How To – Security On The Internet

May 18, 2010 · 4 comments

If Satan started a new FaceHell Buzz social media site, thousands would join simply to be among the first. When Google committed the sin of auto-follow with Buzz, the outrage was venomous. Yet people open their address books to LinkedIn and other such sites that want access. You can’t have it both ways.

The most valuable resource in the world today is personal information.

Being the first to join any new thing, buy any new product is not a good idea. I have never understood the psychological of being first. You get all the problems with few rewards. Why not let someone else take the risks? Obvious observation – risk and security are mutually exclusive.

So, what else can I do besides ignoring first?

 

I have never understood the psychological of being first. You get all the problems with few rewards.

Don’t use Windows.
A lot of people say they can’t afford to buy a Mac. I wonder how much these people have spent with downtime, protection software and inherent Windows problems over the years? The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) from this study works out about the same for either a PC or a Mac. 
Macs are more secure out of the box. You do not have to add any antivirus protection, there is a built in firewall and the system is built on a safer platform (BSD UNIX).
Oh, but this is because there are more PCs than Macs. The old argument – if the situation were reversed Macs would be infected too.  It isn’t reversed. Maybe, there would be more viruses for Macs if there were more Macs. Right now this is a moot point.

Linux has developed to a point where most people could use it with no problems. If you use the latest Microsoft or Adobe products you’re out of luck. In fact, 99% of users could do well without MS Office. OpenOffice and a number of other similar suites will work as well or better.

Don’t use Internet Explorer.
Incredibly, there are still a few sites that require IE. Wal-mart was this way until a couple of years ago. Some banking sites require IE. If you must use a site that requires IE, keep it handy only for that site.

Do use Firefox.
Opera and Chrome are nice – Firefox has more versatility. Along with Firefox use a plugin called NoScript. This combination is about as safe as you can get. With noscript you can allow certain sites to run scripts (think of these as little programs) on your computer, and deny sites that are suspect. It takes getting used to, and will annoy you in the beginning. Taking your computer in for repair is much more annoying.

Anything else?

 
Be suspicious of all email.
Never click links and avoid HTML formatted mail if possible. Use a client such as Thunderbird. Like Firefox, Thunderbird gives you a lot of options, to ensure  safety.
Use throwaway accounts for social media, or anywhere you don’t want your personal email compromised. Numerous other free webmail sites are out there – pick one. I strongly recommend Mailinator. You don’t even have to create an account.

Incidentally, if you are inclined to follow the leader of Hell, you can find them here. You can follow the Devil on Twitter, @devil or @satan

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy Murray May 18, 2010 at 8:05 am

Security is like backups – most people, even people that know better, don’t do anything about it until it’s too late and they’re already screwed.

You’ve given some good advice. Here’s something I tell people: It’s ok to make purchases online, but only do it with trusted sources. Amazon, OK. Sergi’s Discount DVDs, not so much. On the whole, it’s safer to use your credit card online than it is to give it to a waiter in a restaurant.
.-= Randy Murray´s last blog ..Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Attack Your Distractions =-.

Kissie May 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm

1. I don’t want to be the first person to have it because I don’t want to pay IT.

2. I switched from Firefox to Chrome because an IE person told me it was better….why did I listen? I like the pros you shared about Firefox.

3. My order may be off a little but I am LOVING your Mac spiel …. now I gotta find who will pay for IT. (And, I don’t mean Information Technology when I say IT.)

4. Open Office, huh? What the heck kind of work do you do, how do you know this stuff?! Good grief, ………

5. My biggest mistake – I get all of my email in one place and – make this my BIGGEST mistake – I’m stating it here.

: (
.-= Kissie´s last blog ..In Appreciation =-.

Jack May 25, 2010 at 7:47 am

Personal information is really the most valuable resource in the world today and we all need to be secure about our personal info.
The things you have described here are fantastic and helpful for all.

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