Computer Security & Advice

Listed below are a series of links to computer security articles and general computer advice.

Unfortunately, computer malware, such as the notorious CryptoLocker, is increasing in both volume and sophistication. To see the unpleasant statistics, visit AV Test.

 

It is essential to be aware of these threats and to take appropriate countermeasures.

Please read the articles below and avoid becoming a victim of cybercrooks.

There is also additional information under Computing Links.

**WARNING-Norton & McAfee automatic renewals

http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/warning-automatic-renewals-norton-mcafee/

***IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, PLEASE READ:
12 SURE-FIRE WAYS TO GET INFECTED
(to which should be added, Number 13, never, EVER click on an email attachment unless you are 110% certain that it is genuine. Always assume that an email attachment is malicious. If in doubt, delete it).

 

SECURITY SOFTWARE (What do I need?)
Security Software

 

ANTI-MALWARE
Malwarebytes Free
http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

Malwarebytes Premium
https://www.malwarebytes.org/premium/

SuperAntiSpyware Free
http://www.superantispyware.com/

ANTI-THEFT (LAPTOPS)

Recover your stolen laptop
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/recover-your-stolen-laptop/

ANTIVIRUS
Avast Free
http://www.avast.com/index

BACKUPS
Backup your Computer NOW!
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/backup-your-computer-now/

Backup your computer-Part 2
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/backup-your-computer-part-2/

GENERAL SECURITY ADVICE
Shadow Explorer for W7 etc
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/shadow-explorer-for-w7-etc/

XP needs replacing!
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/xp-needs-replacing/

Why you should give up Windows XP for good
http://www.howtogeek.com/77788/online-safety-why-you-should-give-up-windows-xp-for-good-2/

JAVA, JAVASCRIPT & WEB BROWSERS

When you go online to view pages on the World Wide Web (The Internet), you access these pages by means of a program called a web browser.

The main browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer (plus Safari for Apple products).

Personally I would not recommend using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The reason I say this is because when the Java 7 security flaw (below) was discovered, Microsoft did not immediately disable the Java plugin (additional software module) in Internet Explorer. This left millions of Microsoft IE users at risk from the Java 7 security flaw. In contrast, Mozilla immediately disabled Java in its Firefox browser to protect its users.

Java 7 flaw:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/14/169338707/java-security-flaw-is-repaired-experts-still-recommend-disabling-it

What exactly are Java and JavaScript?

Java and JavaScript are both cross-platform (runs on Windows, Linux, Apple Mac etc) programming languages which are used to write computer programs that can run inside a web browser. Despite the naming similarity, they are totally unrelated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/java-and-javascript

Should I disable Java?

The short answer, in my opinion, is YES, for two main reasons.

Firstly, Java is notoriously insecure and vulnerabilities continue to be found in it. These vulnerabilities are then exploited by malicious hackers.

Secondly, Java’s owner, Oracle, actively tries to install unwanted software on your computer at every Java update. Even when you untick the pre-ticked boxes, this unwanted software can still be installed thanks to a 10 minute execution delay (see below).

How to disable Java:

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/08/30/how-turn-off-java-browser/

Java and its deceptive updates (10 minute delay):

http://www.zdnet.com/a-close-look-at-how-oracle-installs-deceptive-software-with-java-updates-7000010038/

Java: should you remove it?

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2013/feb/08/java-remove-ask-jack-technology

LINUX

Linux (a great alternative to Windows)

Review by a New Linux User

MALWARE DEFINITIONS
Courtesy of Kaspersky Lab, here is a list of common malicious computer security threats together with their definitions.

ONLINE SAFETY

An excellent source of free online security advice.
Get Safe Online

Understanding Hackers, Phishers & Cybercriminals
http://www.howtogeek.com/75584/online-safety-understanding-hackers-phishers-and-cybercriminals/

Fake Bank Email-An Example
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/fake-bank-email/

PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER & YOURSELF

Protect your Computer

Protect yourself

RANSOMWARE
Computers held to ransom!
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/computers-held-to-ransom/

Windows Expert Console
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/windows-expert-console/

CryptoLocker-Part 2
http://cardiganu3a.org.uk/cryptolocker-part-2/

STRONG PASSWORDS
Strong Passwords

USER ACCOUNTS
User Accounts

WEBCAM SAFETY

Did you know that you can be spied on (including being recorded) via your own webcam?

This can be done without activating the indicator light, so you are totally unaware that you are being watched.

One type of spyware becoming increasingly common is known as a RAT (Remote Access *Trojan), which criminals can use to access your computer or mobile device to take control of it to obtain your private information or spy on you. This is known as ratting.

(*Trojan: A non-self-replicating type of malware program containing malicious code that, when executed, carries out actions determined by the nature of the Trojan, typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible system harm).

The following links on how to avoid webcam ratting should be studied closely.

https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-yourself/avoiding-ratting/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/25812110

If you need further assistance or advice please use the email link on the Computer Support Group page.