Online Privacy and Security
Despite all of the benefits that the internet has given us, it has also unfortunately enabled governments to invade our privacy and spy on us. It also makes us prone to hacker attacks from mischievous geeks that have nothing better to do than try to gain access to our computer and steal our private information.
I recently came across this post that prompted me to make the following comment:
This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. With the advent of relatively cheap broadband internet, blurring of the lines between our desktop and the web, and governments initiating legislation in the name of national security, our privacy (and security) is being violated on a daily basis.
If we don’t raise the alarm then who will? It is up to us to protect our online privacy and security so I thought I would share a few blog tips that I personally use:
1. (Especially) if you have “always-on” broadband internet, DO NOT put private information on your hard drive that you do not wish to share with the rest of the world; 2. My real name is not registered on my operating system. Right-click ‘My Computer‘ and choose ‘Properties‘, then ‘Computer Name‘ to see what name has been registered on your computer;
3. Beware of installing search engine software that indexes your hard drive such as Google Desktop. I use Copernic Desktop Search. It is not only more secure but is also a superior product;
4. Disable Windows’ Universal Plug n’ Play support;
5. Secure your browser. I won’t tell you which browser to use because it is a matter of preference. But it is common knowledge that Internet Explorer is the least secure of the bunch and that Mozilla Firefox is hot on its heels for becoming the standard browser;
6. Install a bleeding-edge software firewall and security suite (I use F-Secure that comes free with my ISP) as well as a hardware firewall (eg. a router). Remember that a hardware firewall is not enough because it only checks for inbound traffic. And neither is a software firewall hack proof. A good security suite will also include anti-virus and a spyware detector, so use both hardware and software.
These are only the basics but at least it’s a good start. Safe blogging!