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Limiting your computers exposure to Malware!
on Aug 8, 2012

Greetings everyone,

Normally I try and announce lots of cool new large features here (when I remember to); and I'm not much of a blogger. So I don't really put much up considering how many things are done between blog posts. But since Computer security on the web is right up my alley; I figured I would post on this subject as my customers, and my customers-customers are affected by this issue.

First my sympathies go out to the HC owner, all the HC sites, and the HC customers who have been affected by these malware hacks that have occurred on HC. It is disturbing that now sites our size are a target for the Malware infecting jerks.

Now, the first thing you can do to improve your ability for your computer to withstand getting a malware infection on a site you visit is run the latest Version of Chrome or Firefox. Running Internet Exploder is not recommended.

The second thing you can do is make sure your plugins you are using in your browser; typically "Flash", "PDF", and "Java" (Not "JavaScript") are either running the latest version or are disabled.

In Chrome, you can type "about:plugins" in the url bar; and you should see a screen like:

You will notice I highlighted the link that will disable a plugin. If you see any plugins you don't use regularly -- I highly recommend you disable them.
The ones you probably need are (Chrome will keep up to date these 4 plugins):
1. Shockwave Flash -- used for like Youtube, Videos, and a Lot of web Games.
2. Chrome PDF Viewer -- used to read PDF files
3. Google Updater -- Helps keep the browser and google stuff updated
4. Google Update -- Helps keep the browser and google stuff updated

The ones you MIGHT need are:
1. Silverlight -- Some sites use Microsoft Silverlight (like NetFlix)
2. Java -- Some sites use Oracle/Sun Java, if you rarely use a Java site -- I would disable this one.

Again, if you don't use sites that use Java (we are not talking about JavaScript) or Silverlight; then I would highly recommend you click the disable button on these two plugins. Anything we can disable makes your browser a tad more secure. Every plugin you are running is another possible "attack" location.

In Firefox; you can do it via the "Firefox" button (circled in red) on the tab; click "Add-Ons" (in Orange)

Then you click the "Plugins" (red), and any plugins in this list you don't need to disable. Again, if you don't use Java or Silverlight disable it here by either clicking the "Disable" button, or right-mouse clicking and then clicking the disable on the menu (red).

After you are done disabling any plugins, click the link "Check to see if your plugins are up to date" (blue). (Or type in http://www.mozilla.org/plugincheck)

You should then see a screen like this:

If your Java is really out of date; it will give you the warning (in yellow); if any plugins it tracks are old it will give you and "Update" button (red) and any that it doesn't know about it will give you a research button. (green). Click "Update" on any that need to be updated and follow the instructions for updating those plugins.

Now one more thing you can do with Firefox that can really improve your security; and it is in the form of two "Add-ons". You can get them both from http://addons.mozilla.org
The primary one is in Red and is called NoScript; this will BLOCK ALL JavaScript from ALL sites. So by default when you go to a new page JavaScript won't run. If you decide you need JavaScript on a site; you can enable it temporarily or permanently for that site. The nice thing about this; is if you decide to enable it on just HC and they do get hacked again. The odds are pretty large that the malware is actually linked/served from another server; and because NoScript by default won't run any additional JavaScript from any other sites it doesn't know run -- this means the JavaScript that would have attempted to compromise your machine, will never run. Now NoScript can be a little irritating initially enabling it for your normal sites; but once you have your "good" list built; you almost never have to touch it and the protection it affords is probably in my opinion greater than having a anti-virus program installed. Now I'm not saying don't use Anti-Virus, just that if properly used NoScript can keep you from getting quite a few types of infections in the first place.

The second one is call AdBlock Plus; it blocks ad's -- occasionally an ad network can deliver malware, this is pretty uncommon; but it has happened a couple times with some really large sites. So, I prefer to play it safe and recommend it also.


EBooks, EProduct, Downloadable Music and much more.
on May 15, 2012

I'd like to announce that the E-Product system has been released from testing. It allows you to put on any type of virtual content and sell it. It has secure downloads; url expiration, download limits, ability for mulitple versions (i.e. EBook: EPUB/PDF/DOC or music: MP3/FLAC/OGG) and of course tracking.

On top of that major feature, a couple more minor features like automatics for Store(s) status so you can automatically change store(s) to a vacation, preview, enabled or even disabled at a specific time. So if you sell at the craft fairs; you can have your store automatically go into "preview" mode so that you don't accidentally sell something online at the same time you sell it at the fair.

New Zone based Shipping System
on Apr 3, 2012

I proud to announce that the new Zone based shipping system is now done!

More new Features
on Mar 11, 2012

Since the last time we posted (which has been a while); we have added dozens of features, the most recent are:

  • (optional) HTML Editor to Product Editor
  • (optional) HTML Editor to the Texts Screen
  • Hidden Categories
  • Products limited to a single category.
  • Stores Status of Previewing
  • Quick empty Categories
  • Internal Message System Upgraded
  • You may like this
  • And many more features...

Facebook Mini Site
on Sep 27, 2010

One of the new features recently added was the Facebook Mini Site Application. This allows you to use basically a normal minilist on your facebook pages.

MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook Like Buttons
on Sep 20, 2010

Another cool feature, we recently added MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook Share buttons to the product/auctions pages.

New Features: Menu & Mini Site List
on Apr 28, 2009

Been a while since I blogged about CongoCart; been working on a couple large things that have taken longer than I wanted.

However, I have a couple nifty new features that I'm happy to announce:
  • Mini Site Lists - This is a embeddable javascript or html that you can embed in another site (like a blog or social networking site) that shows a "miniature" list of some of your products/auctions.
  • Side Menu Navigation Editor - A simple system to add/modify/disable menu links to the side navigation. File Editor will also automatically create a link for you, as a time saving feature.
  • Several new configuration items have been added to the site wide configuration.
  • Added some additional help screens
  • Fixed several bugs
  • Banner system now support groups of banners.
  • Several templates were updated to support classes in the css files to make editing easier.

Even More new Goodies
on Sep 9, 2008

Lets see, first of all I'm happy to announce
  • Their are now four more templates you can use for no additional charge instead of the initial default one. They are displayed and instructions on how to install them are available on the forums.

  • Next, Discounts; now have the optional support of discounting custom options.

  • Also Discounts have the ability to support Categories

  • Sales tax is a bit smarter, the customer can use either two letter state names, or the full state names and it will charge sales tax properly now.

  • A couple more minor admin screen changes for more displayed information that was requested

Hey Looky at our new RSS Icons
on Aug 11, 2008

A couple new features:
  • I've added both Atom and RSS 2.0 feeds for your active last 10 products and last 10 products.

  • Added Store Wide and Site Wide feedback

  • Updated a couple admin screens to add additional info

More new Goodies
on Aug 10, 2008

We are proud to announce another new feature on the CongoCart site -- the simple FAQ, it has the ability to group by category and allows you to put html in the answers.

We have also added the ability to show the feedback on the products or the products that have received feedback.

In addition, we have done a little bit of cleaning up the template editor preview/save check mode so that it recognizes all the valid commands that the real template system does.

Also, ability to assign a discount to a category, and all products in that category the discount is applied too.