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Old 03-26-2007, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default Security 101

I posted the "Beginners Guide To Security" before, but I changed around a few things and that thread was really old and nobody saw it, so I thought it would be better placed here and renewed a little bit.

Security 101

This is my guide that I wrote myself. Please don't take it and put it on your site or anything without permission. ~ Le GoogelGuRu


Virus Protection

First of all, you will probably want an antivirus program. Some of the free ones available on the Internet provide great protection, and obviously, are free. My personal favorite, which is also the one I regularly run is AVG Free Edition.

To download AVG Free Edition, go to http://free.grisoft.com and youíll find it.

I will also compile a list of other antivirus programs, both free and not free.

A free antivirus that is a little over 10 MB is at www.free-av.com for download.
ESET offers great protection at a price with Nod 32. www.eset.com ( I think )

Norton Antivirus, owned by Symantec is available in most retail stores, and I am not sure on whether it can be downloaded or not. But it is kind of bulky and a resource hog, so I donít really recommend it. It offers great protection though.

McAfee offers a security suite, that also costs money and I canít stand the way it updates. It does offer good protection though and a user-friendly interface. You can find the McAfee Security Suite, like antivirus and other tools in most retail stores like Wal-Mart, Radio Shack (TSBCC in Canada), etc. etc. or go online.

There are probably some more antivirus programs, although the ones I have listed above are the ones I have tried although my personal favorite is AVG Antivirus Free Edition. Just search Google for antivirus protection reviews.


Malware (Spy ware and ad ware) Protection

The Internet is full of ad-ware and spy-ware these days, so we recommend that you install several anti spy-ware programs on your computer, whether they offer real-time protection or not, and then run a scan every couple of days to stay safe.

First of all, there is a completely free ad-ware deletion program that I love, although you must pay if you want real time protection, and it is called Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal SE. You can find it for download at www.download.com $0.

Next, I would install a program by Microsoft called Windows Defender, or the former Microsoft Anti-Spy-Ware. Windows Defender will notify you when there is an update in protection available and you can scan your entire computer daily is recommended for optimal protection. Windows Defender is available for users that have Genuine Windows; that means you paid for your Windows license and it is completely valid and can be downloaded at no charge at www.microsoft.com.

Third of all there is another free program I like called Spy-Bot Search & Destroy. Although some magazines say that this program doesnít detect much spy ware, I still use it along with the other programs. It has a nice simple interface and the file size isnít too bad. You can find it on Google by searching for it, as I donít really know what the direct website is. Itís probably on www.download.com too.

Once you have those three programs, or even some other programs along with them, it is recommended you scan every day or two days or so, depending on your online habits.

Your Online Habits Ė They Matter

Stay away from websites that contain serials, warez or any other type of pirated software. First of all, that is completely illegal to use anyway, you should be honest and pay for your software, the company works hard to build the software and they lose thousands or more each year from pirates. Pirated sites, including torrent sites may include advertisements that have mal-ware in them, or the crack downloads and stuff like that could have viruses bundled in with them. The best thing to do is to be honest, and buy all your software from an authorized reseller, or even from the company itself.

Other sites on the Ďdark side of the Internetí including pornography websites, are sites you should probably stay away from (or at least be careful if you really need to look. =P ) Some of these websites also contain mal-ware and viruses that could invade your computer.


Patches Ė Update Your Computer

Microsoft released Tech Net & Microsoft / Windows Update for a reason. And that was a good reason (or at least it sometimes it =P). Remember to regularly run Microsoft / Windows Update, you can find the link in your Start Menu > All Programs, it should be there somewhere or just turn on Automatic Updates and let it update itself in the background. Make sure you are running Windows XP Service Pack 2, that is the latest service pack that contains a bunch of security fixes and whatnot, although there are many (MANY!) more you should download from the Internet. A good thing to do is to check on security sites for updates, and download them the day they are released to play it safe.

Update for Vista: The new Windows Update is also very easy to use and you can download patches quickly. I recommend running it once a week or so to stay completely secure.

Those are two examples of updates, one is rated high and the other is rated moderate. I recommend if you donít have them, to download them and the rest from (recommended) Windows Update. Microsoft Update / Windows Update will tell you what updates you need and what ones you donít need by checking your computer prior to showing the list of patches.


Monitor Your Child / Teenís Behavior Online

These days anything can happen online, especially on social networking websites such as Tagged and MySpace. You should monitor what websites your child or teenager visits, including message boards, and other places with user generated content. You should monitor what information your child gives out online, and tell him or her not to give out his or her name, address, postal code / zip code, location, or anything like that to any stranger that he / she meets on My Space or some other social network online.

If your child is talking to someone online, never let him or her meet that person without you being there. People online may not be what they appear to be, it is very easy for a 40 year old male to pretend to be a 11 year old female online, and it is easy for anyone to tell false information to trick other users.

Monitor who is on your childís instant messenger contacts, like MSN / Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger / AIM, Yahoo! Instant Messenger (YIM), ICQ, or Internet Relay Chat / IRC or anything like that. See who your child is talking to, and what that person knows about your child. If you find anyone you donít know your child knows in their contact lists, ask your child about them and make sure your child will not tell them any personal information or anything like that. Be wise while online, whatever you are doing.

Junk Mail & Spam

If you receive spam emails or junk mail, do not reply to the message. That confirms that your email address is real. The best precaution you can take when you get a new email address, or even with your current email address is to never post it on the websites or in internet forms that you donít know the website.

Spam bots go throughout the internet searching on web pages for typed in email addresses and sometimes add them to their mailing list. If you must type your email address online, instead of typing (for example) me@something.com it is better to use a precaution and type me [at] something [dot] com or something like that, and then if someone needs to email you all they must do is replace the [at] with an @ and the [dot] with a period, obviously. That is better since most spam bots canít pick up the email address when it is like that.

Another method you can use, and that I use myself is to use the free service called www.spamgourmet.com. It works perfectly, you create what you call a disposable email address for each website, and that is the one you enter in the web form and it forwards it to your current one. That way, looking into the TO: field you can determine where the spam came from (what website or person).
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Security 101

Part 2:

McAfee Site Advisor

Another way to prevent spam attacks, and many other annoying things on the web is to run McAfee Site Advisor. It works good in both Internet Explorer 6 and the new Windows Internet Explorer 7 and works in Mozilla Firefox. It tells you by a green indicator, grey indicator, yellow indicator or red indicator whether the site is safe.

Green = The site is supposedly safe, when Site Advisor completed its test it did not receive much spam emails or didnít find any downloads with mal-ware in it.

Gray = McAfee has not tested this particular website yet. Donít worry, eventually they will. For now you can either read the user comments or just be careful.

Yellow = McAfee suspects minor problems with the site, usually they give this when the site offers a load of green downloads; which personally to me seems brutally unfair, for example, Softpedia (a popular valid free downloads website) got a yellow rating because they offered a lot of good downloads. Whatís up with that, seriously?

Red = Stay away. McAfee either experienced a breach in browser security, a lot of spam emails, or anything like that when McAfee ran tests on this website. It is recommended that you read the user comments too, because sometime the tests donít really turn out correctly. Thatís it, download free @ www.siteadvisor.com =)

Hacker Protection / Firewalls

Another vital part of your online protection scheme is to have a firewall running all the time. This can get relatively confusing at times, because if you are new at computers and the notifications for the firewall keep popping up and you donít know what they mean, but if you keep selecting remember this action on valid programs that wish to connect, like MSN, AIM, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, programs like that, the firewall will soon become more productive.

Firewallís basically learn as you go along. They learn from input you give on the programs you wish to permit internet access to, and the programs you wish to deny internet access to. For example, if a program that is mal-ware or a virus is on your computer, and it wishes to connect to the Internet, all you have to do is deny its request and the firewall will block it from connecting to the Internet.

Here are some free firewalls that are available for download on the Internet, since I am unaware of the website location for most of the firewalls, just type the name of the firewall into Google or some other search engine for more details.

Zone Alarm Ė Free Version: Good protection, great user interface.
Look ĎNí Stop Ė Great protection, but not so great user interface.
Sygate Personal Ė Now owned by Symantec but has good protection.
McAfee offers a personal firewall in there security suite, but its not free.
Zone Alarm Pro Version has better protection, and more features. Great UI.

Personal favorite is ZoneAlarm.

(Oh yeah, by the way, UI means User Interface. Internet Abbreviations!!!)

There are more firewalls on the Internet, Iím definitely sure of that, but those are the ones that I have tried and like (except I donít like McAfee). All you have to do is do a Google or Yahoo search on firewalls and get reviews and more info. =)

You must praise Google Guru.

Nah, thatís not a rule of staying safe online, but I just HAD to put it there. =D


Donít believe everything you see.

This is a very important rule to consider when you are browsing / surfing the Internet. Many sites claim to offer free iPod, free music, etc. etc. Do not, under any circumstances, give your phone number, addresses or personal information to these websites. There are many sites that offer freeware, watch out on what types of freeware you download, be careful. Some trusted sites are these:

www.download.com is a good trusted site with many ad-ware, spy-ware and other types of mal-ware-free downloads. Everything on there is safe to run.

www.softpedia.com has a special badge they place on downloads that are completely free of ad-ware, spy-ware or viruses. Thatís a great feature.

There are many more download sites too, like Tucows and whatnot, but those have to be the main ones, for me at least. Safe & Happy Downloading, Guys!!

Alternative Browsers are a GOOD thing.

It is wise to use alternative browsers. If you donít know what alternative Internet browsers are, well they are other browsers like Netscape, Mozilla Suite, Sea Monkey, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc. instead of using the well-known Internet Explorer.

You see, since Internet Explorer is used by most of the websí users, it is a prime target for hackers and viruses. Internet Explorer 6 and under also are dangered by something called ActiveX Controls. These, in some times are great and convenient and are used on the Microsoft website for downloading updates and whatnot, but some of the time they arenít so great when an infected site takes control of your computer.

Internet Explorer 7 is now out, and has new features and slightly improved security with more control and anti-phishing technology. I use it, it's okay, but if I were to visit a website that I didn't know too much about and didn't trust as much, I might use one of these alternative browsers:

Mozilla Firefox Ė www.getfirefox.com Ė RECOMMENDED.
Mozilla Suite Ė www.mozilla.com
Netscape Internet Ė www.netscape.com
Opera Browser Ė www.opera.com

So you can pick one of them if you wish, ironically I use Internet Explorer 7 with McAfee SiteAdvisor on my Vista Home Premium system. If I were to use an alternative browser, I would definitely pick Firefox over the others.

Hey, I should start a trademark, Le GoogleGuRu recommended. xD
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Security 101

Part 3 (added March 28th, 2007)

Securing Your Wireless Network

You should set up a WEP or WPA key on your wireless router, too. I don't have a router, so I don't really know much about them, but WEP/WPA keys are kind of like passwords that your computer uses to connect to the network. If you have a laptop or something and turn on the wireless switch, sometimes you will detect other networks. Some of these might be unsecured or secured. Since you probably don't want other people using your internet without your permission (they could even do illegal things), your best bet is to set up a WPA key. (or WEP, but it's not as good)

You can find more information here.

-- The End --

Sorry guys if the guide is a little messy. I had to split it into two posts due to length restrictions, and I took the original guide that I wrote on September 14th, 2006 and changed around some stuff so it would be more modern as technology changes so much.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Security 101

Nice guide. A couple things to add there mate.

For the spam it isnt just a case of not replying to mail for them to know your active. You also need to disable pics from loading in your email. Most spam has a downloadable file, sometimes only 1k in size, but you download it from their server, and then they know its an active address. If you disable pics, then that stops it.

For firewall section. Theres also the option of NAT (if you have a router that supports it) for preventing against hacking, when combined with your firewall its more secure.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Security 101

Like I said, I'm on dialup so I can't really comment on stuff linked to routers. Thanks for the spam tip, though.
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Security 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffaz
Nice guide. A couple things to add there mate.

For the spam it isnt just a case of not replying to mail for them to know your active. You also need to disable pics from loading in your email. Most spam has a downloadable file, sometimes only 1k in size, but you download it from their server, and then they know its an active address. If you disable pics, then that stops it.

For firewall section. Theres also the option of NAT (if you have a router that supports it) for preventing against hacking, when combined with your firewall its more secure.
NAT is enabled and virtually impossible to disable on all residential routers however, it's very transparent to the user.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Security 101

how about security on your router? unsecured networks can be a bad thing in the wrong hands. its still a security threat. maybe installing a vnc program on all your pc's if you wanted to check on your children.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Security 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_se
how about security on your router? unsecured networks can be a bad thing in the wrong hands. its still a security threat. maybe installing a vnc program on all your pc's if you wanted to check on your children.
I think we should concentrate on how to protect your computer, now how to "raise your children"
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Security 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ-CHRIS
I think we should concentrate on how to protect your computer, now how to "raise your children"
So by putting in a section on monitoring your child, the guide went from protecting your computer to raising your children?
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Security 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ-CHRIS
I think we should concentrate on how to protect your computer, now how to "raise your children"
i just think vnc is a useful thing to have. anyone could be using another pc in your house and being able to monitor that is a good advantage. although i see your point lol.
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