Safe Internet Browsing

Safe internet browsing begins with understanding risks that are out there. In a prior post I talk about the dangers of viruses, worms, etc. You can find this by searching for Internet security. In this post will be talking about some free tools you can use to be safe.

First off when browsing the internet you want to have a safe browser that will not cause harm. One such browser that I confirmed as safe is Firefox. The attest version is 3.5.7 at the time of this post. This browser allows you to do so much. Firefox has these things called add-ons that allow you to be safe and keep your experience clean. I will list my favorites and then go into how to install them and use them. In depth descriptions can be found at their respective sites.

  1. NOSCRIPT – is the first add-on I think everyone should install. This limits what sites can do to you when you visit them. Basically you will have to allow each script on a page to run, if you trust that page. You only need to this once on a page you trust. Other pages, you might not allow any scripts to run or only temporarily.
  2. Better privacy – WOW just when you thought that cleaning .txt cookies was all there was to it. No, now you have to clean your flash file cookies as well. These LSO must be removed to keep you anonymous and your habits private.
  3. SSH Black List – was designed by a programmer at salesforce.com. His site is http://codefromthe70s.org/sslblacklist.aspx nice contribution from him. This will build a database of SSL certificates and let you know when the site you are on is using Md5 for authentication. You need to be on sites that use a stronger algorithm for verifying who they are.
  4. ABP – Ad block plus eliminates the slow loading of web pages from sites because of the advertising. Now get to your content faster.
  5. Key scrambler personal – is another great tool to install on your machine if you are worried that your typing is being logged. Now key scrambler personal gets in the way between the GUI (what you are typing) and the OS kernel and encrypts to unusable format.
  6. Phish tank – Keeps a database of sites to let you know if they are good or not. This keeps you away from sites phishing for information from you and use against you.

Installing these add-ons in Firefox is easy. Once you click the link above and you see it, understand it, and click the button to the right that says “Add to Firefox”. Most times you will have to restart Firefox for it to be in use. Other times you will have to restart you PC for key scrambler personal.  Note that not only a good browser but antivirus protection is also needed to be safe and keep your PC running smooth. Check out my next post for using AVG Free, one of the best anti-virus protection software out there. It’s also FREE!

Internet Security – Risks

Internet and network security starts with awareness. A person cannot be safe or feel safe until you know the risks involved. Right now today’s technology is moving fast. In order to stay in touch and be on top of internet and network security you have to visit a few sites. Once you are aware of the risk then you can learn how to protect yourself. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 threats facing end users and corporate networks.

End user risks can be applied to corporate users and networks. The difference there being the controls and software used at the corporate level may leave the user with no active role in guarding or fixing anything. Some of the risks involve viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and identity theft. Now this is a good place to start learning about security because it affects everyone.

Knowing the difference between each type of threat helps you eliminate that threat. So let’s get started with viruses.

  • A virus is a piece of bad software that can do damage to your PC by deleting files or reducing the performance of your PC. Viruses or only spread by the user unknowingly sending an email with the virus attached. Also viruses spread by copying files from one machine to the next. The user did not intend to do this, it just happens and now another machine is infected. Viruses cannot replicate by themselves like worms do.
  • Worms are like viruses except they can move. The helpful name work associates movement to the bad piece of software. Worms exploit deficiencies in programs or operating systems. Once a hole or vulnerability is found that it recognizes, it will then reproduce itself or send itself out to other computers on your network or by email to people.
  • Trojans are much like the historical name presents. In the days of war between the Greeks and the City of Troy, where the Greeks snuck in a present to Troy of a huge wooden horse. Needless to say, what was inside the horse was not nice. It was armed Greek soldiers who took the city from the inside. This is the same with your PC. What appears to be “nice” software is not. In fact after a while your PC is anything but a desirable tool and you want to throw it out the window. So be careful what you download and install on your PC. Also be careful what sites you visit because Trojans are waiting there too.
  • Spyware is just like the name says, it spies on you. Now some spyware is not too malicious but no one like to be videotaped without know it. That’s how you have to think of it. Some companies want to know your habits and might embed spyware in the software they sell. If you Google the term spyware or any of these terms you can find more information.
  • Identity theft is our last term in this post. Identity theft is when you name and reputation are no longer yours. Someone else has found out your name, address, and social security number and is now using credit cards applied for with your credentials. These are the essentials needed to steal your identity. The more information the better like birthday, mother’s maiden name and anything else that can personally identify you out of millions. The thieves then use this for credit card applications, social security card applications, and even jobs. Not only can you be in trouble for these but imagine if they stole your present credit card number? Once you have cleared up to the local police that it was not you then they realize that you are a victim of identity theft.

Now that we know what’s out there we ask ourselves how can I safe guard myself from this? Tune in to my next post where I talk about some free software tools you can use as well as safe practices to combat this bad software and threat to your identity.

Just the right info to keep yourself safe!