Residential Internet Security

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Residential Internet Security

Post by Tamianth » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:16 pm

Residential Internet Security

Post by Herman on Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Data mining is running full speed ahead and is only increasing. I work in I.T. security (the heavy-duty stuff) and am a former Navy cryptologist. Securing businesses and government agencies (yes, even they don't want to be tracked), is a tricky and a continuous battle but what about the average home user? What can you do?

Assuming you are using a PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or smartphone independently as opposed to using one of these devices to login through a proxy server, there is quite a lot.

1. Never, EVER use the Internet Explorer - speaking only from a security standpoint. Its full of holes, even the latest version and is easily hackable. I won't list boring details but there are a number of exploits that can be easily breached when someone is using this browser. Even if you religiously do the updates. Your alternative. Firefox! followed by Chrome & Safari. Tablet folks; Dolphin, Boat, Opera and surprisingly, Firefox at the end. They still have many glitches in their tablet/smartphone release.

2. So you've decided to use Firefox or Chrome. Good for you! How about securing it even more. Here are a few free applications that will provide ample (but not perfect) security and thwart off any major intrusions.

Do not track from Abine. Once applied, third party and even mainline websites are prohibited from tracking and recording your activity. It puts a little icon in the top corner of the browser and clicking on that shows you a log of who, what and where has attempted to track you as you go about your business on the interweb. It even gives you "awards" for milestones of the amount of tracking you've blocked. Works nicely.

Lightbeam for Firefox: Enables you to see the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam shows you the relationships between these third parties and the sites you visit. Truly amazing! You can edit the settings to block and specific sites or whole clusters based on access origination.

Greasemonkey: Allows you to customize the way a web page displays or behaves, by using small bits of JavaScript. Why is this here? Well, because it allows you to modify the BEHAVIOR of your browser even if a website determines that modification may not be in ITS best interest. An example would be one I used recently. Facebook has/had decided to force you to see the "Top Stories" in your news feed as opposed to "Most Recent" posts. Many people were irritated by this but to date, Facebook has not relented. Enter Greasmonkey. With a small modification of the script Facebook uses to force the Top Stories post, you suddenly take control of your own viewing experience and FORCE it back to "Most Recent". This app can be used in the same way to alter the scripts for security settings that are otherwise not available. ... asemonkey/

Adblock Plus: Shhh Don't tell 800notes or any other site but you can surf ad free AND block those unseen advertisers at the same time! Incorporate this addon into your browser and speed-up your viewing experience. Its customizable, and fairly easy to use. Customizations are nice especially when it comes to blocking static pictures i.e. jpg, gif, bmp... Say you frequent a website that has never ending pics of Kim Kardashian but you like the site anyhow. No problem. Right click on Kim, hit the customize radio button and block Kim's picture (from that site at least) FOREVER. You're treating her as an ad (which will be blocked automatically by the built in list) when you install the app. Warning! The creator of Adblock Plus sold out, and now only blocks SOME ads. No worries, see the modified "fork" (duplicate of adblock plus, minus the special exemptions) and run it instead: ... lock-plus/

Flashblock: Defiantly a must for script security. Blocks (but allows) you to halt automatic running of flash scripts. ... lashblock/

Firewall: Yep, not one of these dopey software ones either. A real one. This would be your NUMBER ONE protector for privacy. Herman and company use a fairly inexpensive but solid Sonicwall. I use the TZ-215 in the office and a TZ-105 wireless at home. Easy to set up, trouble free once it is, and works like a champ:

Keep your machine clean and up-to-date: Use CCleaner to clear temporary internet files and dead registry entries: I use the freebie one. It works fine.

Check for malware regularly. Don't trust any of the virus scanners to do the job completely. The worst in my own opinion is McAfee, its too big and bloated and the same goes for Symantic/Norton as well. I use AVG (minus all the BS like email scanning, and optimization). Malwarebytes is a MUST supplemental and will keep your machine running bug free.

These are just the basics of internet security. Guarantee, even with all this, I would still be able to find SOME weakness in the security, but this would give me a good run for the money. If you need a little help, especially with firewall configuration of any brand, give a shout out and I'll help.
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It is cowardice to be reluctant to take up the sword for a just cause!

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