Thursday, September 30, 2010
Now you can protect your Important Files with Minimal Effort!
Starting off, I'll be totally honest with you, in this modern age of information exchange, your personal information will never be 100% safe. Every ounce of computer prowess and common sense on the internet will not stop an elite hacker who has your IP address and REALLY wants what's on your computer, but we don't have to make it easy for the average script kiddy hacker who happens to live next door. So I present for your benefit, the following ways I use to thwart the typical hard drive heist!:
1. Update your operating system (Windows, OSX, ubuntu) completely. Apple and Windows don't come out with these software upgrades because they're bored, they do it because over time they discover easily exploited holes in their program and plug them up! The added irony is that these companies post whatever weaknesses they fixed with each new service pack, so all a hacker needs to do is find an un-patched computer and go down the list that was so conveniently posted to the world!
2. Make sure, if you use wireless, that it is well-encrypted. Click the network manager in the bottom right hand side of your task bar where it shows your signal strength and then mouse over the router to which you are currently connected. Does it say unsecured? DANGER! That means there is no password and literally ANYONE can connect to your computer through it! Does it say WEP? if so, then you are less protected than you could be. Most new Linksys routers come standard with WPA encryption and this is the good stuff. Now don't get me wrong, WPA passwords CAN be cracked with sufficient time and effort, but having WEP or no password at all is just inviting trouble.
4. MOST IMPORTANT: Use common sense. If a website has a banner promising you a brand new Ipod, ignore it, its probably just going to download a virus that will gradually slow down your computer or steal your personal information. When entering your credit card info anywhere, check the bottom right of your browser to make sure there's a padlock symbol. If there isn't that means the site is unsecured and any Joe Schmoe identity thief might intercept your info.
Link to the free open-source TrueCrypt, its very simple to use and after you install it will offer to run a tutorial