‫ 8 Little tips for online security

Date: 2012-01-16
Life online can be a bit of a minefield, especially when it comes to avoiding malicious hacker attacks. You’ve all heard the basic advice — use a fully updated anti-malware product, apply all patches for operating system and desktop software, avoid surfing to darker parts of the Web, etc. etc. Those are all important but there are a few additional things you can do to secure your online presence and keep hackers at bay.  Here are 8 little things that can provide big value:
1. Use a Password Manager
Password managers have emerged as an important utility to manage the mess of creating strong, unique passwords for multiple online accounts. This helps you get around password-reuse (a basic weakness in the identity theft ecosystem) and because they integrate directly with Web browsers, password managers will automatically save and fill website login forms and securely organize your life online.
Some of the better ones (identified by ZDNet) include LastPass (free version), KeePass (free), 1Password, Stenagos and Kaspersky Password Manager.
2. Switch to Google Chrome
According to ZDNet, the most secure web browser available today is Google Chrome.   With sandboxing, safe browsing and the silent patching (auto-updates), Google Chrome’s security features make it the best option when compared to the other main browsers.  We can also emphasize Google’s security team’s speed at fixing known issues, a scenario that puts it way ahead of rivals.
3. Full Disk Encryption
Full disk encryption uses mathematical techniques to scramble data so it is unintelligible without the right key. This works independently of the policies configured in the operating system software. A different operating system or computer cannot just decide to allow access, because no computer or software can make any sense of the data without access to the right key. Without encryption, forensic software can easily be used to bypass an account password and read all the files on your computer. Windows users have access to Microsoft BitLocker.
4. Routine Backups
If you ever went through the sudden death of a computer or the loss of a laptop while travelling, then you know the pain of losing all your data.   Get into the habit of automatically saving the contents of your machine to an external hard drive.
For Windows users, here’s an awesome cheat sheet from Microsoft.
5. Kill Java
Oracle Sun’s Java has bypassed Adobe software as the most targeted by hackers using exploit kits.  There’s a very simple workaround for this: Immediately uninstall Java from your machine. Of course this workaround is applicable if you don’t need it.   Removing Java will significantly reduce the attack surface.
6. Upgrade to Adobe Reader X
Adobe’s PDF Reader is still a high-value target for skilled, organized hacking groups so it’s important to make sure you are running the latest and greatest version of the software.  Adobe Reader and Acrobat X contains Protected Mode, a sandbox technology that serves as a major deterrent to malicious exploits.
According to Adobe security chief Brad Arkin, the company has not yet been a single piece of malware identified that is effective against a version X install.  This is significant.  Update immediately.  If you still distrust Adobe’s software, you may consider switching to an alternative product.
7. Common sense on social networks
Facebook and Twitter have become online utilities and, as expected, the popular social networks are a happy hunting ground for cyber-criminals.  We strongly recommend against using these networks because there is no respect or regard for user privacy but, if you can’t afford to opt out of the social narrative, it’s important to always use common sense on social networks.
Do not post anything sensitive or overly revealing because your privacy is never guaranteed.  Pay special attention to the rudimentary security features and try to avoid clicking on strange video or links to news items that can lead to social engineering attacks.  Again, common sense please.
8. Don’t forget the basics
None of the tips above would be meaningful if you forget the basics.  For starters, enable Windows Automatic Updates to ensure operating system patches are applied in a timely manner. Use a reputable anti-malware product and make sure it’s always fully updated.  Don’t forget about security patches for third-party software products. One last thing:  Go through your control panel and uninstall software that you don’t or won’t use.


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تاریخ ایجاد: 27 مرداد 1392


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