Dimok published a great article about internet security in his blog. I’d like to share it with you with his consent. I might add that antiviruses are business now and nothing more, they don’t help at all, only dumbs, who share their private information on the net or download files from porn sites and wonder about ads on their desktops, need them. Anyway, take a moment to read this:
Two of my friends have got their accounts hacked recently. One was broker’s account, another Pinnacle and Skrill. As I have nothing much to do now, I want to share the information how to protect funds from cyber-attacks with you.
- Intruders can get access to your computer with the help of special software (Trojan). It may happen when you visit web-pages. Malicious program installs to your computer through leaks in vulnerable software on virus-infected websites.
- Intruders can get access to your mail by cracking your not strong enough password or through manipulations with your secret question, or even through passwords leak. For example, you have same passwords for different websites. One website gets hacked, your password is exposed, and, naturally, it is checked with your mail account. After that, it becomes clear for the intruders where to go next as email accounts are often linked to other websites and services.
Actually, many things can happen. I am here to tell you what to do to minimize risks. Offered solutions are not the only way to follow, you can find good alternatives with better set of functions. If you know any, please share with us.
- Never use Admin’s profile on your computer, only user’s profile with limited access. MacOS is known to be highly-secured operating system. The thing is user’s profile is set by default in MacOS and, as you know, it’s quite different in Windows. If you don’t know how to create user’s profile on your computer, either pay $20 to a student from a computer aid company, who will do everything for you, or find information about it yourself as there are a lot of sources for that.
- Many believe that this advice is arguable but uninstall your antivirus. In fact, it does no good but drains system resources and gives a false feeling of security. If your computer is not modern enough, it may become a big problem either. The thing is people who develop viruses want them to work properly, that’s why they test them with the most up-to-date antivirus bases. Antivirus bases are updated every 2 weeks but it doesn’t make any sense for you, does it? Pre-installed Windows defender is more than enough for a common user. And, of course, you should install all Windows Update patches regularly, otherwise there is no point in protecting a computer with vulnerable operation system.
- Uninstall unnecessary software. Many, many attacks are conducted through Adobe Acrobat Reader. Uninstall it and use any less-popular alternative to open PDF files. As for Java, many users don’t need it on their computers or, if you need that, take a moment to activate automatic updates, that’s vital.
- The last but not the least, you need modern and regularly updated browser, your window to the internet. There are 2 main engines in the moment: Chromium and Firefox. I would suggest Chrome, if you use Google services, or Mozilla Firefox, if you are that independent and tech-savvy.
- Use a password manager! Password manager is special software to save and, the most important, enter your passwords on the websites you use. Personally, I use LastPass. You can buy extended version to synchronize all your devices for $12 per year. You can choose any other password manager, the most important thing you need is password saving and entering functions. You should set one perfect password for it and generate separate unique passwords for each website with the password manager. It is much safer than having simple passwords for different websites or, the worst thing, writing them down on a paper. Besides, it is additional protection against key loggers and Trojans which appear on your computer out of nowhere.
- Use unique email addresses. Register your own domain, for example immarvelous.com, to use separate email for each service. The idea is you have firstname.lastname@example.org for your Facebook account, email@example.com for the Skrill account, firstname.lastname@example.org for the personal correspondence, and email@example.com for the business correspondence. All these email boxes are virtual so it is impossible to crack them. They don’t exist and if they don’t exist, nobody can crack them. All emails will be redirected to the admin of the domain, in other words to you. As a result, you can use any email address you like, and if you need to reply to an email using this very email address, you can create it in any moment.
- Check suspicious files. If you receive any file and you are not absolutely confident if it is safe or not, check it with VirusTotal. This service will check your file with multiple antiviruses and tell you how suspicious the file is. If you download any crack or self-extracting archive, check it. If 2-3 antiviruses detect possible Trojan, avoid running it. If the file passes the check, it is certainly not a virus as it is very hard to mislead 50 antiviruses at a time.
Email account security (How to set up your personal email domain)
If you complete above-mentioned steps, you’ll make it much harder for intruders to hack your email and payment system accounts. They’ll try to hack someone else rather than waste time with your password manager or something else. And one more, few people know that but uBlock is a great extension to block Ads.
- Create a domain with any domain registrar. I use http://cheap-registrar.com/, but you can chose any other, there are thousands of them on the net. A domain costs $10-20 per year. However, you can find much cheaper or more expensive offers.
- Connect any popular email service to your domain. Follow the instructions of the service; if you think you can’t handle this, pay any freelance system administrator to do it for you, and don’t forget to change passwords when the job is done.
- Now you can create your main email address. Don’t tell anyone this address. You’ll be receiving all emails from your addresses to this main address. Also, you can use filters, for example to send spam to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can create email addresses for your relatives and family members the same way. In fact, you’ll have a single email account with Google or any other service you like, but you’ll have a right to create, delete, edit an unlimited number of linked email accounts. I have described above how to use them.
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