Overview: “Why should you be concerned about Internet security and privacy issues, you ask? Malicious software, such as spyware, computer viruses, keyloggers, remote access Trojans (the most common type of Trojan Horse), and other malware could be more than a mere annoyance. It could in fact lead you to become a victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in the US.
Consumer Reports says that home users connected to the Internet have an one in three chance of suffering financial loss, computer damage, or both because of spyware or a computer virus that sneaks onto their computer.”
Overview: Gain security awareness
How To Detect & Remove Malware.
How To Delete Your Hard Drive.
Keylogger Prevention Tips.
How To Speed Up A Slow Computer.
How To Secure Your Wireless Network.
Trojan Horse Prevention Info & Tips.
Free Internet Security Software.
Intro Items First things first: Take care of your computer
First things first: Take care of your computer You may not know it, but your computer is being targeted. It’s nothing personal—all computers are targets. There are people out there trying to bring down your computer or gain access to data on it. It’s up to you to learn about the dangers and find out how you can help protect your computer and be more secure. As I am talking go to this site and start scanning your machine for FREE:
Security threats You’re probably familiar with some of these terms from the news media: viruses, worms, Trojan horses, phishing, and spyware. To take steps that make your computer more secure, you need some basic information about what the dangers are.
Security threats Most of the security threats mentioned involve a piece of malicious software (or code) that is intended to run on your computer without you knowing about it. Malicious software may be hidden inside another file or program, or run silently in the background. Most malicious software is designed to replicate itself and infect other files or computers. But what exactly the malicious code does to your computer depends on what it is and how destructive it is.
Here are a few definitions, so that you know what you’re dealing with:
Virus: Software (or code) written with the express intention of replicating itself. A virus attempts to spread from computer to computer by attaching itself to another file or program.
Worm: Software that replicates independently by sending itself to other systems through network connections.
Trojan horse: Software that appears to be useful or harmless but that contains hidden code designed to exploit or damage the system on which it is run.
Here are a few definitions, so that you know what you’re dealing with:
Spyware: Software that can display advertisements (such as pop-up ads), collect information about you, or change settings on your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent. You usually download spyware without knowing it by visiting untrustworthy Web sites.
Phishing: A way of extracting personal information from you such as bank or credit card details, normally done via e-mail. There are also some phishing schemes designed to put spyware on your computer. The good news is that Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 has new anti-phishing features.
Sources of infection Whether virus, worm, Trojan horse, or spyware, most malicious code is trying to get onto your computer by hiding itself somewhere that looks innocent. For example, it could be in an e-mail attachment you receive, software you download from the Internet, a Web site you visit, a shared file or network, a floppy disk you share, or even a Microsoft Office document. Basically, any information that comes from another computer could pose a risk.
Sources of infection If you kept your computer in a sealed room, never linked it to a network or the Internet, and never inserted a CD or floppy disk, you would remain safe. But that would make your computer practically useless. So practice safeguards instead. As well as being wary of information coming into your computer, be careful when visiting Web sites that request information from you. Also ensure that you’re on a genuine site before entering any personal data.
Microsoft Update: an essential security precaution The most basic security step is to make sure your computer software is up to date. Microsoft releases regular updates—you may hear them called “patches” in the news media—to combat new threats as they appear. It’s wise to check for and install updates regularly. Updates for the Microsoft Windows® operating system and for Office are found on the Microsoft Update site.
Antivirus software Your most important and essential defense against viruses is antivirus software. Install it, use it, and keep it up to date. Antivirus software is designed to detect known viruses. Because new viruses are always being written, it’s essential to keep your antivirus software up to date. When a new virus hits the world, the antivirus software manufacturers typically have an update available for download on their Web sites within hours.
Other security measures There are a whole raft of other security steps you should be aware of. Here’s a brief summary.
Install antispyware software.
Always use strong passwords.
For even greater security, use a firewall.
Regularly make backup copies of your important documents.
E-mail security One of the more hazardous areas for picking up viruses and other nasties is e-mail. Sometimes just opening the message can trigger a virus. Even when you have antivirus software, a new virus could have been released since the software was last updated. So always be very wary of attachments. Be especially suspicious if the message is from someone you don’t know (or aren’t expecting to hear from) or if the subject line or attachment name is strange.
E-mail security After you’ve decided you want to open or save an attached file, you can do so by right-clicking its icon in the Outlook Reading Pane. If you’re still concerned that the message is infected with a virus or contains other malicious code, and if the sender is a friend or colleague, you can always ask for confirmation before opening it. If the message does turn out to be viral, delete it without opening it. And then delete it from your Deleted Items folder.
Security I: How the 2007 Office system helps you to stay safer Quiz, question 1 How can viruses get into your computer? (Pick one answer.) Through infected floppy disks. By opening infected e-mail attachments. By sharing an infected document across a network. All of the above.
Security I: How the 2007 Office system helps you to stay safer Quiz, question 1: Answer All of the above. Your computer could get a virus through any of those means.
Quiz, question 2 What’s your most important defense against computer viruses? (Pick one answer.) Use antivirus software. Take your cold medicine. Never let other people use your computer. Use Microsoft Update.
Quiz, question 2: Answer Use antivirus software. There’s no substitute for up-to-date antivirus software.
Quiz, question 3 What is a security update (or “patch”)? (Pick one answer.) An adhesive patch you can stick on the computer to ward off viruses. A software update to protect against the latest known security threats. An area of a Web site where you go to get security updates. A very small security blanket.
Quiz, question 3: Answer A software update to protect against the latest known security threats. You should regularly install the latest patches for both Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows.
Topic 1 How to Detect and Remove Malware
How to Detect and Remove Malware Is your computer acting strange? Are you getting weird error messages? Are strange files downloading on your hard drive? Has your computer developed a mind of its own? Computer running slower than your old Commodore 64? You very well might be infected with malware, such as a Trojan Horse, keylogger, spyware, or computer virus. This malicious software can certainly be more than just a mere annoyance. It can be downright scary and a real threat to your Internet security and privacy. It can spread through your system like a virus(pardon the pun), corrupting your computer. It can actually lead you to completely losing all data on your hard drive. Not only that, malware can lead you to become the next victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the US.
How to Detect and Remove Malware (cont) In fact, since 2003 the vast majority of widespread viruses and worms have been designed to take one-hundred percent control of the user's computer for black market exploitation. They might very well have more control of your computer than you do. Infected "zombie computers" are used to send that annoying spam that we all love to hate. On a more serious note, the ‘spam’ could contain illegal content such as child porn. Your computer could even be used to engage in distributed denial of service attacks as a form of extortion. Malware is a malicious form of software which is actually designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. As mentioned above, malware includes Trojans, keyloggers, spyware, worms, computer viruses, and other malicious software. With the explosive growth of the Internet and home user broadband, malware is a huge and growing problem. There was believe it or not as much malware was produced in 2007 alone as the previous twenty years altogether. Ready to throw your computer out the window and cancel your broadband Internet access forever? Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to detect and remove malware before it does anymore harm.
How to Detect and Remove Malware (cont)
If you at all suspect your computer is infected with malware immediately stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive personal information and disconnect from the net.
Many malware infestations today are so bad you will possibly have to reboot your machine and go into safe mode. Safe mode is engaged when you reboot your machine and hit F8 (continually) in the boot sequence until prompted for the choice of safe mode you want (with networking, without networking etc)
How to Delete Your Hard Drive Are you selling, recycling, or donating your old computer? Do you need to get rid of all the junk the kids have put on the hard drive from playing on the Internet? Is there objectionable content on your hard drive? Do you want to permanently delete data and files on your hard drive, giving your computer a "fresh start"? Wondering how to delete your hard drive? I know, by now you are probably saying "enough of the questions already!" Formatting does not permanently delete files on your hard drive. All formatting actually does is delete the addresses of the files on your hard drive. This leaves data from a formatted hard drive easily being recovered using data recovery software. This software is readily available on the Internet. Believe it or not, some data recovery software is even free of charge! A lot of people don't realize that Windows keeps every picture, web site address, video clip, email, and chat room conversation is written to your hard drive. Windows keeps the web browser cache, temp files, and other data. This is a very real threat to your Internet security and privacy.
How to Delete Your Hard Drive (cont) Disk deleting software, also known as shredders, file wipers, and wipe programs overwrites your hard drive with random information. A good way to understand how disk deleting software works, is by thinking of your hard drive as a video tape. This tape is full of TV shows that you have recorded on it. Taping over the old shows is the only way to get rid of them.
Best FREE Secure Erase Software: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-secure-erase-utility.htm
Wipe, Delete, Secure, Your Hard Drive the easy way: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15817/wipe-delete-and-securely-destroy-your-hard-drives-data-the-easy-way/
Mac: newer macs now come with Secure Erase features: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/mac-platform/articles/72748.aspx
Topic 3 Keylogger Prevention Tips
Keylogger Prevention Tips A keylogger builds a log of everything typed into a keyboard to be reviewed by a third party. Keyloggers can be used for legitimate purposes to troubleshoot networks, analyze employee productivity, or to assist law enforcement, for example; or they can be used for illegitimate purposes to surreptitiously spy on people for personal gain. A keylogger can be a hardware device or a software program. Keyloggers are indeed a real threat to your Internet security and privacy. This malicious software will secretly record every keystroke that the computer user makes. Some keylogging programs can even take snapshots of the users Desktop, record both side of instant messenger chat conversations(AOL, Windows Messenger, ICQ, etc.), and record every website the unsuspecting computer user makes. How scary is that!?
Keylogger Prevention Tips (cont) You should be glad to know that by following the steps below you will significantly reduce your chances of becoming infected with a keylogger. If you have already downloaded a keylogger, following the steps below will stop the keylogging software before it does anymore harm. •Installing a good antivirus program will help prevent having a keylogger installed on your computer. There are actually free antivirus software available to download free of charge. •Anti-spyware software will certainly help prevent you from becoming infected with a keylogger. Most, but not all keystroke loggers are detected with anti-spyware software. It is good to know that there is free anti-spyware software available to download on the Internet. •Also, to help prevent having keylogging software installed on your computer, avoid running programs you receive via email and instant messaging unless you know exactly what it is. •Installing a firewall will detect and disable keyloggers before they are installed or do anymore harm on your computer. BEST Antilogging software: http://www.zemana.com and http://anti-keylogger-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
Topic 4 How to Speed Up a Slow Computer
How to Speed Up a Slow Computer (cont) Is your computer running slower than a turtle? Getting strange error messages? Windows, including individual programs, taking forever to load and/or crashing altogether? Wondering how to speed up a slow computer? There are a few simple things that you can do to speed up your slow computer, while at the same time increasing your performance and reliability. There are some basic steps that you can take that will dramatically increase your PC's speed and performance. Possible reasons are;
Registry needs cleaning: Windows errors are a common cause of computer crashes and error messages. They can certainly slow down your computer as well. I highly recommend Registry Mechanic for cleaning your registry of errors, duplicate files, and files leftover from uninstalling software on your PC. I would highly recommend Ccleaner(safest): http://www.piriform.com/ or Wise Registry Cleaner: http://www.wisecleaner.com/wiseregistrycleanerfree.html (both are FREE)
How to Speed Up a Slow Computer (cont)
Hard Drive Full Of Clutter: If you have surfed the Internet for any length of time, you likely have a hard drive full of browser cache, duplicate files, and temporary files, etc. A lot of people don't realize it, but Windows keeps a copy of every picture downloaded, web site visited, etc. stored in your hard drive. Besides being a threat to your Internet security and privacy, this can really reduce your computers performance and speed over time. Best tool again is Ccleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ and for Mac: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/onyx.html
Computer Viruses: Viruses and worms can wreak havoc on your computer - being very much a real threat to your Internet security and privacy...not to mention slowing down your computer. If you are connected to the Internet(if you are reading this chances are high that you are) it is essential that you have antivirus software installed on your computer. It is important that you keep antivirus software up-to-date. However, it is good to know that most modern antivirus software updates automatically. There is actually free antivirus software available for download on the Internet. Highly recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for pc (http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/) and Sophos for Mac: http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/ (FREE)
Your Hard Drive Needs Defragmenting: Finally, defragging your hard drive can certainly speed up your and increase its performance. Fragmentation occurs when an operating system breaks a file into pieces because there is not enough space on the storage device where the file was originally saved. Best defragmenter for pc, AuslogicsDefragmenter: http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/ and Mac’s supposedly have it through the ‘Disk Utility’ menu, but there is a well touted and acclaimed Idefrag2 for Macs which costs: http://www.coriolis-systems.com/iDefrag.php
Topic 5 Trojan Horse Prevention Info & Tips
Trojan Horse Prevention Info & Tips (cont) A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but (perhaps in addition to the expected function) steals information or harms the system. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology. When it comes to Trojan Horses, like other Internet security and privacy threats, an ounce of prevention is indeed better than the cure. FREE online scan for Trojans: http://www.windowsecurity.com/trojanscan/ Best FREE Trojan scanners: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-trojan-scanner-trojan-remover.htm Highly recommend Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyWare listed on this page.
Topic 6 Free Internet Security Software
Free Internet Security Software & Tools It is essential you have Internet security software installed on your computer, to protect it from Internet security and privacy threats. Fortunately, there is free Internet security software available for download online. Many patches and updates from Microsoft and Apple provide essential security patching and updates, and it is highly recommended that you obtain those as they are made available. Our top recommendations for Security Suite Software; PC: Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/) Mac: Sophos (http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/) Best Freeware Tested Utilities: http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/probably-best-free-security-list-world.htm
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