Wi Fi Security | Digital Dave | Computoredge

I learned a few things about Wi-Fi Security in this explanation by Dave in Computoredge Magazine. It may help you too.

When you are using a Wi-Fi connection, or for that matter, anytime you are communicating over the Internet, the only time your information is secure is when you are using a secure (encrypted) connection. In Web browsing, an encrypted connection is accomplished through TLS (Transport Layer Security), previously SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Rather than using the standard port 80 for Web connections, TSL uses port 443. The browser knows this and looks for a valid Security Certificate from the Web site.
In most Web browsers, you can identify a secure TSL page by the “s” in https:// and the “closed padlock” icon on the end of the address field. See the figure below. Anytime you are sending private information over the Web, make sure that these appear. When you log on to the connection, it should be through a secure page. Also, any online business (purchases, banking, etc.) needs to be done through encrypted (TSL) Web pages. (Not all browser versions will display the “closed padlock” icon.)

Figure 2. See the https on the left and the “closed padlock” on the right for a secure (encrypted) Web site.

These browser indications (https and the icon) are not foolproof. If you want be sure that you are at the right Web site, then examine the Security Certificate. (Click on the “closed padlock” icon and select “View certificates.”) The URL, or address, should match the address line. Browsers will give warnings if a Security Certificate doesn’t look right.

You need to understand that most Internet communications are not encrypted and therefore not secure. E-mail is particularly vulnerable since it is rarely ever encrypted. As it bounces from e-mail server to e-mail server on its way to its destination, it can be intercepted. You should never put confidential information (credit card info, Social Security numbers, etc.) into an e-mail.

If you don’t know that you are using an encrypted connection, then you should always treat the Internet communication as vulnerable to public viewing. Plus, none of this protects you from the person looking over your shoulder at the coffee house.

For more information contact Digital Dave at: http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?article=dave&issue=2727&zone=SD&src=1 or www.computoredge.com

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”–Napoleon Hill


Computer Security | Digital Dave | ComputorEdge

“In the last issue of ComputorEdge, Digital Dave gave one of his readers (and us subscribers) some interesting advice on keeping our computers safe. You too may find it useful.

Here it is:

“Since you are a “security nut,” I assume that you have antivirus and anti-spyware software running on your computer. In addition, you should have some sort of firewall protection for your Internet connection. If you haven’t already done so, put in a router between your DSL modem and the computer. The firewall in the router will give you added protection, plus it makes it easy to share the connection with trusted friends and family. This will make it harder for intruders to get onto your network and your computer.

By default, the drives on your computer are not shared. That means that even if someone is on your network, they cannot access the drives on your computer. If you do have reason to share a drive on the network, be sure to add password protection with a strong password.

Generally, your firewall software and the protections built into Firefox should do a pretty good job of blocking outside intrusions. However, once someone gets inside the wall to your computer, either through a virus or spyware, there is little to protect your drives.

Most viruses get in through trickery and our own lapses in judgment. There is no software that will protect us from ourselves. The most important steps to take are in preventing yourself from allowing something nefarious into your system.

• Never download (save) an unverified attachment in an e-mail, link on a Web page, or from a pop-up at a Web site. If it’s an unexpected e-mail from a friend, talk to that friend under separate cover to verify the document sent.

• The Internet browsers have built-in protections to prevent the Web sites from accessing your computer. If you are merely surfing the Web, you are in little danger of being infected. However, if you click on a link, then allow something to be downloaded, the risk begins. There are some add-ons for browsers, such as Adobe Reader and Flash, that can enhance the Web experience and need to be downloaded. Rather than downloading the software from any site that may determine that you need it, you should go directly to the parent site for the software.

• Be suspicious of everything, especially windows that pop up offering to solve your virus problem.

• Only install software that you know comes from a legitimate source. Even then, be cautious. If you are downloading software, be sure that it’s coming from the correct site.

• If you are not sure about something, do a Google search for reviews on the questionable item.

• If reading files is a concern, to further protect your files, you can encrypt files or entire drives to make them unreadable for people without the proper key, which can be kept on a thumb drive. This should stop reading, although not deleting or altering.

The best protection is to prevent problems from ever getting on your computer in the first place.”

Digital Dave at: www.computoredge.com

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