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Cyber Security PC Tips Al Mac

Cyber Security PC Tips Al Mac

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A collection of tips to help ordinary people protect their privacy on-line.
A collection of tips to help ordinary people protect their privacy on-line.

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Published by: Alister William Macintyre on Jun 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Cyber Security Personal Tips6/23/20135:47:56 PM
Doc in folder = Studies / Nat Sec / Cyber and CriticalCyber Security PersonalTable of ContentsDigital Safety..................................................................................................................1Security Checks..........................................................................................................2Privacy............................................................................................................................4
Digital Safety 
Here is some advice to help keep ordinary people as safe as is practical.Tips accumulated by Alister Wm Macintyre (Al Mac).
If you receive an email, from someone you know, who says they are in trouble, contactthat person directly with the number or email address that you have for them, or someonein their family or business who may know more about their current situation
. Usecontact method OTHER than contact info which is in that e-mail
. There arescams where a person’s e-mail is compromised, and now controlled by someone paintinga horrible story, necessitating rapid delivery of money to get them out of some jam, whichis a fabrication of the crook.
NEVER give out personal information over the telephone or online to someone you don’tknow, even if they are allegedly with some organizationwhich you do know.
Microsoft does not call ordinary people to help them with some alleged problem on their computer, when those people never contacted Microsoft in the first place. Anyone callingyou who claims to be with Microsoftis probably either a crook, or working for a crook,unless you have had occasion to know some Microsoft employee personally.
Because new scams viruses and hacker techniques are created daily, make sure your computer has up-to-date security software and/or hardware, which collectively includesanti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, detect compromised web sites, block unwanted downloads,block invasions of your privacy.
Don't trust email headers, which can be forged easily.
 Avoid filling out forms in email messages. You can't know with certainty where the datawill be sent, and the information can make several stops on the way to the recipient.
NEVER click on links contained in emails you receive from someone you don’t know,even if the email looks real. Recognize which of your contacts may or may not be wise tothese risks. Some people receive and forward dangerous links, without thinking.
If you click on a link in an email message from a company be aware that many scamartists are making forgeries of company's sites that look like the real thing. Verify thelegitimacy of a web address with the company directly before submitting your personalinformation, which includes your sign-on password.
If some information is confidential, sending it via e-mail, unencrypted, is risking a breach.e-mail is convenient but not safe.
If you have bank accounts for both personal and business, do not mix the funds at thesame bank. This is because business funds do not have same protection as personalfunds. In a personal funds breach, you can irretrievably lose all of your business funds, if they have been intermingled.
On-line banking should be done with a computer or digital device used exclusively for that purpose, not also used for e-mail, Internet surfing, and other channels at risk of malware or hacking taking over your bank accounts.
If you have a deal with your bank to automatically add funds, deduct funds, based onelectronic contact with customers vendors or the government, then have the bankagreements, and your internal business practices audited, by your lawyer, your accountant, insurance company, and/or other reputable advisor(s). This is because
Cyber Security Personal Tips6/23/20135:47:56 PM
Doc in folder = Studies / Nat Sec / Cyber and Critical
thousands of companies have irretrievably lost $ millions in breaches, due to flawedcontracts and flawed practices.
Security Checks
Security in the physical world is simple, for most people compared to the digital world.Whenever I am about to leave some place, a restaurant, a theater, etc. I check my pockets
to make sure nothing critical fell out … keys, wallet, etc.
Whenever I leave home, or office, I double check that I turned out the lights, did notleave anything turned on eating electric bill, locked the door.In the digital world, it can be more challenging to verify that our Internetand otherelectronicsecurity is an up-to-date versionworking properly.
Some flawed patch, orother action, could have messed it up, and wearenot aware of this. The thought of wading through configuration options and feature menus to see if everything is correctlyselected and properly operating, seems like a headache, plus there is the risk that ourbrain might not recognize everything needed.TheAnti-Malware and Testing Standard Organization(AMTSOhttp://www.amtso.org/ ), has published a simple set of tests we can take to be confident our Internet security isawake and fully functional.
Many vendors, of personal computer security services, alsoprovide sites where people can run tests, to find out:
Do I have up-to-date cyber security protection?
Is it running correctly?
Is my PC currently free of threats?Different sites provide different kinds of tests, different kinds of help documentationexplaining the consequences of the tests. Typically if we find we have some problem, weresearch it, fix it, then go back and do a retest.One of my personal favorites isShields Up,
from Gibson Research.
Before applying any update or patch, I first make a Sys Config backup, because
occasionally a patch is flawed, and I then want to undo it. Here’s how to make such a
All programs
System Tools
System Restore
I have security protection in both software and hardware.
I am on Windows XP. The process may be a bit different for people on other PC OS.
Cyber Security Personal Tips6/23/20135:47:56 PM
Doc in folder = Studies / Nat Sec / Cyber and CriticalI have made a short cut of the last bullet onto my desk top and in my PC Security folder,for convenient access to all PC security options.When I create a restore point, I give it a name like before / after whatever namedapplication, and if known, the version #.To be able to do what I just said, I cannot have automatic patching turned on, or onlyhave it turned on for vendors I trust. Every vendor has messed me up one time oranother, some frequently, some rarely.
There’s a
question whether or not we have the latest security patches, and whether it iswise to have the latest patches, since they can bring in new problems. As we accumulatemore and more applications, it can be a royal pain to be checking all of them, to see if some update is needed. I use several tools to let me know whether any of myapplications is in need of some patch, but I recognize that false positives can be aconstant hassle. False Positive is when the application says we need to apply some patch,when that is not in fact true.I use several tools to help review this topic. Some check the applications on PC, whichare irrespective of Internet usage, such as:
Belarc Advisor;
Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI);
Others check our Browser and its add-ons, such as: Qualsys Browser Check.
You need to research similar products out there, to figure out which are best fit to yourneeds.Some patches ask us to deactivate some security features, before applying them. I do notdo this, because some vendors, during their process of applying the update, take us totheir Internet site, to register the update. Going on the Internet without all the propersecurity settings can be suicide. If I need some patch, and it is impossible to install,without deactivating some security, I pull the plug on my Internet connection, beforedoing the deactivation, and I reactivate before plugging back in.A risk with many sites is they add new features, which have security privacyimplications. Ask yourself if you want this or that place to have your address or phone #,which they later may give out to advertisers.Another risk with sites we frequently visit, sometimes doing a mass update of theirprivacy settings, because they think they know better than us, what is in our best interests.Sometimes we have gone to a great deal of trouble to figure out the best settings, which

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