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Archive for the ‘Security Tips’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Protect Your Child’s Privacy Online

security4web has a nice list of suggestions to protect your child online (follow the link to read the entire 19-point list):

  • Be aware of cyberspace threats! Learn about all risks children may face while surfing on the Internet and start educating them on how to protect themselves online.
  • Talk to your children about dangers they can encounter as long as they are online. Do not be reluctant to subjects such as sexuality, pornography or pedophiles. Do not consider them taboo.
  • Make sure your children know that not everything they read on the Internet is true and accurate.

PostHeaderIcon Disable the Avira Antivir nag screen

I used to use AVG on my computer, but then learned about Avira Antivir. There is a free version of this which apparently is the best/most effective free antivirus out there. The only drawback is that every day there is a huge pop-up asking you to buy the full product. I did a quick search and came across a document that explains how to stop the “notify” program from running. I haven’t tried it yet, but I link to it for your reference…

PostHeaderIcon Goodbye, Passwords. You Aren’t a Good Defense.

From the New York Times:

The best password is a long, nonsensical string of letters and numbers and punctuation marks, a combination never put together before. Some admirable people actually do memorize random strings of characters for their passwords — and replace them with other random strings every couple of months.

Then there’s the rest of us, selecting the short, the familiar and the easiest to remember. And holding onto it forever.

I once felt ashamed about failing to follow best practices for password selection — but no more. Computer security experts say that choosing hard-to-guess passwords ultimately brings little security protection. Passwords won’t keep us safe from identity theft, no matter how clever we are in choosing them.

PostHeaderIcon Create strong passwords with Password Meter

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A couple of weeks ago I shared a link to the Microsoft Password Checker. Well, a couple of days ago Download Squad mentioned another, better site, Password Meter:

This application is designed to assess the strength of password strings. The instantaneous visual feedback provides the user a means to improve the strength of their passwords, with a hard focus on breaking the typical bad habits of faulty password formulation. Since no official weighting system exists, we created our own formulas to assess the overall strength of a given password.

I tested a couple of passwords I use regularly. One scored over 70 but the other one was barely 60. I guess I should come up with something more secure.

PostHeaderIcon 72 Tips for Safer Computing

PC Magazine has a nice collection of tips (72 of them) for “Safer Computing”:

You might wonder if it’s even possible to have a safe computing experience in this day and age, beyond unplugging your broadband connection and never installing any software. Of course it’s possible, but it will take some work on your part. You need to install tools to protect yourself, learn good practices, and most important: Exercise common sense. Here’s what you need to do, from the bare minimum on up.

PostHeaderIcon Microsoft Password Checker

Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few sites and newsletters that have linked to a new tool on the Microsoft site called Password Checker:

Do you use strong passwords?
A strong password should appear to be a random string of characters to an attacker. It should be 14 characters or longer, (eight characters or longer at a minimum). It should include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Test the strength of your passwords: Enter a password in the text box to have Password Checker help determine its strength as you type.

It is a simple utility that does NOT send any information back to Microsoft. Everything is checked locally. I tested several of my passwords, and they all came back Strong, but not Best. They aren’t long enough I guess.

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PostHeaderIcon AntiRootkit.com

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Most people are aware of viruses and the damage they can cause. Although rootkits have been around for a long time, it is only now becoming something that the average consumer is aware of. The site AntiRootkit.com aims to help people understand what rootkits are, highlight news regarding rootkits, and provide information on software to protect against rootkits.

Antirootkit.com aims to help ordinary computer users gain an undertanding of Rootkits, what they can do and steps to remove them. This site aims to provide information on all aspects of Rootkit Information, Prevention, Detection, Indentification and Removal.