Everyone wants to live in a well-built house which is free from all flaws. However, the health of our home more or less depends upon our attention and concern towards building or repairing it. One of the most neglected parts of a house is its roof. A roof undergoes the most devastating circumstances such as thunderstorms, heavy winds and ice damming. It needs to be taken care of. Hiring an ideal Roofing Durham contractor should be the first thing on our priority list while thinking of roof repairing or replacement. How to determine that a contractor is ideal?

Well, let’s have a look at a few questions you should ask before hiring your contractor.

# 1. Address: The most basic thing to ask, but a vital one too. You need to know the background of your contractor. If the roofing company doesn’t have a proper physical address, it could turn fishy. In situations like these, you should move on.

# 2. Insurance: Nothing in this world can be taken for granted. How can you take a chance on your contractor? An ideal roofing contractor should have workman’s compensation and liability insurance. These insurances protect you in situations where the employee of the contractor gets injured, also if your property gets damaged.

# 3. License: Government’s license is necessary for a roofing company. You would not want your on-going work to be stopped or hampered due to some licensing issues. License requirements, however, vary from state to state. You should contact the licensing officers of your locality to get your contractor’s license checked.

# 4. Can you make me visit any of your on-going projects? Visiting the on-going projects of the company makes you ensure the authenticity of its work. There are a lot of claims that a company boasts of. By paying a visit to its projects, you can judge the company’s claims and credibility.

# 5. Time limit of the job: Inquiring about the duration of the project is a crucial thing. The contractor should give you a proper time estimate along with a description of possible delays.

# 6. Asking about Subcontractors: You should ask about the subcontractors required for the project and their additional expenses. Your prior information about the subcontractors would prevent the company from adding any false details about subcontractors or additional expenses.

# 7. References from past jobs: If you get to talk to the past clients of the contractor, you will get a clear idea of the temperament and work of the contractor.

#8. Payment Terms: Discussing the payment terms before the start of the project is necessary. There are cases where there is a big difference between the price estimate and the actual amount. Having a prior discussion would clear the doubts and won’t let the contractor put wool into your eyes.

# 9. Warranties: There are a few warranties on roofing materials. You must ask your Roofing contractor about the warranties on the materials being used in your roofing.

# 10. How will you leave the site at the end of the job? You would not want yourself to do the cleaning part at the end. You must discuss with the roofing company about the cleaning-up tasks and their expenses too.

If you get satisfied with all the above queries, you should hire the contractor. Keep talking to different roofing companies until you get completely satisfied with a particular one. After all, it is your home. You must take care of it.

Does it ever happen to you that you are trying to visit a certain website but you are being redirected to another one instead? Rather than visiting abcd.com, you are redirected to abed.com, or some random websites full of pop-ups and ads? Then, sorry to say, but you have become a victim of DNS Hijacking or DNS Redirection.

To understand DNS Hijacking, you must first know about DNS (Domain Name System). It basically is a system which maps an “easy to remember domain name like google.com” to a “complex IP address like”. Each website has a unique IP address which is mapped to its corresponding URL (web address) by the DNS server. This DNS server is maintained by the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and some private organisations like Google.

Suppose a malware somehow gets into your PC and alters your default DNS settings. Now, instead of going through the DNS server of your ISP, your every internet request is going through another one which is maintained by the hackers. They can use it for carrying out their malicious activities – That too with your credentials!

To understand how it works, suppose you are playing a game of catch with your friends.

But, you can’t throw the ball directly to your friends.

You have to throw the ball to a player X who in turn will throw it to your friends.

But during some time in between of game, another player Y replaces X in absence of your knowledge.

Now Y is a mischievous boy who will not throw the ball to your desired friend rather to the one which he wants to.

Here you are as your PC while your friends are the sites which you want to access.

The player X act as the DNS maintained by your ISP and the player Y acts as the fake DNS server who is redirecting you to other malicious websites.

Since you are using the DNS servers controlled by the hackers, they can map your URL into any IP address as per their wish. This means your DNS protection is compromised. They use it to redirect you to a fake website full of pop ups and ads or to gain personal information about you.

For example, suppose you want to access a social networking site or a banking site but instead you are sent to a very similar but fake website. You enter your personal details on this site and voila! The hacker is now having your personal information at his disposal which he can use as per his desire. A Trojan named DNS Changer infected more than 4 million computers worldwide between 2007 to 2012 and generated revenue of close to 14 million dollars through fake advertisement sites.

To be safe from DNS Hijacking and ensure DNS protection, you must prevent malicious programs to be installed on your system. These malicious programs make way into your computer in the form of attachments when you download files from some untrusted website.

So the best way to protect yourself from DNS Hijacking is by ensuring that your computer is free of those malicious programs. For this, you must purchase a good –DNS protection program for safeguarding your systems from malware such as DNS changers. Always keep the firewall turned on; it will prevent your PC from opening malicious websites and downloading of malware.

In case you are already infected, delete and reset the Hosts file (a text file which maps host names to IP addresses) and use antivirus to get rid of the malware. Then change the DNS server of your PC manually. But the damage might already be done. So the best thing is to follow above mentioned guidelines and protect yourself from DNS Hijacking as it is always better to be safe than sorry.

IP address management software

The world today is more dependent on IP than it has ever been in the past. While the growth of the Internet has been quite fast in the recent years, the advent of various devices accessing the internet has increased the demand for IP addresses at an unprecedented scale. Internet of Things (IoT) is the future and there is no way past that. With the growing number of devices interacting with the web there is already a shortage of IP addresses and IPv4 addresses have been exhausted. It is time to make way for the IPv6 addressing system. However, before moving on to the next level, business organizations have a different issue to take into consideration – the management of the IP addresses in the system. Thus, IP address management software (IPAM software) is the need of the hour.

IPAM is necessary for organizations having multiple devices accessing the network. With large number of devices there is the need of a large segment of IPs. Unless you have a proper IP address management strategy in place it is going to get chaotic in the long run as you start facing issues with conflicting IPs. Organizations that have their own server and network also face the risk of external attack which can only be checked through secured IP address management. The year 2017 opens up new opportunities and frontiers as well as make it even more important to take security and related issues seriously. if you are yet to invest in an IP address management software, here are a few compelling reasons why you should.

1. Security: Security is a major concern for any business organization. IPAM software manages all the IP addresses in use within a network using both DNS and DHCP. If there is any change in either of the two the software is able to monitor it and make the necessary changes. It also helps in keeping a track of all the IP addresses in use and the systems what are assigned the IP addresses along with the activity happening in respect to each of the IP addresses. Thus, any security breach and rogue IP is identified at source and can be countered.

2. Network Health Monitoring: Network health monitoring and maintenance is an important activity performed by IPAM system. When you are dealing with a large network such as that of an enterprise IP address conflict can result in complete chaos. It is virtually impossible to manually keep track of all the IPs assigned to all the systems interacting with the network. IPs can be reserved, static or dynamic or might follow any other protocol as stated. Besides these, the IPAM also keep track of the MAC addresses, hostname, DHCP lease data, and much more. This in turn helps in keeping the network running at optimum scale.

3. Compliance: There might be certain protocols a network needs to comply with. IPAM helps with such compliances. Detailed collection of data helps in maintaining a network that is in compliant with all security protocols as well, effectively making the network highly secured.

It seems that it’s time to bring in the DNS firewall, for hackers are becoming knowledgeable about the fact that the internet is easy to hack, and the DNS layer is not often protected. As the intrusion detection/intrusion protection systems have become the most common form of protection, then it’s time to turn to the DNS layer, with the subsequent DNS firewall, to protect the systems that we love so much.

The DNS firewall adds an extra layer of protection beyond just the traditional ID/IPS protection, and the DNS firewall can circumvent many types of malware, making sure to keep your system ultimately the safest it can be in perilous times. Many Fortune 500 companies have been subject to malware attacks, and while they were protected in the ID/IPS realm, these attacks could have been prevented–up to 80% of them!–if they had had a DNS firewall in place.Another really great thing about the DNS firewall is that you already have, on your computer, the specific DNS infrastructure to set it up and run it really easily. You can set up a firewall in a number of days with just scripts, vendor solutions, sources, and also a good talk with the DNA administrator. It’s a pretty easy answer to the typical complaints that malware is taking over a computer, don’t you think?

We stand behind the percentage of cases of malware and phishing that could be averted–80%. This is a solid figure, and it lets you know that much malware information is documented, and with a firewall for DNS in place, you could avert the phishing schemes and malware by storing their data in your firewall. While this type of firewall may still seem like a new idea, you’ll ultimately find that it’s really easy to install, and you’re sure to love how simple the solution can be if you just give it a true chance.

If you are considering putting hardwood flooring in your home, it may pay great dividends to research online and find a company that has top notch ratings. When it comes to hardwood flooring, there is a good chance that you are going to be living with the same flooring for years, if not decades, so it is important to really think about what type of flooring you want. On top of picking the perfect flooring, it is imperative to pick a company that is going to install them correctly and really do a great job. Luckily, it has never been easier to find a great company, as there is a wealth of information online, which can easily help you to find the perfect company. If a hardwood flooring Toronto company is doing regular work, there should be a steady stream of customers that post reviews on the service they have received. If you can’t find reviews from other customers, or even ratings that indicate how reputable the company is, you should probably move onto another company, as this is not a good indication. Those companies that do stellar work should have positive reviews from customers that have been thrilled with the hardwood flooring that was installed in their homes.
Sites such as Yelp are a great resource to use, although there are quite a bit of other ratings websites that can be used to get an idea of how good or bad a company is. If you have been considering whether or not you want to put hardwood flooring in your home, or are thinking about going with another material, it may be a good idea to call up a few companies and get their input. Depending on your home, it may make sense to go with hardwood flooring, rather than going with something else, such as carpeting in your home. A great advantage of hard wood floors is the fact that it is fairly easy to take care of and there is less risk when it comes to dropping food and drinks on the floor, so if you are looking for less maintenance, you may want to go with hard wood floors.

Small businesses face many challenges in the business world with establishing and growing their business. While these challenges never really go away, companies can strengthen their hand by making smart financial decisions from day one which will significantly impact whether or not your business will succeed going forward. When you are first establishing your business consider the following factors to get your company on a firm footing.

Business StructureThe way that you structure your business can greatly impact the tax expense that you have as well as the personal liability that the owners have. For example, C Corporations have a double layer of taxation (on the entity and shareholders when they receive dividends), but this affords owners with an added layer of protection from litigation. S Corporations have no double layer of taxation but can only have a limited number of owners and cannot offer stock options to employees. Overall, there are many different considerations that a business should have when deciding on the structure including the number of owners of the business, plans for business expansion, and access to financing. A government grants for small business  should thoroughly investigate how they want to structure their company as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each structure before making a decision.

Developing Corporate Policies

Having formal documentation and policies and procedures can not only provide your organization with structure but also can limit the exposure that your company has to lawsuits. If your small business has experienced human resources and financial personnel on staff, be sure to dedicate time to developing formal policies and procedures. If not, consider hiring a professional firm to assist you with this as the risk of litigation from employees and other stakeholders can be greatly mitigated with this.

Find Financing and Form Budgets

Understand how your will finance your small business to minimize cash shortfalls and difficult financial decisions. There are different concerns and issues if you are planning to finance your business through debt, equity, or through operations and having a firm plan in hand for deploying and using these forms of financing is essential to succeeding in the business world. Businesses with debt will have to be organized for repaying the debt and reporting to lenders. Shareholders’ concerns will also need to be met and financial reports will need to be provided to them. If financing through cash flow from operations, then reserves for business downturns need to be available to protect your business through sudden shocks to your business. Regardless of how you finance your business a budget is an important tool for managing your cash flow and having sufficient capital on hand. Form honest and conservative budgets that allow for business contingencies.

By taking these steps and concerns into effect you will greatly improve the chances that you small business have for success.