Network Security

Network Security Basics

Network security is a very important and vital piece of the world today.  First, though, the common ground: one thing that almost everyone can agree on is that network security is important, and becoming more so all the time.  Network security is about using the right tool for the right job and applying defense in depth.  But in the real world, network security is a business problem.  It sounds like achieving network security is a significant responsibility.  Network security is not just about implementing a firewall and then leaving it alone.  Awareness of network security is also a necessity.  Network Security is not easy but is not rocket science.Network security is realised through policy, procedures, and tools.  There are many fallacies that network administrators may fall victim to.  There are many different aspects to computer and network security as you will read in this document.  Obviously removing all vulnerabilities is impossible and will not secure your network against user errors.

Network security, and especially managed security services, are an important part of every business’s information technology strategy.  Your organization should be aware how physically secure every aspect of its network is because if an intruder gets physical access, they can get your data.  Despite the challenges, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure that there is a basic level of network security.  Network security needs to grow up fast.

For many reasons, network security is failing and corporations need to undergo a fundamental shift in how they approach security, where the focus is on more than just technology solutions.  Network security is regarded by executives as the single most important attribute of their network, according to the results of a global survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for AT&T.  Internal network security is as important, if not more so, than external network security.  Network security is critical due to the magnitude of losses that can be suffered because of its absence.  Network security is important for everyone to be aware of.  Network security is maximized when we assume there is no such thing.

The Joys of Spam

What is Spam? How do we stop it?

Spam is junk e-mail, sent indiscriminately for the purpose of selling goods or services (often of a dubious nature) and can also include phishing attempts and virus infections.  I think the reason spam is unethical is that it disrupts your life.  Spam is unsolicited email, normally with an advertising content sent out as a mass mailing.  While the most widely recognized form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, mobile phone messaging spam, internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions.  Spam is filling up the Internet, and it’s not going away anytime soon.  Spam is the same thing lots and lots of times.  Mobile phone spam is directed at the text messaging service of a mobile phone.

Mail

Email spam targets individual users with direct mail messages.  Email spamlists are often created by scanning Usenet postings, stealing Internetmailing lists, or searching the Web for addresses.  Email spams typically costusers money out-of-pocket to receive.  Some people define spam even more generally as any unsolicited e-mail.  Many spam emails try to look like an honest attempt to do somethingnice for you.  I’ve sometimes had a dozen or so identical emails arrivesimultaneously.  Don’t publish your email address more widely than necessary.

Spammers

Spammers have abused resources set up for the purposes of anonymous speech online, such as anonymous remailers.  Spammers frequently use false names, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information to set up “disposable” accounts at various Internet service providers.  Spammers send their spam largely indiscriminately, so pornographic ads may show up in a work place e-mail inbox—or a child’s, the latter of which is illegal in many jurisdictions.  Spammers often use fake e-mail addresses, so those messages would fail authentication tests.  Spammers also guess at addresses using namegeneration programs, and even send thousands of messages thatbounce.  Spammers often hide their identities, and an investigation into a spammer can take months, Muris also wrote.  Spammers have effectively foiled the first strategy  analyzing the reputation of the sender by conscripting vast networks of computers belonging to users who unknowingly downloaded viruses and other rogue programs.  Spammers have used images in their messages for years, in most cases to offer a peek at a pornographic Web site, or to illustrate the effectiveness of their miracle drugs.  Spammers responded in turn by littering their images with speckles, polka dots and background bouquets of color, which mean nothing to human eyes but trip up the computer scanners.  Spammers have also figured out ways to elude another common antispam technique: identifying and blocking multiple copies of the same message.  Spammers have defied that technique by writing software that automatically changes a few pixels in each image.  Spammers won’t have a problem complying with the law.  Spammers try to obtain as many valid email addresses as possible, i.  Spammers use numerous techniques to produce messages capable of by-passing all types of mail filters.

Spammers invent a tactic that gets around those products.  Spammers have made image spam really effective by using not just one but multiple filter-thwarting techniques.  Spammers make money from the small percentage of recipients that actually respond, so for spam to be cost-effective, the initial mails have to be high-volume.

Internet

Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message,in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwisechoose to receive it.  Help fight spam to keep the Internet useful foreveryone.  Take advantage of the information we’ve gathered to make your ownexperience on the Internet better.  But because the Internet is public, there is really little that can be done to prevent spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail.  Some see spam-blocking tools as a threat to free expression—and laws against spamming as an untoward precedent for regulation or taxation of e-mail and the Internet at large.  Opening spam emails can also drop cookies into computers and disrupt Internet browsing.

Software

At that point, without some kind of filtering software, email becomes practically unusable.  Spam can be used to spread computer viruses, trojan horses or other malicious software.  This is simplest form of blocking, which yields very good results, because comment spam is targeted at bots, so it must be readable by simple software.  Today’s bots are infected with modular, kit-based software that can easily be upgraded and reconfigured to take advantage of new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows; botnets are almost exclusively targeted at Windows PCs.  AOL and MSN both trumpet spam filtering systems like this in their latest software, and Yahoo.  Spammers use special software to “harvest” random e-mail addresses from the Internet.

Anti-Spam

Anti-spam laws are another attempt to raise the cost of spam to an intolerable level; no one wants to go to jail for spamming.  Anti-spam products block a certain type of spam.  Anti-spammers contend that spam is much more than just a nuisance or inconvenience to the message recipients in that it places physical as well as financial burdens on the Internet system and Internet service providers.  The antispam industry is struggling to keep up with the surge.

Spam is Born in the USA: First, 86% of all spam comes from the USA.  Spam is a phenomenon which is increasing daily, representing a high percentage of all email traffic.  Some spam is used as a method of spreading internet security threats such as viruses and other malware.  Image spam is a spam message that uses graphics to display the message to the recipient rather than plain text.  Comment spam is more costly than email spam because it either wastes the time of the website owner, who has to remove it, or it wastes the time of every reader of the website who has to separate the wheat from the chaff.  The vast majority of spam is commercial bulk email — email that tries to sell a product or service.  From the sender’s perspective, spam is an extremely efficient and cost-effective way to distribute a message, but to most recipients, spam is just junk email.  I feel spam is an enormous problem and a productivity drain.  The problem with spam is that you pay for it.

Privacy Software Overview

Privacy Software Tips and Guide

Privacy software is software built to protect the privacy of its users.  The first thing to look for when you buy Internet privacy software is ease of use.  Privacy software is almost becomming a necessity with ID theft and computer hacking.  Privacy software is designed to quickly and easily eliminate history files, shred deleted files and keep Windows �clean�.  Privacy software is not free and must be paid for after a trial period.  Privacy software is available which can prevent the IP address you are using from being visible in the log files of the web sites that you visit.  Privacy Software is a program that destroys sensitive local files and documents and erases your tracks.  This computer privacy software is a “must-have” tool for anyone who uses the Internet.  Privacy software is unusual in that when it works successfully, unexpected intrusions or other problems are averted and appear to not have existed at all.

The best privacy software is open source so it’s free.  Firewalls and Security/Privacy software is designed to protect your computer by blocking the many unused and unsecureports into your computer.

Privacy software will no doubt advance, as will the technology to beat it.  Privacy Software will ensure that no cookies remain on your computer that might give clues about your online activity.  Privacy Software ensures that deleted files really are deleted.  Internet privacy software is designed find and clean up files left by Windows.  Use Internet privacy software to permanently remove deleted files.  If you concern about Internet privacy, you should use privacy software.

While a good deal of quality privacy software is available for free, many programs are expensive.  Firewall is good, internet security software is good, anti-virus is good, privacy software is good.  While investing in anti-virus, firewall and privacy software is essential, don’t think of it as a cure-all.

Email Security Tips

Email Security Tips

Effective email security is an ongoing challenge.  Email security is more than just Anti-Spam and Virus protection.  Email Security is a security tool that will allow you to stop leaving traces on the Internet.  Email security is necessary, and needs to be implemented with sensitivity to educational institutions’ requirements.  Managed email security is a convenient and cost-effective solution for control of email-borne malware and spam.  One of the most important lessons about email security is that no matter how many steps you take to secure your email, it will never be foolproof.  Corporate Email Security is necessary to protect sensitive business informationcommunicated by email.  Email Security is now more important than ever.

Email

Email has always been a non-conformer, the maverick of the information security world.  Email has become the lifeblood of many companies.  Email security vendors must enable businesses to be proactive in the spam war.  It takes just one spammer to get a hold of the email and immediately everyone on your email list gets spammed.  Forwarding emails can be a great way to quickly bring someone up to speed on a subject without having to write up a summary email, but if you aren’t careful, forwarding emails can create a significant security threat for yourself and the earlier recipients of the email.  While never opening a phishing email is the best way to secure your computer, even the most experienced email user will occasionally accidentally open up a phishing email.

An email that claims ‘Security Compromises’ or ‘Security Threats’ and requires immediate action.

Spam

Spam continuing to be a problem as spammers figure out how to bypass the latest filters.  Spam has become a plague for email users around the world.  Spam and viruses rank as the top two security breaches for small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s), with over 80 percent falling victim to security breaches, which lead to a major loss in business productivity (source: Yankee Group).  Spam is the gateway to identity theft.  It is simply a fact of life that email accounts will accumulate spam over time.  Unfortunately, however, many new email users get very attached to their email accounts and instead just wade through dozens of pieces of spam every day.  Get anti spam services and junk mail filters for protection against emails bombs, denial of service attacks, and email virus protection.  A typical characteristic of spam is that similar emails arrive in waves.  Flow control can be used to reliably block previously unknown spam threats.

Email security is vital for all organizations today.  Email Security is a critical component of any messaging system, and we complement our Messaging practice with a strongInformation Security practice delivering email security solutions from Microsoft, Symantec and other partners.  Email security is the encryption of email messages, so that only the intended recipient can decipher them.  If the email security is of prime importance for you, you may wish to use email client with SSL encryption support.  Now you can rest assured that your email security is complete.

Internet Anonymity and Privacy

Internet Anonymity and Privacy

Internet anonymity is a blessing, but it’s also a curse.  Internet anonymity is very useful to the internet activist.  Internet anonymity is nowhere near as robust as people tend to think, and there are ways for creative people to identify at least some of the abusers.  Last week, we took a look at what Internet Anonymity is, and how it works.  If someone uses internet anonymity software because they are being stalked or harassed, then most would agree that their right to use internet anonymity is viable.  True Internet anonymity is surprisingly difficult to achieve.  As the user, it is your responsibility to know that your internet anonymity is only as secure as the service’s privacy policy.  The sticky, icky underside to Internet anonymity is that too often it’s abused.

Anonymity

Anonymity and privacy may be related, but their significance is worlds apart.  Anonymity is not what it used to be.  Anonymity on the internet was perceived as a resounding positive, liberating us from our canine constraints to project an image onto the world of ourselves, not as we are but as we would like to be.  Anonymity is another powerful tool that can be beneficial or problematic depending on its use.  Anonymity assures privacy, confidentiality and security for individuals.

Outside of the Internet, anonymity is widely acceptedand recognized as valuable in today’s society.  For instance, sometimes anonymity tools are used to distributecopyrighted software without permission (“warez”).

Privacy

Privacy——- What is `privacy’ on the internet.  Privacy is a right that we all posses, allowing that the government or anyone for that matter cannot force information from us, that we wish to withhold.  Privacy is an important part of liberty, just like freedom of speech.  One argument is that the internet anonymity should be a right just like the right to privacy or bear arms.  Internet anonymity is dissimilar from our right to privacy in that if one wishes to stay private in cyberspace then they can avoid the internet all together, and not have to worry about protecting their identity.  Furthermore, anonymity and privacy are not synonymous with each other, and shouldn’t be examined as so.

Anyone who claims to guarantee Internet anonymity is either deceptive or ignorant, regardless of what anonymizer software they use to implement whatever clever protocol using whatever kind of encryption.  A discussion of the debate of whether or not internet anonymity is part of our rights, or is it the right of other internet users who are not anonymous to know who is out there using the internet.  Perhaps the secret to Internet anonymity is having a common name.

Spyware Guide & Removal Guide

Protecting yourself against spyware

Spyware prevention is essential to keeping your computer running smoothly, but in the current world of computers it is becoming increasingly difficult to win the battle over spyware prevention.  Spyware prevention is important because spyware is becoming an increasingly common problem on people’s computers.  Spyware prevention is as much in the hands of the user as it is the programs designed to sanitize infected computers.  The key to spyware prevention is to bypass all traps that lead to installation of spyware applications.  So, while spyware prevention is the answer, implementing it isn?t easy.  Only Anti Spyware software is specifically designed to eliminate this increasingly pervasive problem.  Anti virus and anti spyware software is like insurance.  One of the biggest problems with anti-spyware prevention is keeping on top of everything.

Spyware

Spyware are basically software programs which spy on computer users, and send back their personal and other details to the owner of the Spyware program.  Spyware is a software application that performs activities such as advertising, gathering personal information, or altering the configuration of your computer, usually without obtaining your consent.  Spyware fraudulently take up space on your hard drive to carry out their nefarious activities.  Spyware is software that collects information from the computer without one’s knowledge.  Spyware installations create backdoors, install key loggers, collect information, compromise information defenses, and cause privacy breaches and network abuse, as spyware quietly “calls home”.  Spyware related threats are evolving so quickly and can be so damaging that you can’t afford to be infected.  Spyware removal is important due to security purposes.  Spyware is a larger threat because it can be an invasion of your privacy.  Spyware tend to eat a lot of resources and make your computer slower than before, even sometimes crawling.

Software

There are a numerous ways in which spyware or other unwanted software can gain access to your computer.

The typical trick is to install the software in a furtive manner during the installation of the software of your choice.  Anti Spyware prevent the installation of spyware software on our computer systems.  It is however, imperative that there be anti-Spyware and anti-virus software on the system.

Adware

The term Spyware represents the whole gamut of software applications that displays advertisements (called adware) or that tracks personal or sensitive information.  Adware and spyware scans have to search a lot of files on your hard disk; so, depending how large your disk is, how many files you have, how fast your computer is, and how many adware and spyware signatures the program needs to look for, it can take several minutes to complete a scan.  Adware is mainly an annoyance but can slow down the performance of you computer.  Adware is one of the largest sources of headaches for computer users today.

Prevention

When it comes to viruses and spyware prevention is the best policy.  There is so much confusion amongst most people regarding the type and the number of Spyware software (removal and prevention) to use that this topic merits a detailed discussion.  Threats lie in spyware detection, removal, and prevention.  Network intrusion can take many forms, which makes prevention an ongoing process of active responses.  The next step in adware and spyware prevention is to install an antispyware/antiadware program.  Furthermore, spyware prevention must be able to cope with a rapidly evolving threat, and be deployable and manageable for large organizations.

Protect

Protect against loss of privacy and computer data.  Protecting Against Spyware To protect against spyware, you should use a combination of anti-spyware software, critical system updates, and common sense.  Protect every Windows-based system on your network.

Although you probably do not want to hear it, the first step in spyware prevention is knowing exactly what is happening with your computer.  The key to spyware prevention is a knowledgeable user.  The key to spyware prevention is to bypass all traps that lead to installation of spyware applications.

Disable Windows WGA Validation check

Disable Windows WGA Validation check

This describes how to disable the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Check using Java script
When you go to the Windows/Microsoft Update site, before you click Express or Custom, type the following into your address bar:

CODE
java script:void(window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’)

and press enter. This disables the WGA check, and allows you to download updates without checking authenticity of your Windows copy.

 

How are Parasites Spread?

Bundling

 Bundling is one of the most common ways parasites are spread. It works like this: you install a piece of software you think looks good, and it invites some of its friends onto your computer behind your back.

When you run any piece of software, remember that it has the capability to do anything you can do—up to and including deleting all your files. Only install software from authors you trust, and look out for the warning signs of untrustworthy authors.

* Don’t just click ‘Next’

Some installers may have a screen giving notice of other (usually undesirable) programs they will be installing at the same time as the software you wanted. Sometimes there may even be an option not to install the software—an ‘opt-out’ install. (‘Opt-in’ installs are very uncommon.)

If you just click Next-Next-Next to get through the installer as quickly as possible, you will probably miss this and end up with unwanted software. Take your time.

* Read the EULA

Most software has an ‘End User Licence Agreement’ or ‘Terms of use’. Often this will be shown to you as you install the software. Read it. Often there will be some kind of warning there if the software plans to install parasites.

Look out for ‘agreements’ for other pieces of software, anything to do with ‘ad-supported’ components, installation of ‘third party’ software, ‘toolbars’, ‘enhancement technologies’ and so on. Saying you have to be at least 13 to use the software is a dead giveaway that it will be collecting privacy-sensitive information; saying you have to be 18 is an indicator that porn will likely be promoted.

* Understand the EULA

Many licence agreements are extremely long, and contain language that is unclear. Additionally some installers display this information in an unnecessarily small scrolling box, to make it difficult to review. (In some cases, you may be able to copy-and-paste this text into Notepad to read it more easily.)

If you don’t understand what the EULA says, or if it’s just too impractically long to read, simply don’t install the software. An unclear or gargantuan EULA is trying to hide something from you, and it’s probably parasites.

* Don’t trust the EULA

Just because the licence agreement seems clean, that’s no proof the software isn’t going to stab you in the back anyway. You can opt out of all the options there are, and still get hit by other parasites they ‘forgot’ to mention; some installers start loading parasites before even reaching the EULA screen. A lot of parasitic software is installed without any notice whatsoever.

In many countries it remains untested whether ‘click-through’ licences have any legal weight at all anyway. (They are not a real contract, and it is unclear whether simply running a program constitutes ‘copying’, which would require some sort of licensing scheme under copyright law.)

* Avoid heavily-promoted free software

Think about it: if a company wants you to use their software so much that they’re willing to spend money advertising it to you, they must get some kind of gain out of doing so.

In some cases, the software might be a freebie to promote the company and its other products. In many more cases, the software earns money by installing parasites.

* Avoid junk software

Some of the most heavily-promoted software is trivial or pointless in nature, aimed at users too inexpert to recognise this. Very often such software—worthless in itself—is created solely as bait, to install the parasites that come with it.

For example: the many programs to correct the computer’s clock. Windows XP already has this feature built-in and turned on by default; for other operating systems there are a thousand other tiny programs to do it using the standard internet NTP protocol, none of which feel the need to install parasites. (And anyway correcting the small amount of drift in a modern computer’s hardware clock by hand every six months is not really much of a hardship.) Yet adverts all over the web are trying to convince you that your clock is probably wrong and desperately needs fixing.

Other common examples include weather monitors, smiley icons, IM avatars and mouse pointers, web form-filling and screensavers. Beware also ‘snake oil’ products making technically questionable claims, such as software to prevent crashes, increase memory size or network speed, or to speed up file-sharing programs.

(Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs are themselves very often infested with large quantities of the worst parasites—take care.)

* Prefer “Free Software” to “FREE DOWNLOAD!!”

The Free Software and Open Source movements make the full source code of their software available. This makes it difficult to hide undesirable behaviour such as spying or advertising from its users. So Free and Open Source Software is generally more likely to be free of parasites.

Ensure you download from the software’s official project site. Some parasite-laden downloads have masqueraded as well-known open-source applications in the past, or implied they were open-source without actually being so (eg. openwares.org).

* Be sceptical

A company’s own assertion that their software contains “no spyware” is next to worthless. Aside from the possibility that they are simply lying, there are many ways the definition of spyware can be twisted to exclude whichever parasites they want to install.

If you’re not sure, do some research. Do a search for the program’s name together with ‘spyware’, ‘adware’ or ‘parasite’. See what people are saying about it.
Browsing

In theory, browsing a web page should be safe; the web was deliberately designed not to include active content. In practice however, poor security and user interface design make web browsing potentially dangerous.

Installation through the web browser is the other major source of parasites, through both ‘security hole exploit’ bugs that let software install automatically and tricks that mislead the user into allowing a download they didn’t want.

* Refuse unrequested downloads

When a prompt appears asking you whether you want to download a plugin, set your home page or give the web site extra permissions, close the window or choose ‘No’ unless you specifically asked for the download and completely trust the web site (including any of its associates such as advertising providers).

Some downloaders may respond by reloading the page and opening a window claiming that you must accept the download to view the page. Such high-pressure tactics are characteristic of the worst parasites. Keep choosing ‘No’ and try hitting the Escape key to stop the page reloading. In the worst case you may have to open the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) and end the browser process to get out of this trap.

* Distrust Authenticode

Authenticode is Microsoft’s mechanism for code-signing. A company can put its name on a piece of software using unforgeable cryptographic techniques. When ActiveX download windows appear, this company name is then shown to the user.

Unfortunately in practice Authenticode is almost completely worthless. The companies in charge of distributing certificates for code-signing (the ‘roots’, such as Thawte) routinely give out certificates with misleading company names like ‘CLICK YES TO CONTINUE’ or ‘MSN Technologies’ (not connected to Microsoft’s MSN), and in the case where companies are caught exploiting security holes or signing trojan code, they refuse either to revoke the certificates or to reveal the real contact details of the company in question. In one memorable occasion, the Verisign root was lax enough to accidentally release Microsoft’s own code-signing certificates.

Many downloader pages insist that the Authenticode popup means that the software is ‘safe’ or ‘approved by Microsoft’; in reality all it means is that the company that produced the software has enough money to buy a certificate.

* Secure your browser

Make sure you’re up-to-date on browser patches. For Internet Explorer, this can be done through the (alas often unreliable) interface at Windows Update; if you are using Windows XP this can be done automatically using ‘Automatic Updates’, which is on by default, if you trust it.

If you are using Internet Explorer on Windows XP, consider installing the XP Service Pack 2 update, which cuts down on unrequested ActiveX installer popups as well as working around a number of security bugs.

Consider locking down security settings. For Internet Explorer, disable ActiveX downloads until you need them, both in the Internet and the My Computer Zone (which is hidden by default), and set other sensitive options in the Internet Options->Security->Custom list to ‘Prompt’ instead of ‘Enable’. Alternatively, simply:

* Use a different browser

The vast majority of security hole exploits are aimed at Internet Explorer. This is partly because IE is (currently) the most widely-used browser, but, more than that, because its record of security holes is so very poor.

No web browser is 100% free of security problems, but the basic design of Internet Explorer, combined with Windows integration, make IE considerably riskier than most other browsers. Microsoft’s speed in fixing bugs has also been disappointing at times, some security-sensitive bugs going unfixed for several months. XP Service Pack 2 is a definite improvement, but no panacea.

You might still need to keep Internet Explorer around, for the occasional poorly-written site that only works on one browser (most notably Windows Update), but using an alternative browser for everyday web use reduces risk significantly; IE exploits can now be found all over the web, even on mainstream sites (most notably: CoolWebSearch).

Popular alternative browsers available for Windows include Firefox, Opera and the full Mozilla suite (from which Firefox evolved).

There are other ‘semi-alternative’ browsers for Windows, based on the Internet Explorer code. They can still be vulnerable to some if not all of its security holes; on the other hand they can be more compatible with poorly-designed web sites that do not work well in other browsers. Examples include Maxthon, AvantBrowser, Netcaptor, SlimBrowser and CrazyBrowser.

* Secure other browser-accessible software

If you have plug-ins like Sun Java or Flash installed, make sure they are also the latest versions. If you do not use them, uninstall them.

If you use Internet Explorer, installed ActiveX plug-ins can also be a rich source of security vulnerabilities. Some of them you will be able to see in the Downloaded Program Files folder (inside the Windows folder); delete any you don’t need.

* Look out for other people

If your computer is to be used by others—particularly children—who are naïve about computer security, limit their risk.

Lock down IE security settings, or, better, give them an alternative browser and hide IE. Give them a limited User account of their own so that any spyware they install can only compromise their account and not yours—if it will install under a restricted account at all.

* Consider other alternatives

It’s a bit of a drastic change to make just for the sake of avoiding parasites, but alternative operating systems are worth investigating if you are unsatisfied with Windows for other reasons too.

There are currently no parasites affecting the Mac, Linux or other Unix-derived operating systems. This is mostly because of the larger Windows user-base, but the other OSs do in general fare slightly better on desktop security, mostly because they don’t require that the user be logged in as an administrator at all times. Malicious code could still run, but shouldn’t be able to compromise the system as completely.

* And when all else fails…

Use anti-parasite software.

Setting up a Home Network

Some people see the task of setting up a wireless network within their home as a daunting task but it really does not need to be. In our present generation we are surrounded by many wireless possibilities. This is ok as long as we protect ourselves and familiarize ourselves with how it all works.

First of all you need to decide how you want your network setup and what you will need to accomplish this. In most cases a home will have one desktop computer and then one or more other computers located elsewhere within the house. These other computers may be other desktops or mobile laptops which doesn’t really matter except that you will need to find the appropriate wireless adapter for these computers. A desktop will need either a wireless PCI adapter or USB adapter while a laptop can use a PCMCIA adapter card or USB adapter. Most new laptops come with wireless already built into the system so you may want to verify that before buying an adapter. Then you need to also get a wireless router. It is preferrable if you purchase the router and the adapter from the same manufacturer but it is not a necessity. As long as they are both the same technology they should work together. 802.11g is the most commonly used signal. The wireless router works as a base station that transmits your internet signal wirelessly. Your wireless adapters connect your computers to the router with that signal.

First of all you should unplug your broadband modem. This may be DSL, Cable or FIOS. Also your router should be unplugged. Now connect a network cable from the modem to the Internet, WAN or WLAN port on the back of the router. Plug in the modem and turn it on. Wait a few minutes to make sure that it is connected with the internet. Then plug in and turn on the router. The lights on the front of the router should come on after about a minute indicating that the modem is connected. Now turn on the computer if it is not already turned on.

Most people will plug the main computer directly into the router and make the others wireless thus eliminating an unneeded wireless adapter.

So now you will plug a network cable from one of the LAN ports on the router directly to the LAN port on the main computer. Windows XP will recognize an internet connection and give you a popup message with this indication. Next you will open your internet browser ( Internet Explorer or Firefox ) and type in the address that came with the documentation with your router. You may be prompted for the default password. The page will show your router’s configuration. From here you can enter in a Wireless Network Name which is called the SSID. Make sure that this name is unique for your own protection. Also set the WPA or WEP which should also be a unique type of word.

This is a passphrase protection which you will not have to remember. Then finally an administrators password. Make sure that you do not forget this password because you will need it if you ever want to change anything. Now that the router is setup we will move on to the adapters. Plug in the adapter appropriately on your other computer or computers and Windows will recognize it and show that there is a wireless connection device. Note that a desktop must be shut off when installing a PCI adapter. At this time Windows may prompt you to install any software that came with the adapter. Once that has been done, right click on the Wireless Network Icon in the bottom right hand corner of your Windows screen. It will say View Available Wireless Networks. Locate your wireless network name and click connect. Your wireless network should now be setup.

You can learn more by visiting my blog, http://ronen-technicaljargon.blogspot.com

 

Fight Identity Theft with Computer Security

Identity theft is a fast growing crime around the world and a large part of this is online identity theft. In this article we are going to look at some measures you can take in order to protect yourself and fight identity theft online.

The first step you can taking to fight identity theft online is to have a good anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Computer viruses and spyware are extremely dangerous and can be used by criminals to steal your identity. A good anti-virus program is your first line of defense not only in terms of protecting yourself against identity theft but also to protect your computer from harmful programs that may cause irreparable damage to your computer.

Secondly, fight identity theft by not opening any email attachments if you do not know what they contain or who they are from. Many viruses are hidden in seemingly innocent looking email attachments.

Fight identity theft by never giving out personal information in response to an email. There are many phishing schemes out there that ask you to reveal personal information such as passwords to bank accounts, bank account numbers, and other personal information. These look like they come from someone you trust, such as your bank, but are really hidden ways for criminals to get hold of your personal details in order to use them for their own personal gain.

Apart from a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program you should also use products such as a firewall, products which protect you from spam, and other malware. It is also important that you regularly update these programs in order to best fight identity theft.

 

Use passwords and encryption on your computer to fight identity theft. Try to change your passwords regularly and don’t write them down or keep them in places where criminals are likely to look if they want to break into your computer for personal information. It is best not to write passwords down at all but try to use passwords that you can remember easily but which would be difficult for criminals to guess.

Lastly, educate yourself about computer security and identity theft. The more you know about computer security and identity theft the more you will be able to fight identity theft online and protect yourself from any harm.

In conclusion, computers and the internet are often used in identity theft cases. In order to fight identity theft you should ensure that you have a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program, use passwords and encryption, never open unknown email attachments and never give out personal information in response to an email. Learn as much as you can about computer security and identity theft in order to best protect yourself from identity theft.

You can also find more information at Victims Identity Theft and identity theft. Preventidentitythefthelp.com is a comprehensive resource to find how to secure your ID.

AntiVirus, Security, and Privacy Issues