The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The pocket calculator of today has more computing power than the computers that was used onboard the spacecraft that went and landed on the moon.
Computers bare bone processing is always in Binary Code also referred to as base 2. Binary code is a series of 1 and 0's. Computers / Integrated circuits with millions / billions of on off sets, 1 being set on, 0 being set off. Now I am not a computer IC engineer but the series of 1 and 0 does everything you desire and not desire on your computer.
Check this website...
Select 'Text to Binary'; You can type anything and see what it is binary code, that is what is being processed by your cpu.
In the right hands those 1 and 0's in the right sequence can take your identity, your bank account, every thing.
Our ancestors never had computers so the criminal element had difficulty doing that from a hiding place far far away, now it can be done by someone half a world away.
The problem is with every new piece of technology, there is a sector of the population that tries to use that new technology as a way to make personal gains on the backs of others.
Please take the time read all of the articles on this website as some things are inter related.
Hacking / Viruses / Mail ware / Fraud / Junk Emails / Banking Fraud, How do you protect yourself?
First I would like to say that is never any guarantee and the criminal element are always trying to out do security and protection systems playing a cat and mouse game with ones working hard to keep you and information secure with the ones that trying to bust it. Someone's ill intent finds a hole to get through on then security systems go and plug the hole only to have another vulnerability discovered later.
So what can you do to make your best effort to keep your computer secure and safe from prying eyes?
Router and internet switches, also referred to as managed and unmanaged switches.Unmanaged Internet Switches...
These are internet distribution switches for hooking up multiple computers / computing devices up to a common internet provider.
Unmanaged in the sense it does not control or check for any unwanted intrusion, it just prevents data collisions and make multiple devices work at the same time. But outside of preventing data collisions it will pass anything good or bad.
They come in a variety of configurations, 4 to 24 connection ports and beyond. They can also even be daisy chained in that one switch can have a feed to an additional switch.
Managed Internet Switches....
Routers have better control on data being passed through, and have firewalls within the device, usually there is lots of customized settings that you adjust, they control IP assignments to all the devices connected to it and through any unmanaged downstream from there.
There will be a way to log into the router through an IP address that you can type into your internet browser to view.
Wireless Access Points...
Wireless access points are WiFi transmitters design for use with wireless devices. These are independent of the router but can come in a combination router / wireless and even a modem built together.
To setup you must connect into the access point using the IP provided, will come with instructions. It is very important that you set up the security on the wireless which you will then have to enter into to every wireless device you have in order to connect to it.
There is also power line extenders that uses RF over your electrical system to get your internet from one location in the home to another location which also has security setting that would need to be set up. Note though I have seen some types have connection issues if the circuit you are sending to is on a different side / phase of the electrical system.
Some internet providers provide a modem that is a combination modem / router / wireless, but will still have settings to be set up, read the instructions that come with it.
Never use wireless unsecured, since I had a career on the operational side of television broadcasting, I remember one time we ran a story about an elderly couple that got raided by police, they had traced internet child porn to their IP at their home, the police checked their computer and found nothing. They had internet wireless with no security set so it was fully open. The home they where after was likely within a block of them that was really the one the police was after but they could not raid every home without cause or warrant to do so. After nothing was discovered they where helped to set up the security on their wireless.
A firewall also built into routers check on the traffic coming in and out and determines if the response coming back is a reasonable response to what was sent out and decides if it should be discarded / blocked or passed back to your computer.
Serious gamers sometimes have to open more holes up in the firewall of the router in order to play a fast pace game that requires a lot of internet traffic to operate. This can sometimes offer ways for the undesirables to get to your computer. But try not to open and if you need to open only what is absolutely necessary and try to see if can open only for specific servers.
DMZ [De Militarized Zone] that can be set on some routers that basically disables the hardware firewall to a specific computer on your system. Should only be used for gaming if absolutely necessary. You should also set your router to always assign a specific local IP to that computer if using DMZ mode on it.
Some people who have elaborate networking in their home with multiple computers, may have the modem router in one location on one floor and have a feed to a unmanaged switch to several other computers on another floor. The important thing is that you must have a modem (cable or dsl / fiber depending on what type of internet you have) that then goes to a managed router with firewall, after that it goes to any wireless access points and unmanaged network distribution switches then to the computers. A lot of people may use combination devices in that the modem / router / wireless and some network hard wired ports may all be part of the same unit.
You must also have an active firewall in each computer, along with antivirus / mail ware protection on each computer (see article 'virus / mail ware'.
I have known of one incident where someone somewhere managed to get into a computer and then dial out to 900 series numbers. The computer was set up with both a broadband internet connected and a telephone connection, the telephone connection was there so that documents could be faxed out directly from the computer, no one knew of the incident until a massage telephone bill arrived with hundreds of 900 series calls. At first complaining to the phone company was falling on deaf ears until finally the person was able to find soemone within the phone company that had computer technical knowledge knowing that it could be possible, who was of great help and instructed on how to download a simple internet cut off switch that you could simply click off the internet at times when it was not being used but needed to be on for such things as a full hard drive virus scan that can take some time to do. Also after that incident it was decided to leave the phone line disconnected except when the fax had to be used.
In Summary, must have...
Hardware Firewall (should be part of any router), in the event that you only have what is referred to as a dumb modem (in the sense it is not a combination device) you should output that to a separate router and then to you computers.
Software Firewall - Windows 7 and 8 come with one as part of the operating system but make sure it is active. Also some antivirus systems have their own firewall, and you must decide which one should be active as they could cause issues if both software firewalls are on, if you have a good anti virus system in place I am inclined to let it use its firewall so all components work together.
All Wireless Transmitters set up with security.
Be careful in regards to using phone services with your computer as mentioned previously in this article.
Also not yet mentioned be careful about leaving any password list document on your computer, it would be a gold mind for anyone who somehow managed to past all the firewalls and safeguards. And if you do not adhere to this advice at least make it a hidden file and set your folder preferences to not show hidden files, and do not make the file name easily guessed stored in a not so obvious location.
Lastly keep all software updated including windows, updates not only may have improvements but with have security patches for issues discovered after the initial software was released.
Written: Dec. 9, 2014
Copyright 2015 + All Rights Reserved
Donald Kerr / Taken By Web
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