Puget Sound Media Site Security & Privacy

HTTP — hypertext transfer protocol. HTTP basically refers to the way that we communicate on the Internet.

HTTPS, otherwise known as hypertext transfer protocol secure, means that the information contained on a website, or information entered into a website, is secure. Most banks, credit card companies and online retail stores will use HTTPS in order to keep your account or payment information secure.

PugetSound.Media will default to this HTTPS setting automatically, so there is no need for you to have to change it on your own. You may notice the lock symbol by the URL address line.

HACKING

Most hacking of information happens in the transfer process, from the moment you hit ENTER on your keyboard, to the second the information is received on the company’s server. Https encryption will keep your information safe so that it does not fall into the hands of a hacker.

We use https security protocol at Puget Sound Media for many reasons. Readers submit their email address when filling out a comment form. We do not share that email information with anyone.

Puget Sound Media solicits donations to help with the costs of maintaining our website. Puget Sound Media is a secure gateway to those third party vendors that process payments. The information they require, given by the reader at the point of payment, is processed on those secure servers, not by Puget Sound Media.

WHAT INFO DO WE MAINTAIN?

We like to know which of our posts and pages are most popular or trending. Knowing this, we can continue to provide the information readers search the web for. Puget Sound Media uses an analytics program similar to the popular Google Analytics, but of a simpler form, designed to fit our particular needs. Understanding our site and app users, provides the information we need to evaluate the performance of our promotions and content.

YOUR IP INFORMATION

Puget Sound Media does not store or share reader IP information for purposes of marketing. Most information, provided by the analytics program, is superfluous to our needs and not shared with any third party.

USE OF READER IP INFORMATION

The only purpose we would have for this information is to track SPAMBOTS. In such cases, we block certain IP addresses from reaching our site. For example, hackers who wish to SPAM our site with multiple links to sites containing malware, pornography, and PHISHING attacks.

WHAT IS PHISHING?

Scammers attempt to access our COMMENTS pages in order to to trick you into giving them your personal information. Their comments would include links to websites used for PHISHING purposes. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day.

Security at Puget Sound Media blocks these incoming COMMENTS so that they don’t clutter our site with trash.

SPAM

Email and IP addresses help identify SPAMMERS. Using this information, Puget Sound Media blocks SPAMBOTS.

SPAMBOTS

A SPAMBOT is a computer program that helps to spread SPAM across the Internet. SPAMBOTS often scrape contact information, create fake user accounts, or operate stolen social media accounts.

COMMENT MODERATION

Email addresses identify readers who are first-time users of our COMMENTS pages. All first-time COMMENTS are held for moderation. The administrator is notified that there is a new COMMENT. The COMMENT is read, the email address is verified for authenticity against a database of known SPAMMERS. If the email address checks out, and the COMMENT does not contain profanity, defamatory statements or links to PHISHING sites, the COMMENT is approved. The reader is then WHITELISTED. Any COMMENT submitted by the user after that is posted without moderation.

If you have been previously approved to submit COMMENTS, always use the same email address. A new email address will cause your COMMENT to be held for moderation.

We attempt to check comments held for moderation ASAP, but in busy times, this process could take longer.

WHITELISTING

Whitelisting is the practice of explicitly allowing some identified readers access to a particular privilege or service. It is the opposite of blacklisting. Once your COMMENT is approved, you are WHITELISTED.

BLACKLISTING

In computing, a blacklist or a blocklist or a denylist is a basic access control mechanism that allows through all elements except those explicitly mentioned. You don’t want to be on the blacklist!

ADDITIONAL SECURITY AT PUGET SOUND MEDIA

BRUTE FORCE ATTACKS

Brute Force Attack is a hacking method which utilizes trial and error techniques to break into a website, a network or a computer system.

Hackers use automated software to send a large number of requests to the target system. With each request, the software attempts to guess the information needed to gain access, like passwords or pin codes.

These tools can also disguise themselves by using different IP addresses and locations, which makes it harder for the targeted system to identify and block these suspicious activities.

A successful brute force attack can give hackers access to your website’s admin area. They can install backdoor, malware, steal user information, and delete everything on your site.

Even unsuccessful brute force attacks can wreak havoc by sending too many requests which slows down the hosting servers and even crash them.

Some basic measures that can be implemented to inhibit brute force attacks include: using a CAPTCHA program to prevent automated attacks, instating rules requiring the use of strong passwords, introducing a delay between log-in attempts, or using VPNs to establish an encrypted tunnel.

The Best Defense Against Brute Force Attacks Is a Cloud-based Defense!

Leveraging the power of our cloud-based servers helps Puget Sound Media detect malicious patterns in HTTP traffic upstream, blocking out brute force attacks before they reach our servers. Implementing network and application-layer controls and rate policies, our web hosting platform employs a multi-layered approach to web security, ensuring that Puget Sound Media stays protected, no matter where or when attackers choose to strike.

MAIL-LISTS & NOTIFICATIONS

Readers may opt-in to notifications for new postings or new comments. Readers may also easily unsubscribe from these services. If there is a problem with the opt-in process, unsubscribing, member registration, or closing a user account, contact the Puget Sound Media administrator at [email protected]
The admin at Puget Sound Media does not know your password. If you are a registered member, you will need to use the FORGOT PASSWORD method of changing your password.

READER CONTRIBUTIONS (AUDIO/VIDEO/GRAPHICS/STORIES/NEWS TIPS)

Puget Sound Media welcomes the information supplied by readers. Airchecks, personal stories, and historical data are the foundation of this website.

MONETARY DONATIONS – SWITCHING IS THE ONLY SAFEGUARD AGAINST A CRAPPY WEB HOSTING COMPANY

In September 2020, with the financial assistance of our many readers, PUGET SOUND MEDIA made the move to “a safe haven”, on the cloud servers at Hostinger.com —
The move had been anticipated for many months, in order to extend the lease of the website domain name and obtain better hosting services, extending our hosting lease into the year 2025.

Before this transaction could take place, the previous hosting company failed to back up our data and through some unknown glitch in their system, PUGET SOUND MEDIA lost valuable data, including all reader comments posted prior to May 2020. We value all input from our readers and were devastated at the loss of this historical data.

In short order, after some research and cost analysis, PUGET SOUND MEDIA moved to THE CLOUD. Reader donations and a hefty refund of charges by the previous hosting company covered the cost, allowing us to reach our goal and implement all necessary security measures.

On-going monetary contributions will be held for necessary maintenance costs and extension of services in the future.

Thank you!