Who REALLY invented the Internet?

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– Al Gore did, Right?

Well, no…Al Gore did, however, quite famously, make this statement during and interview with CNN in March of 1999 “…I took the initiative in creating the Internet…” Former Vice President Gore’s poor choice in words propelled enough media “hoopla” that it still has not died out more then 15 years later, leaving some to wonder who DID invent the internet?

– So, who then?

Depending on the definition of the “The Internet”, who actually invented it, could be up for debate. As early and the 1940’s the United States Government envisioned a system of data that could be stored on one main frame and could be accessible to those within that main frames network. In 1968 Bob Taylor, a computer scientist with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), had developed a plan that generally encompassed the idea of Time-Sharing, where MIT, UC Berkley and System Development Corp had systems that also connected to the pentagon. The concept of Time-Sharing, however, was initiated in 1957 by John McCarthy.

BBN Technologies won the bid to develop ARPA network in April of 1969. The BBN team, lead by Frank Heart, went on to develop the infrastructure that is the basis for today’s Internet. In the 1970’s Xerox developed PARC Universal Packet or PUP which implemented the packet delivery system the Internet uses today. However in 1973 Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf had come up with a “fundamental Reformulation” of existing protocols and TCP/IP the backbone of today’s Internet was born.

– Ok…So Who Invented the Internet?

So, did the United States government invent the Internet or was it private citizens who invented it? It appears that the Internet was not “invented” by any one individual or entity, or even at all, but rather a collaboration of ideas and prototypes that fit together to “develop” the Internet over time. The most important invention on the road to the development of the modern Internet is notably TCP/IP protocol, without which today’s Internet would cease to function. One could also argue that because the majority of systems and prototypes leading to the Internet was developed under U.S. government grants, the United States Government invented the Internet. However, when all the evidence is weighed it does appear that the real answer to “Who invented the Internet?” is arguably, no one at all!

Tec Info provides the highest quality Business and Residential Internet and Phone service to Greenville, Jackson, Leland, Cleveland, Oxford, Tupelo & Greenwood Mississippi.

Business Computer Safety, Part 5

Keeping Your Business Computer Safe and Secure

Welcome back to our series on home computer security! We’ve talked about antivirus, antispyware, firewalls, and strong passwords. This post may be the hardest for a lot of people, because it involves changing the way you use the Internet. You don’t have to be paranoid, just be mindful of what you read and download, and you’ll be much safer.

Surf Smart and Stay Away from Spam

Everyone knows what spam is, and most of us can recognize it, but it bears repeating. If you don’t recognize the address an email came from, don’t open it. You know if you signed up for a newsletter or updates from a certain site – if you didn’t, don’t open it, just delete it. Anything that appears to come from a large company, unless you gave them your email address for ordering or other purposes, will be spam, and should be immediately deleted. If you want to be extra safe, delete anything that appears to come from someone you know, but has a subject line that doesn’t look right. You know how your friends and family talk and/or type. If the sender looks right but the subject line doesn’t, delete it. Then email or call your friend and tell them the subject line looked iffy, so you didn’t open it, and if it was real, would they please send it again. They’ll understand. You might also recommend that they clean their computer.

As mentioned previously, some free programs that you can download have spyware built in. The way to avoid loading down your computer with it is simple. Read everything that pops up before you install anything! One of the most common things you’ll see with free programs is a toolbar. A box will come up with check boxes next to every item the program is trying to install, and if you see anything that says “toolbar” or “search”, make sure to uncheck it. If you don’t, once you have a few of these programs downloaded, you’ll have six inches of toolbars on your screen and very little space to view any web pages. While you’re looking for toolbars, read everything else with a check box next to it. Most of the time, you can uncheck every last one of those with no effect on the program you’re downloading. If you uncheck anything that would prevent the program from working, it will tell you. At that point, you make the decision whether or not to continue.

When downloading a free program, you may also get a box that says “publisher could not be verified” and asks if you want to continue. This can go either way. It means that Windows does not recognize the creator of the program, for whatever reason. It’s actually very common and, usually, it’s not that big a deal. If it’s a well-known program, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you’ve never heard of this program before, and don’t know anyone who uses it, try searching for reviews of the program online before you install it. It’s a good rule to follow anyway, but especially if you get a “publisher could not be verified” message.

Another thing to look out for is random pop-ups that tell you something needs to be updated. If you see one of these, do not click on it! Instead, go to the official page or other trusted source for the application and get an update there. There was recently a hoax update that locked up the computer, activated a webcam, and said “searching for face”. It popped up on an ISP website, and looked very official. It also resulted in the computer having to be wiped, which means anything that wasn’t backed up was lost and everything, including the Windows operating system, had to be re-installed. This is more than just a hassle; it can run into quite a bit of money. Don’t let that happen to you! It doesn’t matter what website it seems to come from, or how real it looks – never try to get updates from a pop-up.

Tec Info is the premiere Internet and phone service provider to Jackson, Leland, Greenville, Greenwood, Tupelo, Oxford and Cleveland Mississippi. Tec Info provides High speed Internet Service to residential and business locations with friendly, knowledgeable staff and unsurpassed speeds. Contact us today for more information on Internet, Phones and all our other services available!

Keeping Your Business Computer Safe and Secure, Part 4

Keeping Your Business Computer Safe and Secure, Part 4

We’re bringing you more ways to stay safe and secure online. So far, we’ve covered antivirus protection, antispyware software, and firewalls and updates. This time, we’re bringing up a very sore point – password security!

Passwords

Pretty much everything you do online will require a password. Bewteen email, Facebook, banking, bill paying, shopping, and everything else, it can be tempting to just use the same password for everything. But what if just one of those accounts is compromised? Say your Facebook account gets hacked; that account on its own is not that big a deal, but if you use the same password for your banking, bill paying, and insurance, you could be looking at losing money, if not full-blown identity theft.

Now that you’re scared, here’s the good news. You don’t have to have a separate password for every single thing you do online. You can stick to two or three strong passwords, and organize them by type of account. You might have one password for vital information (banking, bills, insurance, etc.), another for shopping accounts (Amazon, Etsy, etc.), and another for those accounts that don’t involve any financial or personal information (online communities, games, etc.). Another option is to start with one strong password, and add an abbreviation to the end for each site (for example, add “az” for Amazon, “fb” for Facebook, “em” for email, etc.).

The key point here is that your passwords must be strong. But what exactly does that mean? A strong password is one that is not easily cracked by a computer program that is designed to figure out passwords. At minimum, you’ll want at least eight characters, but longer is better. Include at least one capital letter, one numeral, and a special character like an exclamation point, @ symbol, colon, or pound sign. Special characters make passwords especially strong, but be aware that some sites will only allow certain special characters in passwords, so if you’re using a more obscure character, it might not be accepted.

Of course, the only way to make absolutely sure that your password or other information stays completely private is to keep it in your own head, but by putting some thought in your passwords and how you use them, you can safely enjoy all the convenience the web has to offer.

Tec Info offers the best residential and business Internet solutions to Jackson, Leland, Greenville, Greenwood, Oxford, Tupelo and Cleveland Mississippi. Contact us today to find out more about the services that we offer. Stay tuned; our next post will help you with safe surfing habits!

Business Computer Safety, part 3

Keeping Your Business Computer Safe and Secure

In our ongoing efforts to keep you safe and secure online, we’ve talked about antivirus software and antispyware. Now, we’re going to look at a few more safety precautions you can take, and the easiest ways to do so.

Windows Updates

This really goes without saying, but make sure you download all critical Windows updates. These are frequently security patches, released as the dangers are found. The easiest thing to do is set up automatic updates. This way you never miss an update, and if you set it to update overnight, it all updates and the computer reboots without you even noticing.

Firewall

The term “firewall” can be a little intimidating for some people, but it’s a very simple concept. A firewall does just what it sounds like: it creates a barrier between your computer or home network and the Internet at large. Why is this important? When your ISP sets up your connection, it assigns you an IP address. Usually, it’s a public address, which means that anyone, anywhere online can access it, for any reason. A firewall blocks any traffic coming in that doesn’t match up with a request you made, thereby protecting your system from other computers trying to access it.

Windows has a firewall system built in, and as long as you keep everything set to medium security or higher, it’s effective. If you manually set it to low security, it will tell you that’s a bad idea, and if you choose to keep it there, you will not be fully protected. Another option is simply to install a router. Most homes today have at least one or two devices that use WiFi (cell phones, tablets, iPods, laptops, etc.), so the wireless router has become commonplace. Almost any router will have a firewall function you can configure. A router also takes on the public IP address assigned by your ISP, and issues private addresses to devices on your network. This means that no device on your network can be accessed from the outside, and provides another layer of protection. If you use a wireless router, make sure to configure a wireless network name and password! This protects your bandwidth from piggybackers, but it also ensures your firewall functions properly. Any device can connect to an unsecured wireless network from hundreds of feet away, and once a device is on your network, a firewall will think it belongs to you, so it won’t block access to other devices.

This may sound like a lot, but it’s really just a few minutes to set things up the first time. Tec Info provides Internet services to businesses homes in Jackson and Leland Mississippi and surrounding areas. Tec Info wants to help keep your business up and going and prevent attacks to your data and computers. Tec Info has more information coming – check back for more security tips!