Sep 21, 2021

Simple PowerShell Script To Update SSL Certificate Bindings On All IIS Sites

If you have to deal with updating SSL certificates, you probably feel my pain. Especially if you manage multiple web server farms with multiple Internet Information Service (IIS) sites. I mean it wasn't so bad a few years ago when you could buy a 3 year wildcard certificate and only deal with it every three years. Ever since Apple and Google basically forced everyone to move to 13 month certificates, this has been an administrators nightmare.

Until now that is. I found a really simple PowerShell script that goes through and matches the thumbprint from your old certificate on all bindings in IIS and replaces the bindings with the new certificate! This is particularly useful if you have a wildcard multi-domain certificate that you can use on all sites regardless of hostname!

Here it is!

Just replace the OLDCertificateThumbprint and NEWCertificateThumbprint variables with the thumbprints from your respective SSL certificates!

Shout out to HeyThereSmileMore on GitHub!

At my company we added this as a step in an Octopus deployment to push it out to multiple servers at once. Octopus also gives you the ability to import certificates on multiple servers as well, so creating a deployment release for this is pretty straight forward.

What do you use to manage certificate updates on multiple servers? Let us know in the comments!

Aug 26, 2021

Free File Recovery Software For Windows, Linux and Mac

I haven't written a tech related piece in quite some time. I guess that's what happens when you transition from being in the trenches to being an officer in upper management. Well, occasionally shit will hit the proverbial fan and I have to get back in the trenches with the grunts.

This was such an occasion. We had a server that was storing lots of various documents. The systems engineers didn't configure backups for it because there was a scheduled task to RoboCopy those documents to a disaster recover server in another region, as well as a scheduled task to push those files to a cloud storage blob... Who needs backup with all that redundancy right?


Anyway, the drives on the servers were starting to get full, so they decided that anything over 60 days didn't need to be kept, and if those documents were needed, they could be retrieved from cloud storage. So they proceeded to clean up the old files. The problem was that the scheduled task that was supposed to copy these older files somehow stopped working a few months ago, and well... now those files don't exist in any location. HUGE SHIT STORM!

Anyhoo, all is not lost. The good thing about disk drives is that files aren't totally gone until they have been overwritten multiple times. Enter file recovery software! One I have been familiar with for years is the open source TestDisk! Well, turns out the same folks that brought us that gem, also created one called PhotRec that is a little easier to use in my opinion.

From their page:

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

PhotoRec is free - this open source multi-platform application is distributed under GNU General Public License (GPLV v2+). PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, an application for recovering lost partitions on a wide variety of file systems and making non-bootable disks bootable again. You can download them from this link.

For more safety, PhotoRec uses read-only access to handle the drive or memory card you are about to recover lost data from. Important: As soon as a picture or file is accidentally deleted, or you discover any missing, do NOT save any more pictures or files to that memory device or hard disk drive; otherwise you may overwrite your lost data. This means that while using PhotoRec, you must not choose to write the recovered files to the same partition they were stored on.

I'm running it now using their command line version because the gui version hangs a lot. It's running on an 8TB volume, and the estimated completion time is over 40 hours... So it's not quick. Still though, if you have no other options for recovery, one can't complain about it.

Another drawback is that it dumps everything to a single recovery folder. It would be awesome if it could restore to the original location, or at least recreate the file structure. At this point though, I'm just happy we can recover the files, or at least some of them.

What file recovery tools have you used in the past? Let me know in the comments!

Jul 6, 2021

It's Not Just You, TikTok Is Having Issues Today

I had a little bit of a scare today when I went to login to my TikTok account and all of my follower and like numbers were at zero! On top of that, I couldn't see any account activity including likes, followers, comments etc. I thought I had been banned again!

Oh, I didn't tell you I got banned from TikTok? Well, I did... I have a new account though and it's @ComeOnManPod now... I digress.

Anyway, you can imagine my panic. I mean trying to regrow your following after having 30,000 followers taken away isn't fun. So I reached out to a few other creators I know off of the platform and they were all having issues as well. I decided to check Down Detector:

Incidentally, according to Twitter, TikTok support is aware of the issue:

Anyway, if you are having issues with TikTok too, now you know why. Are you having issues today? Let us know in the comments.

Jun 3, 2021

The importance of quality backlinks to your SEO strategy

In recent years, the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for promotion on the web has grown exponentially as more and more sites and pages are published online. Indeed, in 2018, it was estimated the world produced around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day - a figure that is expected to grow to a frankly astounding 463 exabytes by 2025.

Whether you run an e-commerce venture, a blog, or just a simple showcase site, the aim of pretty much all websites remains the same - to build traffic and generate footfall. After all, there’s little point in being online and producing content if no one’s ultimately going to see it.

However, with so much noise and distraction now online, website owners are increasingly coming to rely on search engines to prioritize their content over their rivals to help users find their content - and one of the best ways to get noticed by engines and prioritized in their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is by gaining quality backlinks to your site.

PageRank and how it still influences today’s search results

Google’s original algorithm was based heavily on inward links to rank the importance of a website - a process it referred to as PageRank - and, while its software is in constant development, the firm still places inward links high up its list of criteria for prioritizing sites in its SERPs.

As Google now accounts for around 92% of all online searches, working to its standards is vital if you want your site to be found by the majority of users. 

Ways to generate quality backlinks (inward links)

By far, the best way to encourage and generate positive inward links to your site is to work with a professional SEO and web marketing company. Firms like have vast experience of building inward links and know the best sites to target - and can also look after every other facet of your online promotion. However, if you should decide to try and do the work yourself, below are a few tips to help get you started. Even if you choose to work with an agency, it can be helpful to know these tips.

Link exchanges: If you do a little research, you’ll likely discover sites similar to your own or that operate in a complementary sector that might be willing to exchange links with you (i.e., you link to them, they link to you).

Directories: While they are less common today due to the all-encompassing domination of major search engines like Google, directories still exist online and can be a useful source of backlinks - just be sure to only list your site on reputable directories like Dmoz or Jayde to avoid having unwanted, lower-rated links.

Guest write on other sites/blogs: Guest blogging and writing articles for other sites is a great way to not just increase your backlinks but also improve your exposure and reputation online. If you write informed content for other websites, you’ll go a long way to establishing your site as a source of useful information while also proving your knowledge and expertise.

Try link bait: Link bait refers to the practice of producing articles that are likely to receive inward links organically from other sites, e.g., by offering free content, discussing controversial topics, etc. While it can be difficult to select subjects that are guaranteed to pique the interest of other sites, if you manage it, it can have a huge effect on the overall effectiveness of your SEO.

Feb 4, 2021

A Guide for Using Social Media to Improve Your SEO

Social media is useful in many ways for businesses. It allows you to connect, showcase, search and share anything your business needs. It’s also extremely helpful for SEO and building content, interaction, and links.

Here’s what you need to know about social media and SEO.

Why is Social Media Important for SEO?

SEO is all about improving your online visibility, and what better way to do that than through social media? Social platforms are active every single day, with over 2.5 billion social media users worldwide. That’s a lot of active consumers and a lot of sharing potential.

This means that if you’re not using social media to improve your SEO, then you’re missing out on a fundamental business and marketing opportunity.

Using Social Media to Improve SEO

Let Social Media Help You to Build Good Content

Improving SEO means providing high-quality content. Social media is just another platform for allowing consumers to view and interact with your content as well as enhancing your online presence.

Interesting, engaging, and high-quality posts on social media will garner more interest in your business and encourage further clicks to your website.

Improve Relationships with Consumers Through Interaction

Social media is exactly that: social. This means it’s the perfect place to communicate with your target market. Through social media, you can reply to comments, reply to instant messages, comment on your consumers’ posts or make valuable connections through suggestions.

Consumers highly appreciate businesses who take the time to respond and interact through social media, and because your comments are public, you can draw the attention of other potential customers, too.

Using Social Media for Other Businesses

If you work in a marketing capacity and don’t know how social media can best work for your clients or perhaps you’re feeling low on time regarding SEO optimization for your clients seeking the support of an expert SEO reseller like Click Intelligence means you can improve SEO and customer relations by partnership. This can enhance your service overall.

Build Professional Profiles

Your official business website is a great place to showcase what you can do, but social media can take that one step further. Eye-catching, interesting and high-quality business profiles can help to build your online presence and gain attention.

It can help you to improve your online business image, too.

Build Trust

Most consumers these days will search online to find out more about a business before deciding to use them. In this day and age, if your business doesn’t have any social media presence whatsoever, this can be off-putting (or even suspicious) for a consumer who knows nothing about you.

Using social media to improve your online presence and SEO shows that you are present and relevant, and it helps to build trust by being transparent with your business profiles.

Take Away

Simply having a social media profile as a business isn’t enough. Your profiles need to be seen as active, constantly updated, and relevant if you hope to use SEO tactics to improve your online visibility.

Think about how you can use SEO to best show off what your business can do.

Jan 10, 2021

Everybody Needs To Switch To Signal To Secure Communications

As most of you know by now, Twitter has banned President Trump permanently from Twitter. Some of you may not care, some of you may even be happy about it. The thing is, if Big Tech can shut down a sitting President, they can silence us all. It's a major attack on the First Amendment, and it's really scary.

Not to worry though right? There's other freedom of speech platforms out there like Parler right? Well, Big Tech just launched a coordinated effort against them too. Google kicked them off Google Play, Apple kicked them out of the iTunes store and Amazon AWS kicked them off their hosting platform! This is a big statement that basically says, if you don't agree with our ideology, you will be crushed!

Guys, this is the United States of America! We have the right to have differing views. If we have one group silencing everyone else... Well shit, now this has become Communist China!

Elon Musk agrees, in fact he recently tweeted out the following:

If you are unfamiliar with Signal, here is a description from their site:
State-of-the-art end-to-end encryption (powered by the open source Signal Protocol) keeps your conversations secure. We can't read your messages or listen to your calls, and no one else can either. Privacy isn’t an optional mode — it’s just the way that Signal works. Every message, every call, every time.

There are no ads, no affiliate marketers, and no creepy tracking in Signal. So focus on sharing the moments that matter with the people who matter to you.

Signal is an independent nonprofit. We're not tied to any major tech companies, and we can never be acquired by one either. Development is supported by grants and donations from people like you.
After years of trying to convince friends and family to use more encryption in their communication, especially after the PRISM leak years ago, I finally got them on board. Now all of my family members are using Signal for text communication. This crackdown from Big Tech scared them enough. After all, it's not just big government overreach we have to worry about anymore.

You may not be concerned with this stuff yet, but you should be. I'll leave you with this thought...

First they came for the radicals, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a radical.
Then they came for the conspiracy theorists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a conspiracy theorist.
Then they came for the Conservatives , and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Conservative.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you are a liberal or a progressive now, you may think you are on the right side. The sad fact is that the government and big tech are on their own side. Everyone else doesn't matter. The moment you think something slightly different and do something they don't like... THIS TYRANY WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

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