- HOW DOES NETWORK SECURITY WORK?
Network security all happens through hardware and software. The software should always be updated when available and then managed to make sure updates for the Operating System and all applications are up to date to stop emerging threats.
A large network security system usually consists of many components. All the parts of the security systemwork together in order to minimizeproblems while improving overall security.
Network security components often include:
- Anti-virus and anti-spyware
- Firewall, to block unauthorized access to your network
- Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), to identify fast-spreading threats that appear immediately and not over time
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), to provide secure remote access
- WHAT IS THE 'BEST' COMBINATION OF INTERNET SECURITY AND PRIVACY SERVICES, HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE?
The practical answer here would be to find good products that meet your needs that do not interfere with each other. Reading reviews from “legitimate magazines and sources” can be helpful. There are many products out there to protect you and some are better than others.
And be careful when shopping this software as there are some products that may look legitimate, but once you install them you learn they are traps to infect your computer and steal your information. So make surethe software you choose to use is published by a well-known manufacturer.
Sometime a couple of layers of defense can be the best approach. For example, I use two firewall products at home (one is software and the other is hardware) and two anti-virus products, one is an online version that checks my email before it gets downloaded to my computer and the other is by software on my computer that checks it again once it gets downloaded.
Using two software firewalls though is not a good idea because you can have more conflicts, where one program gets in the way of the other and sometimes both do not work as well, or at all. By using a hardware and software combination, you can help avoid these type of problems.
- WHAT IS 'PHISHING?'
“Phishing” (pronounced “fishing”) is a form of fraud that attempts to acquire sensitive information (usually your username, also called login or LoginID, and passphrase/passphrase).
There are many types, but the most obvious characteristic of a phishing message is that it instructs you to provide sensitive information either by replying to the message, or by clicking on a link and entering the information on a web page. Many are very good and look legit as if it came from your bank or credit card company.
VERY IMPORTANT: There is no legitimate reason for anyone to ever request a password/passphrase or other sensitive data via email, and you should never respond to any such message.
- WHAT IS IT SPYWARE?
Spyware is software that gathers information about your web-surfing habits usually for marketing purposes. Spyware is downloadedwith programs you choose to download. They are hidden in the fine print of user agreements for many “free” downloads and services that you are allowing the application company to use spyware to monitor your web habits for business research purposes.
- WHAT ARE VIRUSES?
Viruses are malicious programs that easily duplicate themselves to infect your computer, and often spread or jump to others’ computers via email attachments, USB sticks or through network traffic.
- WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?
Identity theft occurs when someone’s personal information is obtained by unauthorized individuals who in-turn use that information to commit a crime such as fraud or theft.
- DO I NEED ANTI-VIRUS AND ANTI-TROJAN SOFTWARE TOO?
That is a personal choice, but it does not hurt. Some of the latest “anti-virus” programs are also anti-malware and fight viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware. So you want a complete software solution (all in one).
- DOES ANY COMBINATION OF SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE PROVIDE COMPLETE SECURITY?
Unfortunately No. A new way of hacking, breaching, infecting, etc.are always being created everyday. A new virus, worm, Trojan horse, spyware, or another new way to break through a firewall gets created and since it exploits a new and unseen hole, it can not be found…yet. Use products that are updated on a regular basis by their application manufactures for protection from “known” attacks. You can usually achieve a good level of security with modest effort at low cost.
- DOES PERSONAL FIREWALL SOFTWARE GIVE COMPLETE ONLINE SECURITY?
No. You also need anti-virus and anti-spyware software to provide a level of security. You may want to get software for email encryption, Trojan detection and removal, VPN for telecommuters, cookie manager or cleaner, ad blocker, personal data privacy, and parental controls for content filtering.
- WHAT KINDS OF INFORMATION SHOULD BE ENCRYPTED?
There are a number of types of information that should ALWAYS be encrypted and others information, while not necessary to encrypt, it doesn’t hurt. You should always try to encrypt the following information:
- Identity information (Social Security numbers, Driver’s License or identification card numbers, Birthdate, etc.)
- Financial account information (checking, savings and credit card account numbers)
- Student record information (grades, financial aid information)
- Medical record information (diagnoses, treatment information, identity information included in medical records)
- WHAT ARE MY FIREWALL CHOICES?
There are a few choices; astand-alone software firewall, a hardware router with firewall features, a dedicated hardware firewall or networking software with firewall features. Also, check your computer system settings, most offer a software firewall that you can turn on.
- WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF WHILE ON MY COMPUTER?
There are some easy and smart ways that you can do to protect yourself from being a victim:
- ALWAYS Install anti-virus software on your computer and run daily updates. If the program you use can automatically check for updates daily, turn this feature on.
- ALWAYS install and update all “patches” for your operating system’s website to keep your computer strengthened against possible attacks. Remember, if your operating system offers to automatically update itself, you should turn this onand let it get done automatically.
- NEVER open email attachments with suspicious subject lines, file names, or messages. A virus can appear to come from someone you know through an email. You cannot always trust the “from” line in an email…It may be a spoof you can not see the real from address..
ALWAYS BE CAREFUL AND REMEMBER that viruses can come to you in numerous ways. This can include a links sent by Instant Messaging, email attachments, infected disks or USB sticks, freeware, shareware, or file-sharing.
- WHAT NON-SOFTWARE OR NON-HARDWARE THINGS CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF WHILE ON MY COMPUTER AND THE INTERNET?
This is always an ever-growing list of best practices, but some of the best ideasare:
- Only store confidential information on your computer if it is absolutely necessary.
- Store confidential information on portable media, such as an external hard drive or flashdrive (Secured with a password. Secure the portable media in a locked cabinet when it is not being used.
- Encrypt files containing confidential data. Encryption is available on some operating systems. You can search for how to do this for all newer operating systems.
- Physically secure your computer (laptop or desktop) to the desk where it sits. It only costs about $30, you can buy a simple cable lock at any tech-supply store that will deter and usually prevent theft.
- Set your computer, tablet, phone, etc. to ask you for an account passphrase at login. If someone is sneaking onto your computer, this tactic will prevent anyone from gaining access to your files.
- Be sure to disable the “Guest” account, as use of this account is likely to be untraceable.
- Don’t make your Passphrase or Passcode easy or simple. Like 1234, your name, etc. Remember the easier the passcode is, the easier it is to break in.