Backing Up Your Stuff Part 4: Preparing For Disaster

Written by Richard Lowe

Okay, picture this ... your computer system has been destroyed byrepparttar most recent outbreak ofrepparttar 132112 dreaded typhoid Mary virus. You never knew what hit you. One minuterepparttar 132113 system was fine. You received a nice email with an attachment which you opened, and boom, your system crashed. You rebooted but it got an error. Now what?

Or you could have mice (the animals) in your house. Mice love to create nests in warm places, and your computer is pretty warm. Just imagine all those little teeth gnawing away on all ofrepparttar 132114 wires ...

Worse yet, imagine it rains and a leak appears directly over your hard drive ... or your "friend" spills coffee onrepparttar 132115 CPU cabinet. I could go on and on about what could happen to your computer.

I don't know about you, but I spend more time on my home computer than I do watching television, reading, eating or anything else except possibly working at my day job. When my computer has a problem, especially one that results in a boot failure, I get extremely angry. I feel like I have been betrayed by my best friend. Ifrepparttar 132116 system gets damaged, I feel just as much pain as if a good friend went intorepparttar 132117 hospital.

The thing to do is to make sure you are prepared forrepparttar 132118 worst possible thing that can happen ... total system failure. This is a very difficult task to write about as there are many different ways that a computer can eat itself or be eaten - perhaps as many ways as there are computers.

It is beyondrepparttar 132119 scope of this article to go into great detail on how to make your system totally recoverable. There are many other great resources onrepparttar 132120 internet and inrepparttar 132121 documentation that originally came with your computer which will help you prepare.

Briefly, though, what you need arerepparttar 132122 following:

- The CD ROM containingrepparttar 132123 operating system installation files. This virtually always comes with a new system. It will be labeled something like "Windows 95" or "Windows 2000".

- Any other kind of recovery CD that came with your system.

- A bootable media. Sometimesrepparttar 132124 CD ROM itself is bootable. More often, you will get one or more floppy diskettes with your system. Keep these in a safe place.

- An emergency repair disk. This is usually one (sometimes more) diskettes which contain all ofrepparttar 132125 configuration options for your operating system. You need to create these occasionally (they are not automatic) - usually whenever you make a major change.

- Copies of all ofrepparttar 132126 updates and patches that have applied torepparttar 132127 operating system. What I do is maintain a writeable CD with a copy of each service pack and hot fix that I've installed. It is also a good idea to keep a text file (onerepparttar 132128 writeable CD itself) with a list of what needs to be installed inrepparttar 132129 correct order.

Has your site got the 3 basic security measures?

Written by Gim Yeap

In recent weeks, attacks on prominent sites such as Yahoo and Ebay have brought home a very pressing point - site security. Anywhere you have a dynamically-generated page, you could be open to attacks where malicious HTML is embedded into your pages. Your pages could be rewritten to substitute your customers' names with "Dummy." Or, credit card information could be intercepted and sent to a secret depository for later use. What can we do about this?

There are many methods by which a hacker may attack or take control of a site. I am focusing this discussion on attacks that come via form input. That is, anywhere you have input coming in from your web user, e.g. a registration form, user login or even a search on your site. Scripts could be sent to your server by entering < script> some malicious code < /script> in your input fields. The following are steps you can take to minimiserepparttar risk of this happening. These measures will not make your site hacker-proof (no site can be if a hacker really has it in for you), but it can make it less of an easy target. Step 1: Place character limits on your inputs You do this by addingrepparttar 132110 "maxlength" attribute into your text input tags

e.g. < input type="text" name="firstname" maxlength="15">

The example above restrictsrepparttar 132111 user to a 15 character input for that field. The "< script>" and "< /script>" tags alone will take 17 characters so repparttar 132112 smaller you limit your "maxlength" attribute to,repparttar 132113 harder it will be to include rogue codes in your inputs. Of course, you must ensure that you impose a suitable limit so that actual input from your valid users will not be excluded. Step 2: Filtering your data All data received from your site should be filtered, you can either filter your data when it comes into your server as user input, or when it goes out as results for your user's browser. Whether you should filter input or output, depends on your site and its requirements, there is a good discussion on this at ech_tips/malicious_code_mitigation.html/ . Filters can be written in any language, here is an example in Perl :

# This function checksrepparttar 132114 input, $firstname, forrepparttar 132115 following symbols ;<>?*/'&$!#()[]{}:"' # and tellsrepparttar 132116 user to re-enter his/her firstname if any ofrepparttar 132117 symbols is found if($firstname =~ /([;<>?*/'&$!#()[]{}:'"])/) { print p('Invalid input found, please use only alphanumerical input. Please re-enter your FIRSTNAME'); } You can see this script at work on our site : . Step 3: Settingrepparttar 132118 character encoding

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