, more than ever before, encryption has a stronghold key towards our security online.

There has been quite a debate recently regarding Internet regulation pertaining to access to data. However let’s not digress here, that is another story for another day, as they say really. 

The Need For Encryption

Bottom line: We want and need encryption, and if you read our previous article associated with using iStratus’s “Password Vault” you’ll understand why we apply encryption every day to ensure your personal data doesn’t land in the wrong hands.

In this article, we’ll address the encryption script and why it is central to the security we offer you when using iStratus. Needless to say, but we’ll say it repeatedly anyway because we want you to feel assured: The safety of your data is paramount to us!

The Encryption Script

Encryption is exactly that – cryptic. It transforms data into an ambiguous message to prevent unauthorized access to your information within our app. Many technologies use this approach from emails to bank details, by keeping communication secure between the parties involved.

Within iStratus, our security is military grade. So any information used within the “vault or cloud” becomes ‘scrambled’ when any information is sent from one recipient to another. A lengthy code turns information unreadable for anybody else that may attempt to access it.

When the data stored and sent is encrypted, the user or the sender and the receiver are the only people that can decrypt the scramble. Simply put encryption is like translating your information into a foreign language only you or an intended recipient understands, and most importantly, vernacular cybercriminals cannot translate.

When implemented effectively, encrypted data potentially ensures hackers would require hundreds of years to crack the codes applying repeatedly brute force cyber attacks, upon the complex mathematical algorithms and long numerical sequences that are arduous to decrypt, using software that scans through billions of combinations.

Of course as just as there are different types of technology, there are different types of encryption, each with varying levels of effectiveness. 

This process is essential measured in “bits”. We’re not going to get into all of that technical jargon here, as that involves numerous pages and lots of numbers. However in simple terms of the theory: The higher the number of “bits” involved in encryption, the harder it is – a general rule – for a hacker to crack the code. We’ll say it again, iStratus uses Military Grade encryption, so yes, we’re sure – you get the message on that.

Keeping Things Locked for Security.

End-to-end encryption is imperative because it provides of course provides security for files, data being sent moment to moment and it is scrambled until it is accessed by the user on “password” or it is something received by an intended recipient. This also ensures that no third party or hacker can read the exchanged information.

Services like Gmail or Microsoft for example, enable the provider to access the content of users’ data on its servers because they possess copies to the decryption keys. With the terms and conditions, we essentially grant permission to read emails and files. In Google’s aka Gmail’s past, it’s these keys that have allowed them to share information and this is why we often receive targeted advertisements. 

On the contrary, well-constructed end-to-end encrypted systems, such as iStratus, means that providers never have to access to the decryption keys.

Advantages of End-To-End Encryption

The National Security Agency (NSA) recently issued revised guidelines (2020) for using certain collaboration services during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Leading Number One on the NSA’s list of Criteria was the recommendation to employ end-to-end encryption, to reduce the risk exposure of confidentially sensitive data and becoming harder targets for a “cyber invasion.”

So in summary encryption:

Safeguards your confidential data against hackings: With end-to-end encryption, the service user is the only one who has the private key to unlock their data. The information these web servers store cannot be read by hackers because the private keys are required to decrypt it.

Protects your privacy: If data features decryption on these servers, then obviously your privacy is also protected.

Safeguards Administrators too: With no holds on the decryption keys to the data, any attempted attack that could potentially target admins like iStratus will come up short.

Today, it is no surprise that hundreds of defense companies and businesses rely on this approach to protect user’s most sensitive data. At iStratus, the end-to-end encryption approach is at the core of how we protect you best. Stay safe always.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Organize. Transform. Standout. 

If you’re not an inherently organized person, iStratus is here to help you apply critical organizational skills daily that will be transformative to your career. We want you to stand out and separate from the pack. Read on to discover five key strategies that will improve your organizational skills within the workplace.

Planning

Plan for accomplishment. Thinking as far ahead and establishing a thoughtful plan of attack allows for the value-added organization each day. Be proactive! The easiest way to be productive for the day is to plan and prepare, for it.

Being an efficient planner entails utilizing lists. 

Use iStratus to make a list of all the tasks you must cover each day. This will ensure:

  • Fewer tasks are forgotten
  • You experience the satisfaction of checking things off from your to-do list throughout the day.
  • You have a concrete way to keep track of the tasks for completion.
  • You will potentially stay motivate to commit and there will be a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment from finalizing tasks.

Regardless of which list or calendar method you use on iStratus, the application of a list will help you focus and structure your day.

Time Management

Begin by viewing your time as valuable. Life will pull you in different directions at times; feeling like you’ll never get atop your job. However, effective time management will allow you to address those moments of havoc with added intention and intelligence. We can view interruptions as a minor annoyance as opposed to something, which controls your day.

Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive – if you function better early in the morning, consider that your prime time use iStratus to highlight and schedule your most demanding and challenging work during this time. Try to coordinate your prime time with others to minimize unnecessary and avoidable interruptions. 

Typically significant time is wasted dealing with interruptions during the workday. From emails to those constant “dings” that occur on our mobile phones and those distractions steal valuable time. Focusing on key tasks noted on your iStratus calendar in time blocks will help you track your day effectively.

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule

The scheduling strategy goes hand in hand with creating checklists. While you are creating “To-Dos” or Checklists of tasks and projects, align it all with a schedule. Give each task a designated timeframe in which to accomplish it. That way, you can ensure deadlines are met and nothing is left undone or by the wayside. 

Be generous and allow some flexibility with your time estimates for each task or project. The schedule must be realistic. Try not to compile a list and schedule that results in feeling low and unaccomplished because you “failed to meet” your own presets for work.

Appreciate your calendar with an eye upon the bigger, wider picture. Sometimes it’s important to focus on what’s happening today, for today, and then deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. Following this to take a few steps ahead at once towards a broader view will help you thrive.

Kick Goals

Nothing feels better than setting a goal and smashing it. Go for fulfillment. It’s a genuine energy boost!

Set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals for yourself. Prioritize both smaller and larger goals to stay motivated and disciplined to finalize tasks.

Remember flexibility is key. Adding new goals to your agenda in iStratus throughout the year or adjusting an existing goal is perfectly okay. Life is unpredictable, thus it’s important be open and willing to redirect the course as required. This doesn’t equate to failure. Sometimes, there is simply a need to pivot to keep moving forward. Moving forward is what counts.

You are in charge of your organizational domain.  Arrange your digital workspace into folders within iStratus for maximum efficiency. Anyone can diminish the time and effort it takes to accomplish tasks. 

Storing your files digitally with iStratus is designed to organize them in such a way so that everything you require is stored adequately and named appropriately. This will save time looking for those “lost” files. Create a master document of all your files to save time in the long run. 

Ultimately, we recognize that life is not a checklist, to rule your world. We do, believe in allowing the process to flow. We say that organizational skills are crucial for success and increasing your productivity so that you can breathe and focus on those things that matter to you most.

We hope these tips assist in helping you – Organize and transform your daily routine to stand out amongst “the crowd.”

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”

~ J. K. Rowling

Live life and roll well with iStratus.