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EASY GUIDE TO

CYBERSECURITY
& P R I VAC Y

5th Edition

The Most Comprehensive, Exhaustive and


Complete Guide Ever Written

TERENCE KAM
Preface ...........................................................................9
Introduction ..................................................................10
Chapter 1: Fundamental Laws of Digital Security .........12
Chapter 2: Fortifying Your Computer Against Hackers
and Malware ................................................................13
Anti-virus software is just the starting point ............................18
Secure Boot ........................................................................21
Risks of using your computer as an administrator ...................26
Updating your software and operating system .......................31
Disabling and enabling specific features in your operating
system ................................................................................34
Recognising executable code ...............................................38
How to tell whether the software is safe or not? ....................43
Check the app permissions ..................................................49
Check website permissions ...................................................52
Check your web-browser extensions .....................................53
Has the software been tampered with? .................................57
Updating the firmware of your computer hardware ...............64
Locking down your Windows PC with AppLocker ..................65
Isolating suspicious software with a sandbox .........................67
Why 64-bit versions of Windows is more secure? ..................77
Be careful of unknown USB sticks .........................................79
Tip: how to open suspicious office documents safely ..............80
Scams ................................................................................80
Chapter 3: Secure Your Passwords...............................83
How to find out if your password has been compromised in a
data breach? ......................................................................84
Why will you eventually be hacked if you don’t use a password
manager? ...........................................................................85
How a password manager shore up your digital defence
substantially? ......................................................................90
Which password managers? ................................................91
Using KeePass for maximum security .....................................94
Using LastPass ...................................................................112
Sharing passwords .............................................................114
Danger of storing passwords in your web browser ...............117
Chapter 4: Two-Factor Authentication .........................118
Security weaknesses of 2FA ...............................................120
Complications with 2FA .....................................................124
Setting up 2FA ..................................................................125
Physical 2FA .....................................................................128
Beware of answers to ‘Security’ questions ...........................129
Chapter 5: Introducing Public-Private Key Cryptography .
131
Symmetric Key Cryptography .............................................132
Public-Private (Asymmetric) Key Cryptography ....................132
Certificate Authority, Digital Certificates ..............................133
Subversion of Certificate Authority .....................................135
Chapter 6: Securing Your Home/Office Network........137
Securing your own WiFi .....................................................138
Home network self-tests ......................................................144
Securing your Internet-of-things (IOT) devices at home .........147
Chapter 7: Using Public Wifi .......................................151
Use a trusted DNS server ...................................................152
Solving the DNS security problem- DNSSEC ........................165
Tunnel through the Internet using a trusted VPN ..................166
Chapter 8: Surfing the Web Safely .............................168
Weakness of automatic malicious website blocking ..............169
Consulting anti-virus software blacklist ................................170
How to surf dangerous websites safely? ..............................170
Phishing: do not be tricked into revealing your secrets! ........172
How to tell if a social media page is legitimate? ..................177
How to tell if a website is secure? .......................................178
How do the visual cues for the security levels look like? .......180
How to tell if a hacker is intercepting your supposedly secure
website connection? ...........................................................182
Is someone eavesdropping on your secure connections? ......184
Beware of tiny URLs ...........................................................186
Is your web browser and its extensions up to date? .............186
Beware of web browser extensions .....................................188
Which web browser/extensions must you NOT use/install? ..189
Is someone else assessing your accounts? ............................191
Chapter 9: Protecting What’s Inside Your Computer ..196
Encrypt your disks .............................................................196
Why you must encrypt SSD/flash disks before first using it ...223
Dangers of hibernating your computer ...............................224
Secure erase your disks .....................................................225
Chapter 10: Securing Your Mobile Devices .................229
Why device operating systems are technically more secure ..229
Dangers of rooting or jail-breaking your device ...................232
Be careful of what you connect to your device ....................233
Ensure you sanitise the data in your car before you return/sell it
235
Which is safer? iOS or Android? ........................................236
Initial security settings you must activate immediately ...........243
Beware of iOS configuration profiles ..................................251
Preventing people from exploring your mobile device ..........255
Caller ID Spoofing ............................................................255
Be careful of third-party keyboard apps ..............................258
Are apps spying on you? ...................................................259
Chapter 11: Physical Security .....................................262
The “Evil Maid Attack” ......................................................262
Ways to physically secure your computers and devices ........266
Beware of visual hacking (Shoulder Surfing) .......................268
Don’t leave your device/computer unattended ....................269
Secure your physical mailbox .............................................271
Chapter 12: Suspicious Behaviours .............................273
Significant slowdowns ........................................................273
Weird behaviours ..............................................................273
Emails you didn't ask for ....................................................274
Strange text messages .......................................................274
System settings are disabled ...............................................274
Application settings are altered ..........................................275
A lot of pop-up messages ...................................................275
Random crashes and boot up problems ...............................276
Very poor battery performance ..........................................276
A sudden uptick in data usage ...........................................276
Webcam light turn on without good reason .........................277
Error message when trying to use webcam .........................277
Unauthorised forwarding ...................................................277
Chapter 13: Before You Sell, Dispose, Return Your
Device/Computer/Disk... ............................................279
Step 1: Is your device already encrypted? ..........................280
Step 2: Secure Erase .........................................................281
Step 3: Reset ....................................................................282
Chapter 14: Avoiding Accidental Leakages ................286
Prevent leakages via Office documents ...............................286
Removing hidden information in photos ..............................291
Always turn off location services in your smartphone ...........294
Have you given consent to steal your private information? ...300
Chapter 15: Sending Messages, Phone Calls, Emails &
Documents Securely ...................................................306
Keeping your emails private ...............................................306
Sending private messages ..................................................319
Making secure phone calls .................................................334
Chapter 16: Backups, Cloud Storage and Services .....336
How ransomware makes a mincemeat out of your backups ..336
Are your backups encrypted? ............................................340
Are the files In your cloud storage encrypted? ....................344
Chapter 17: Prevent Tracking and Data Collection .....349
Using the right web-browsers .............................................349
Use the right search engine ................................................351
Setting up your web-browsers .............................................351
Private mode is not as private as you think ..........................360
Protecting your DNS traffic .................................................361
Protecting your web traffic .................................................364
Install ad-blockers .............................................................368
Cleaning up your activity history in your Google account ....370
Protecting your privacy FROM Facebook ............................371
Cleansing your Amazon account ........................................383
Adjusting your privacy options ...........................................384
Removing other ad trackers ...............................................389
Software services to beware ..............................................391
Privacy settings to turn on in iOS/iPadOS and macOS .........393
Chapter 18: Mitigating Against Identity Theft ............395
Feeding pseudonymous information ....................................396
Virtual Mailbox .................................................................399
Fake identity generator ......................................................400
Fake face generator ..........................................................401
Credit card numbers ..........................................................401
Chapter 19: Disconnecting Between Your Physical and
Online World ..............................................................404
How Facebook follows you from the physical world to the
online world .....................................................................405
How shopping centres follow you around electronically .......407
Beware of QR code ...........................................................411
How to hide your home from people in Street View .............412
Finally… ......................................................................415

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