Author Topic: PC3 MEETING PROGRAM for September 2012  (Read 1135 times)

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Jack Lapointe

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PC3 MEETING PROGRAM for September 2012
« on: August 20, 2012, 12:11:22 PM »
PC3 MEETING PROGRAM for September 2012

Beyond Antivirus Software: Internet Security for Everyone
 
Our program for September deals with a topic that concerns all PC users, whether at home, in the office or on the road. Malware and hacking scams are an ever present threat that can strike any system anywhere without warning.  Avoiding this danger is a matter of luck, know-how and diligence in maintaining a proper defense. There is much to be said for a good Antivirus Program, but there are many additional steps that can be taken to enhance and extend this protection.

Our speakers for September will be Ludwig and Alex Albl. They are a Father Son team that has spoken to our group before. They always bring us vital information in an interesting and informative way. We look forward to their program: Beyond Antivirus Software: Internet Security for Everyone 7:00PM on Thursday, September 13th at Prichard Memorial Baptist Church.

Alex and Ludwig have provided a helpful summary of their program below.
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After securing your computer with expensive (or not) software, here are additional low / no cost procedures anyone can apply. Meant for the home user we will discuss and demonstrate password crafting, browser tweaks, prepaid debit cards and one method which positively prevents a hacker from storing anything on your computer.

No measure is 100% hack proof; like a lock on your house door it is there not to prevent but to make it more difficult to break in.

 Security measures you can take:
1.   Strong passwords: An absolute must. A strong password must consist of numbers, letters, and special characters. The more characters the stronger the password. http://www.random.org/passwords/

2.   Using a Live CD, thumb drive or SD card to do online banking: It creates a temporary session in the computers’ memory where you can have an entire OS and applications running.  When you shut down your computer there will be no traces left on it.  Order one at http://www.osdisc.com. You can always download and burn any Linux distribution to a CD/DVD. There are hundreds of choices out there, I just use Linux Mint since it’s easy to use and supports all the hardware I use. Find all kinds of Linux distributions here: http://www.distrowatch.com

3.   Browser Add-ons/security tweaks: The four big browser add-ons which increase your level of security include NoScript, Web Of Trust, Better Privacy and Adblock Plus.

No Script - No Script lets you select which websites you visit will run or not JavaScript.  JavaScript is used on almost all websites these days, but it’s not required for you to view or even use some parts of them. Disabling JavaScript on certain sites will make them load faster and more importantly stop many dangerous scripts from running. As of now this awesome add on, is only available for Firefox.
http://noscript.net/

Web of Trust - The web of trust add on for Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari is a user maintained site safety level indicator (you can sign up and rate a web sites’ safety level).  The main page for the add on has a website safety lookup on their main page so you can find out how safe a site is without ever having to visit it. http://www.mywot.com/

Better Privacy  - The better privacy add on for Firefox is little more than add on which does nothing but  automatically delete flash cookies/LSOs also known as super cookies. These cookies are invisible to the web browser and can track much more about you than regular cookies and are considered dangerous. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/betterprivacy/

Adblock Plus - The Adblock Plus add on for Firefox and Chrome. It blocks advertisements from loading as you’d expect. While the ads are mostly just annoying and slow down your browsing, I have seen a dangerous ads pop up before, so it is a good add on to install.

Firefox users get it here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/

Chrome users get it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/home


Deleting History upon Exit:

Internet Explorer - To delete your browsing history when you exit click on Tools>Internet Options will show up> under the general tab check delete browsing history upon exit.

Firefox - To make Firefox never remember browsing history click on Firefox>Options>Privacy> select never remember history.

Using private browsing mode: (Private browsing mode is when you set your browser to not remember any of your surfing history)

Firefox - Click on Firefox>Start Private Browsing

Internet Explorer - Click on Tools>Safety>In Private Browsing

4.   Prepaid debit cards: Prepaid debit cards are a great choice for online shopping. Just ask your bank e.g. the bank that used called Wachovia (No advertising here folks), will sell you one online or in person. If you can only spend up to the limit e.g. $150 a hacker can’t spend any more.

5.   Proxy servers: Using a proxy server will hide your external IP address- This prevents websites from knowing your actual internet address, though the government can still track you base on the hardware that was involved. Read all about proxy servers on http://proxy.org/

6.   VPNs: A VPN is more secure than a proxy server being a secured private network running through the internet (you can think of it as a private LAN). A wide variety of both free and paid for VPN software is available both which can be very geeky or fairly simple to setup and use. Read all about VPNs here: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/vpn/a/vpn_tutorial.htm

NONE of these methods will be able to help you hide from any three letter agencies CIA, FBI, KGB, etc.