The 10 biggest perks of working in IT

Regardless of what you do for a living, it’s easy to focus on the negatives of the job and let those things bring you down. However, most jobs have certain perks, and IT is no exception. This article discusses some of the benefits I’ve experienced over the years as a result of working in IT.

1: You get to meet lots of people

One of my absolute favorite things about working in IT is that you get to meet so many interesting people. Back in the mid-90s, for example, I worked for a large insurance company with about 1,000 users. I can honestly say that I knew most of those users on a first-name basis. Better still, even though I left the company about 15 years ago, some of the people I met there are still my best friends to this day.

Without a doubt, the greatest benefit that came from getting to know so many people was that I met my wife of 17 years as a direct result of working in IT. She was working in the marketing department at the time, and I met her because she called me to fix her printer.

2: The money can be good

Even though IT will probably never be the way that it was during the dot-com boom, IT does tend to pay better-than-average salaries. Of course, the pay level varies considerably from one company to the next and from one position to the next.

3: It’s easy to move around

One thing I have always noticed about IT is that it is relatively easy to move around. I have known plenty of IT pros who got bored with their position and switched to a different IT specialty with minimal effort. For instance, I have known network administrators who became database administrators and software developers who became network administrators.

4: You have personal freedom

IT pros tend to have a lot of personal freedom. I will be the first to admit that corporate culture can vary considerably from one organization to the next and that some organizations are more permissive than others. Even so, I can’t remember anyone ever making me punch a time clock or stick to a rigid break schedule. Most of the IT jobs I have had have allowed me to set my own hours and even work from home when I wanted to (within reason). Likewise, I have always had total freedom to decorate my office anyway I wanted.

5: You get to help people

Another great thing about working in IT is that you get to help a lot of people. Some people hate IT because they’re usually calling with a problem they want you to solve. Even so, I have always found it gratifying to be able to end the day knowing that I was able to spend it helping people.

6: You get paid to spend time away from the office

This may not apply to everybody, but one thing I have always enjoyed immensely about IT is the travel. The very nature of the job means that you constantly have to learn new things and oftentimes, this means traveling to training classes and technical conferences.

Although I do confess to being a travel junkie, there is also something very cool about being away from the office for a few days without having to burn up any of your vacation time. What’s even better is that technology conferences tend to be held in places where there are plenty of things to see and do after hours.

7: You sometimes face unusual challenges

Few things in life bring me down faster than monotony. While every job has some amount of repetition, IT has the unique advantage of requiring creative solutions to unusual problems. There is definitely something to be said for being challenged once in a while.

8: You have access to cool toys

A definite perk of working in IT is having access to cool toys. Just yesterday, for example, I had to spend several hours in a hospital waiting room, so I got some work done using my Windows 8 tablet. While doing so, several people stopped to ask me where I got the tablet, since Windows 8 won’t be out until sometime next year.

The same basic concept has always held true regardless of the hot technology of the moment. Back in the 90s, I remember using a flatbed scanner to copy pictures for my friends at a time when none of them had ever even heard of a scanner.

9: IT knowledge can be helpful in everyday life

Although perhaps not a job perk, IT knowledge can definitely be helpful in everyday life. For example, there was a time long, long ago when the network cabling standard of choice was coaxial Ethernet. I spent one entire summer pulling coaxial cable and attaching cable ends. At the time, I hated the job. But even though nobody uses coaxial Ethernet anymore, the knowledge I gained installing all that cable came in handy just last week.

My next-door neighbors had some carpet installed. The installer accidentally cut their satellite cable. The cable used by satellite dishes is similar to what was used for Ethernet so long ago. Since I still have my tools, I was able to repair the cable for them, so they didn’t have to wait a week and pay for a service call from the satellite company.

10: The job sometimes comes with special rewards

Earlier, I mentioned that one of the great things about working in IT is that you get to help people. Sometimes, people who you help are so grateful that they provide a special reward. Over the years, I have had clients send me various gifts as a way of saying thank-you for helping them out in a pinch. When I worked for the military, some of the people I helped even thanked me by taking me for joy rides in tanks and helicopters.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t help people because I expect to get something in return. However, it is always a nice feeling when someone surprises you with a thank-you gift.

Other perks?

What other aspects of your IT job make you happy? Do the good things outweigh the bad?

source: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/the-10-biggest-perks-of-working-in-it/2948?tag=nl.e042

Facebook Virus Removal (Remove : Koob Face Worm)

Remove Latest Facebook Virus : Koob Face Worm

NEW FACEBOOK WORM VIRUS

(CNN NEWS)

 

Alright, so I know Facebook is huge now. If anyone here on Sodahead uses it, it looks like there’s some video viruses going around. One is of an Obama sex tape type video and the other one is an optical illusion video (This one is always popping up on my news feed). So if one of your “friends” sends it to you, don’t click on it!

New Facebook Viruses Can now Use your Account to Mass Private

message your friends to click on a link saying “WTF: This AMERICAN guy should be STONED to DEATH for doing this to his GIRLFRIEND: bit.ly/*****” or something like this “Hey, check out this girl, lol, she must be out of her mind for making that video!: bit.ly/hw****” Once You even Accidentally Click on the Provided Link, Infection on your computer will arise, your Documents will be HACKED, your Files Lost, and you will no longer have Privacy on your computer.

Also look out for Wall post on Facebook such as this :

Avert_Blog_Koobface_1-12-3-08Some even got a youtube like screen that has a caption of “obama sex tape scandal” and when you click the link it requires you to install something to access the video, and once link was clicked, Virus Attacks! and will take total CONTROL over your computer.


“HOW TO REMOVE AND PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER FROM THIS VIRUS?”

(SEE THIS DOWNLOAD LINKmalwarebytes )

 

Next Generation Firewalls: It’s all about tuples

By Michael Kassner
November 28, 2011, 11:23 AM PST

Takeaway: Next-generation firewalls have been around for several years, but garnered little interest. That’s changing as first-generation firewalls aren’t keeping up.

IT professionals responsible for perimeter defenses are frustrated.

Case in point: Internet traffic of all shapes and sizes traverses port 80. Meaning, port 80 must remain open. Bad guys know this. So port 80 becomes their private malware highway. And trucks, full of malcode, drive right past the check point.

There is hope

I’d like to introduce Next Generation FireWalls (NGFW). Firewalls designed to filter packets based on applications. To continue my analogy, the trucks loaded with malcode can’t drive right past the check point, any more.

Other features incorporated in NGFWs:

  • Enforce company regulations: NGFWs are able to control user access to websites and online applications as required.
  • SSL Proxy: NGFWs are able to decrypt, inspect, and re-establish the encrypted SSL connection. This eliminates encryption as a method of hiding malware.
  • IDS/IPS: NGFWs have incorporated deep packet inspection-to the point where stand alone IDS/IPS devices are not required.
  • Active-Directory friendly: Many NGFWs are able to authorize application usage based upon individual user profiles or groups.
  • Malware filtering: NGFWs provide signature and reputation-based filtering to block malicious applications that have a bad reputation.

Click to enlarge

Vendors

Palo Alto Networks was the first company to offer a NGFW. For information about NGFW requirements per Palo Alto Networks, please check out this white paper (above slide). Barracuda Networks, Juniper Networks, and WatchGuard also offer NGFW solutions.

N-tuple?

Just about every blog post I’ve read about NGFWs mentioned tuples. I had no idea what they were. Hopefully, you do. If not, here’s what I found out.

N-tuple is a collection of attributes. And, in the case of firewalls, these attributes are used to define access requirements. N is a place holder representing the number of attributes in the list. For example, a 5-tuple “firewall allow rule” might include:

  • Source IP address
  • Source port (typically: any)
  • Destination IP address
  • Destination port (80 or 443)
  • Destination protocol (typically TCP)

So, if the packet being inspected has all of the correct attributes, the firewall will allow it to pass.

Widening the 5-tuple

I thought I was “good to go” after figuring out what a tuple was. Then I read something about “widening the 5-tuple”. Widen a tuple. Does that even make sense?

Let’s see if it does.

As mentioned earlier, a first-generation firewall rule employs a collection of 5 attributes or 5-tuple. That is sufficient to carry out stateful port and protocol inspection, Network Address Translation, and Virtual Private Network technology.

A 5-tuple rule set is not sufficient for NGFWs. Next Generation Firewalls need additional attributes such as application type and user identity in order to work as advertised. To understand why, consider the port 80 analogy, one last time.

If it’s discovered that the truck carrying malcode has an illegal license plate, the truck ain’t going anywhere. The same applies to malcode. If its license plate — “application type” attribute — is incorrect, the malcode is blocked from continuing on.

The additional attributes or tuples are “widening the 5-tuple”.

Confession time: I did not find a clear-cut explanation of how tuples relate to firewalls. But, article after article mentioned tuples. So, I jumped in. If my explanation is wrong, I hope firewall and database admins that better understand will bail me out.

Survey says

The Ponomen Institute just completed a survey of NGFWs for SourceFire, Inc. The infographic ( partially shown below) provides several interesting statistics, particularly what is driving interest in NGFWs and the percentage of respondents noticing performance degradation:

Final thoughts

The race toward sophistication between malware and antimalware continues. Stay tuned

Windows Live Service Status page gets an update, now tracking Live ID and Family Safety

As part of the latest SkyDrive update today, as we predicted earlier, the rest of Windows Live web services received an update too, up to Wave 5 M2 (version 16.2). As part of this update, Windows Live Service Status, the website that allow you to keep track of the current status of Windows Live services, received an updated too:

Windows Live Service Status

The update means that the service is now located at http://home.live.com/status, different from the previous status.live.com. Besides an URL change, the website itself also received some minor enhancements, now reporting real-time service status of Windows Live Family Safety and Windows Live ID as well. Given that Windows Live ID will become a core part of the upcoming Windows 8, it makes sense that this service needs to be monitored closely and provides the latest status info to its customers.

You can check out the new Windows Live Service Status website now at http://home.live.com/status.

Pakistan Blocks Thousands of Adult Websites

PTA
Pakistani internet service providers have started the process of blocking websites with adult and explicit content, told us multiple sources from the industry.

Earlier this month PTA, telecom regulatory authority of Pakistan, had decided to block the access of those websites in Pakistan that contain adult content.

As we reported earlier, PTA has plans of blocking 150,000 such websites in coming weeks, however, initial list of 1,000 websites has been sent out to all ISPs, mobile operators and international gateways to get them blocked.

ProPakistani has got the said list of 1,000 websites, which we aren’t publishing it here for obvious reasons. But we can tell you that they all are adult websites and few of them are ranked in top 100 Alexa list for Pakistani most visited websites. Local adult websites are also included.

ISPs are given 8-10 days to get the orders implemented. Most of the ISPs, including PTCL, have already blocked these websites, while others are making the necessary preparations for the blockade.

PTA is also planning to devise a way for general users to report adult websites to authority. After through review authority will keep adding such reported websites/URLs to the black list.

Internet Service Providers on other hands aren’t comfortable with the overheard involved in the blocking of websites. They say that blocking high number of websites may result into slow performance by routers and increased latency due to high number of filters over the network.

PTA decided to ban explicit websites after immense pressure from bloggers, hackers and activists. They, along with parents, are certainly rejoicing authority’s decision.

However there are users who are opposing the ban, few of them think that this way PTA will get the axe to cut any website under the cover of explicit material. But sources at head-office of PTA tell us that they will make this process of blocking websites very transparent and visible to everyone, so that no one fears the unlawful use of power.

Free Windows utilities you should download right now

Everyone who works on a Windows computer has his or her favorite system utilities. But, there are a handful of must-have tools that no Windows user or IT support pro should be without. During this week’s episode of TR Dojo, I give you a list of free Windows utilities that you should download right now.

To keep things simple, I’ve divide the list into five separate categories. And while dozens of applications may fall into each category,

1. Cleaners: CCleaner

Five tips for using Ccleaner to degunk your system
How do I … remove unwanted files with Ccleaner in one click?
Product Spotlight: CCleaner

2. Uninstallers: Revo Uninstaller

Uninstall applications from Windows with Revo Uninstaller
How do I uninstall applications from Windows with Revo Uninstaller?

3. Defragmenters: (UltraDefrag, MyDefrag, Smart Defrag, and Defraggler)

Four free defragmentation tools for power users

4. Remote support tools: CrossLoop

Take control of any Windows PC on the Internet with CrossLoop
Quick and easy remote support with CrossLoop

5. Password recovery and reset utilities: Offline NT Password and Registry Editor

Reset Windows passwords with the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor
Reset lost Windows passwords with Offline Registry Editor
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