Tutorial Basic Computer Security Essentials

Hello Everyone,

Some of you might remember my guide: http://malwaretips.com/threads/your-mouseclick-matters-guide.15812/Your Mouseclicks Matter Guide
In this guide i wrote extensively how important your mouseclick habits are.
If you did not read it, then i suggest you grab a cold one and have a read.

Back then i have promised to write a additional guide which will enhance your internet experience even more, so here it goes:

Surfing online on the web is no longer just a hobby, for the gross of all people it has become a must.
Either for work, either for their taxes, either as a hobby or just to fuel their facebook and WoW addiction.
Yes a life without a personal computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, x-box, TV and WiFi connection has become virtually unthinkable.
In the old days computer geeks where busy tweaking and overclocking their old P1, and writing batchfiles, while kids where busy to play Tetris.
Computer and internet have evolved to a point where a computer virus is no longer just a harmless piece of code, which plays a funny tune on your infected system.
No malware and internet crime are rampant and has become a multi billion dollar business and can destroy personal lives.
This might sound a bit to harsh and a bit over the top.
But you would be amazed what the internet knows about you, so criminals and fraudulent advertising programs turned social engineering into a true art.
Keep in mind the internet NEVER forgets, and you are NOT as anonymous as you think you are.
Look at Facebook, Myspace, Instagram or Google for that matter, they know so much about you:
Creditcard, Emails, Adress, Phone, Names, Date of birth, Photo's, Friends, Family, Job, hobbies and shopping habits/ interests and yes in some cases even your social security number and more.
How did they get all this info? Well you pretty much gave it to them, knowingly or unknowingly.
And this is just the legitimate webpages and organizations. Usually your info is reasonable save (theoretical lol) But did you ever consider what criminals could do with this info? Unseen and unnoticed they work day and night to harvest your info.
Malware, Hackers, Fraudulent Advertising, Spambots are just a few dangers that will target your information because for them its BIG BIG BIG money.
And then you have those criminals that want to use your PC as a part of a botnet to attack million dollar networks, yes they mine your system like you would be mining bitcoins, as your hardware combined with thousands of other slave computers gives them a massive super computer who can fulfill their evil needs. You might say, well i did not do it so the law is on my side.
Well that might not be the case, you could end up in jail, but no matter what your info gets leaked and thats NEVER a good thing.
My point here is the digital world has changed into a battle field with all its glory, and you are stuck in the middle.
Obviously security is needed to protect you against these online dangers, but let me tell you true security does NOT exists PERIOD.
If you do want TRUE security, then disconnect your PC, burn it and buy a typewriter.

But if you are looking for sensible security advise then you are at the right spot.

Security:
1: Make sure your OS (And other software) is up to date.
2: Make sure Java, Flash, Quicktime and other plugins.
3: Use a well rounded Internet Security Solution (Do not target the best but target one you are comfortable with and know how to use)
4: Keep your security software up to date.
5: Never run as Admin, use guest instead.
6: Make regular backups and keep them save outside your pc.
7: Keep your drivers up to date.
9: Make sure your software is digitally signed
10: NEVER just click because you are in a hurry, READ, THINK and ACT.

Online Chat and Social Media:
1: Do not download every file that says download.
2: Do not accept strangers, and if you do make sure that you monitor the situation and that you have a REASON why you would add a stranger in the first place.
3: Kids, make them aware of the dangers and monitor their behavior but above all LEARN and understand what they are doing.
4: Keep in mind you are in control, and NOT someone else. acknowledge your limits and red line (Same goes for your kids) And do not trust anyone.
5: Be careful VERY careful what info you are going to publish, everything will and can be used by others if they have harmful intentions.
6: Do not get dragged into criminal schemes and do not let someone provoke you to say things you should not say.
7: Be aware that not all chat and social media is free there are loads of premium ones out there and they are not always as legit as they seem to be.
8: Never ever share your personal details just because someone asks, and be very careful while filling out a profile or a registration form, READ the TOS and EULA.
* EULA = End-user license agreement
* TOS = Terms of service
9: If you notice something strange or a person does not give you a good feeling (Negative goosebumps)
Then be honest to yourself and quit the convo.
10: If you have to share info then write down what and where you did share it.
11: If you ever going to register at a chat or social media platform then use a free email which you do not use for personal stuff. Keep important stuff away from social platforms.
12: Remember not everyone might be the person they claim to be.
13: If you are going to meet someone then make sure friends or family know about it and meet someone at a public place. (Or have a friend tag along.)
14: Never ever agree to something even tho it seems legit, again it might cost you money so be on ur guard.

Private Data and Online Banking:
1: If you are going to do some online banking then make sure you you type the correct URL.
2: Verify that the payment page you are visiting has HTTPS and that the payment carrier you are going to use is a known and respectable one. (Ask ur bank they can tell you)
3: If a payment process does not appear to be legit, or it does seem bogus then STOP what you are doing and call your bank.
4: Be VERY careful with your bank details and your creditcard data.
5: Do not BUY everything that says BUY this or BUY that, yes the internet is full of crap deals.
6: Always make sure that the prize is right for the goods you try to buy, and always make sure that you receive exactly that what you payed for, And if the supplier does not meet the deadline then consider a charge back.
7: Always check the payment info.
8: Always check your bank account after you made a payment to make sure that the amount payed matched that of the payment itself. (Transaction details)
* I am sure i forget some things here but generally use your HEAD.

Email and Accounts:
1: Use strong passwords, so NOT your date of birth, NOT your dogs name or anything that others can social engineer, but use something like: Un1-H3ck@Ble937&Try (Do not use this one lol) but something with Upper, Lower, Numbers and Special signs.
2: For your work use a work email, For your online shopping use a shop email, and for all other goofy things use a fake email like gmail, yahoo, gmx, or any other respectable free email client.
3: Avoid user names that match your real name.
4: Be aware of Spam and Phishing scams, this also applies to accounts.
5: Never ever give your private info using email, and specially NOT if you have a so called bank request.
A bank will NEVER ask you for your login data. Also big prizes and Nigerian uncles do not exists they are scams.
6: Use anti Spam and anti Phising software (Often they come with your Internet Security)
7: Do not open emails you did not ask for, specially advertisement emails are dangerous as 80% is scam based.
8: Always log off totally (Not just your browser) But this applies to EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH ACCOUNTS, BANKING AND LOGGING IN.
9: Be very careful with links in emails, and with pictures as some of them are packed with tools to crab your details or to infect you.
10: Do not spread your email adress all over the internet unless you love Spam.

Downloading + Browsing
1: Always keep your Internet Security on. And scan your downloads!!!!
2: Always make sure that your browser has the latest patches and that it has been properly configured.
3: Do not install 100000 toolbars and be careful with BHO and ActiveX and other plugins.
Some claim to be Microsoft and are FAKE.
4: Be very careful if you are going to download anything, and if you do make sure you are downloading it from a proper source.
5: Sometimes your internet page does show weird pop-ups, example: Your pc is infected click here.
Please close ur browser and run a malware scan.
6: Clean ur cookies regularly and avoid password managers (Some are really good but some are also prone to malware)
7: Clean your TEMP files regularly and maintain some sort of order in your system, specially your download folder.
To many people download files and store them on weird places... DON'T.
Keep one folder for downloads.
8: Educate yourself about your software, specially if you are going to download it.
Do some research, often just a vendor or program check on Google can turn up a wealth of info.
9: Be careful if you have a mic and camera, some flash exploits can use them without you knowing.
10: If you visited a site and your pc acts funny, RUN a scan.
 

Nico@FMA

Level 27
May 11, 2013
1,689
Oeps did not know there is a char cap in the forum so here is part 2:

So here we have it, just a few simple recommendations.
Nothing technical, Nothing fancy but 100% VITAL.
Obviously this guide is made for LESS experienced internet users, because any other would not settle for this and would dramatically enhance their security using more technical software and tweaks.
So this guide is by no means complete but personally: If you follow these simple steps then i am happy as i am not going to trouble you with technical talks, I wanted this to be as simple as it gets.
However if EVERY internet user would use these simple steps then the total infections world wide would drop with 75%.
Yes thats right... because again to many infections happen due to NOT following basic rules.

That said now you know how dangerous your mouse click is, and you know how important it is to follow some basic rules.
Note that for less experienced users, LESS security can be more, so do not trouble yourself with gazillions of security programs.
If you do not have the knowhow then a average internet security package could protect you more then a specialized one.
Keep in mind if you want total security then get yourself a typewriter and remember there is no such thing as save on the net PERIOD.

Cheers
 
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