Financial Security Tips

When I think of security, the first thing that comes to mind is hackers online. I worry about compromised passwords, credit cards, accounts, and protecting servers. I already have several best practices to stay safe online to combat digital security.

Digital Security Tips

  • Unique passwords
  • Use a password manager (1Password, Lastpass)
  • Always enable Multi-factor authentication
  • Firewalls
  • VPN
  • Up-to-date software

When it comes to physical security, I already do the standard things like locking the doors, security cameras, etc. But for the most part, I did not worry much about being robbed. A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were hiking in the mountains. We parked in a safe parking lot for a short 2-mile hike. We were gone about an hour and returned to our car window broken and my wife’s purse and laptop stolen. We immediately called the police and credit card companies. Due to being in the mountains, cell phone service was poor, and it took a while to cancel everything. In the meantime, the thief had made it to the closest Walmart and bought over $2,000 worth of prepaid Visa cards. They were experienced and planned to get as much untraceable money before the cards were reported stolen. After countless hours on the phone with the bank, insurance, and police, I wanted to share some tips to help you in this situation. Read More

Block Fake Disposable Email Addresses

If you run a website that allows account signups, you’ve probably faced abuse from fake users, abusive users, fraudsters, and other malicious actors. If you look at their email addresses, you may have noticed a pattern among these users. Fake users tend to use disposable emails and temporary email services that allow abusers to quickly cycle through new emails with unique address names across thousands of domains. These services make it possible with a simple mouse click to generate a brand new email address.

Since the creation of T.LY URL Shortener, I’ve had to learn a ton about how to stop malicious users on the internet. One part of this was preventing users from signing up using disposable email addresses. Fortunately, there is a Laravel package that handles this functionality. I got a quick solution released that auto-updated from an ever-growing list of fake email address domains. Read More

Are URL Shorteners Useful Today?

Short URLs are everywhere, and I do not see them going away anytime soon. Services like T.LY, TinyURL, and Bitly have billions of short links spread out all across the web. If these services shut down, billions of URLs would fail to redirect, and this could break the internet. Explaining what a URL Shortener service is not complicated. Most people know how they work and the purpose but here are a few reasons to create short URLs that you may not know of.

Make URLs Shorter

There are many uses for short URLs besides the obvious long link to short link. How much easier is it to share: t.ly/short vs https://timleland.com/are-url-shorteners-useful-today/. This is common use case when links are shared verbally. For example, when sharing a URL on YouTube videos, podcasts, radio, and tv, a long complicated URL is not going to result in many visits.

Some other use cases are when there is a character limit such as text messages which are limited to 160 characters. This also use to be an issue on Twitter but they solved the issue by using their own URL Shortener.

Short URLs are also easier to remember when typing or saying. I may not remember the full URL of this blog post but I will remember t.ly/short. Read More