Many novice users use software that comes preinstalled with their purchased computer and rely on it to be safe from the dangers that lurk on every corner in the Internet.
Trojans, malware, spyware or phishing are threats that every user should know about. Not only what these types of malicious software or attacks do, but also how to identify them and stop them in their tracks.
I'd like to share with you how I secure my system and while I have to admit that it is not the most secure system possible, it is as secure as it can get without becoming inconvenient.If you want total security, do not connect to the Internet at all.
To begin with, I'd like to mention that the most important part or aspect of my security lineup is knowledge. Not only about threats but also what I can do safely on the Internet, what may or may not be dangerous, and what is definitely dangerous and better to be avoided.
I know how phishing emails look like, I know when I should be doubtful of files that I want to execute and I do know how to select passwords that can not be brute forced in a short period of time.
I do rely on a hardware firewall that is properly configured keeping many attacks away from my computer. I don't run a software firewall because I think this is a) not necessary because of the hardware firewall and b) could lead to attacks that are not there without it. Every piece of software installed on my system is a potential way to hack my system.
I use the free AntiVir as a virus scanner. This is probably not the best choice in the world but good free scanners are rare. I keep it running all the time with automatic updates. Nothing compared to commercial products that update once every 30 minutes but good enough to react on all threats that make it on my system. My Knowledge prevents most possible ways of attacking my system with viruses and trojans anyway.
I have two hard drives with more than 500 gigabytes of encrypted data using the excellent Open Source software True Crypt. This is important to prevent local access to my files as long as the hard drives have not been mounted.
Something that I feel is overrated. I tend to run Ad-Aware and Spybot every other week to scan my system but I normally find some tracking cookies, that is all.
The same can be said for Rootkits. I tend to use Rootkit Revealer or other products to check my system for rootkits but only occasionally. I would never put a Sony CD into my Computer anway ;)
No Microsoft products if possible. I do use Opera and Firefox for web surfing and Thunderbird as my main email client. Both browsers are more secure than Microsofts Internet Explorer and Outlook. Maybe because they are better products, maybe because hackers like to concentrate on Microsoft products because more users are using them.
Did I leave something out ? What is your security concept? Let me know, I like to read about software or tips that I never thought about in first place.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.