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Security Solutions ...

Security Class ... by Hobbit

A. COMPUTER GUIDELINES:

  1. Install all the security patches your OS, Internet browser and mail program require. If you are using Windows, I suggest that you use the tool called "Windows update" often, so as to make sure your system is updated. Latest Microsoft patches for Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 are available as of March 28th. If you haven't updated your computer yet I suggest that you do it as soon as possible. This patch solves severe security problems in Internet Explorer which may allow downloading of malicious codes when you visit certain WebPages.

  2. Make a backup regularly of your important files. You don't ever know when you are going to need it.

  3. Install a good antivirus software and keep it updated. I suggest that you set it up so that you update it daily, since 2-3 new viruses appear every day. In my opinion, to use a good antivirus is the best investment you can do in your computer, you will avoid bunch of headaches if you do so. Also if you are going to purchase antivirus software, make sure they offer you 24 hours technical support, so you can contact them anytime in case you have doubts. If you don't want to purchase a software, you can find free antivirus on the net. For example: Grisoft.com. Also you can run virus scan online on your computer, there are several sites for it shared here: Virus, Trojan, and Security Solutions.

  4. Create and keep in a safe place a boot disk in case you need it to start up your computer. Make the diskette write-protected so nobody is able to write on it. Also create and keep updated antivirus emergency disks, which you should update often. I suggest that you keep these diskettes in a safe place as you can consider them your emergency kit.

  5. Set your Windows to show all hidden files and folders (Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder options). Also uncheck the option "Hide file extensions for known file types". Unfortunately Windows by default hide file extensions, and this means that you may get a file named help.txt, and you may think it is not a dangerous file type, but really that file is named help.txt.exe, and you can't see it because Windows hides that extension from you. It is very important that you uncheck this option in the folder options. To read more about this, and learn how to do it step by step you can visit here: Security Tips.

  6. Configure the security options included in different applications to suit your needs, and obtain the level of protection required. In Internet Explorer, for example, you can set different security levels for each zone you browse. For Internet, it is advisable to set an intermediate to high level.


B. INTERNET CONNECTIONS:

  1. Use safe passwords, e.g. long ones, and try not to use words that appear in a dictionary. Try to use alphanumeric combinations and if the system is case sensitive, use it. Very important -- change them often (at least once a month). Also try to use a different combination for each account, so if by any means one of them is hacked, the others are still secure. Also very important -- do not keep a list of your passwords in your computer. It is safer if you write them down in a book kept in a safe place.

  2. Do not download or open files you didn't ask for. And always check them with your updated antivirus tool first.

  3. Reject files sent from unknown sources. One of the techniques most frequently used by attackers involves tricking victims into installing a Trojan by making them believe that the file they've received is a software tool or a photograph. Similarly, an attacker could ask victims to send them a system file needed to repair a computer. However, the file requested is actually used to store confidential information such as the mailbox password.

  4. Do not leave your computer online when you are not using it. Physically unplug the computer from Internet when you leave the house. Otherwise you are giving more time to the bad guy to hack your computer.

  5. Use a firewall to establish a protection between your computer and Internet. For example you can use a firewall, ZoneAlarm, which is a good one and completely free. You can check in different sites if your computer has security leaks. Check here for some sources: Test Your PC - How Secure are You?

  6. Use secure Web servers for transactions and sending confidential Information. You can find out if a Web server uses encryption in Communications by looking at the URL address. The URL of a secure Website start with https://. In addition, when you are browsing a secure Website, the browser will display a closed lock icon on the status bar at the bottom of the window.


C. MIRC:

  1. Do not give out personal info or data about yourself. You never can be sure of who is behind the other monitor. Do not fill out your mirc with your real name or real email addy, if you don't want to be bombed with spam. This is very important, please don't forget it.

  2. Do not accept files from strangers. Please report to an op in private

  3. Do not visit a URL that may be advertised to you when you are in channel. They may hide malicious codes that can be downloaded into your computer. Please report to an op in private

  4. Do not type commands if you don't know what they are for. You can always ask #Beginner ops if in doubt.

  5. File/Options/IRC:
    a) There I suggest that you uncheck the option "Auto join on invite".
    b) Flood:
    Check the option "Enable Flood Protection"
    Settings should be: 300-30-10-60
    Check the options Enable protection for:
    Ctcp replies
    Whois on query

  6. File/Options/DCC:
    a) On Send and On Chat Request -- Show dialog
    b) Folders:
    DCC ignore -- Ignore all except
    Check the option "Turn ignore back in" 3 min
    In case someone you trust wants to send you a file which is not in the extensions list, you can type /dcc ignore off, to turn ignore off for 3 min.

  7. File/Options/General:
    a) Lock:
    Check Disable commands : /run and /dll


D. VIRUS DEFINITIONS:

  • VIRUS is a program that replicates itself and affects other programs. Viruses do not always cause damage and may not display symptoms, however they can sometimes be very destructive.

  • WORM is a computer program that replicates itself. Worms do not infect other programs, but instead, they send themselves to other users through e-mail, IRC and Instant Messaging programs.

  • TROJAN is a malicious program that pretends to be a normal program. These programs do something that a user does not expect them to do (for example open a "backdoor" so they can hack your computer). They are not considered a virus in the true sense of the word since they do not spread themselves to other users. To learn more about them you can visit here: Trojans, Viruses, and Worms

  • HOAX: Internet hoaxes and chain letters are e-mail messages written with one purpose; to be sent to everyone you know. The messages they contain are usually untrue. A few of the sympathy messages do describe a real situation but that situation was resolved years ago so the message is not valid and has not been valid for many years. Hoax messages try to get you to pass them on to everyone you know using several different methods of social engineering. To read a list of the most recent hoaxes: Pc-cillin Hoax Listings.

That is all for now -- remember you can find more information about all this in our website :o)

HOBBIT



 


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