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Archive for the ‘Computer Security’ Category

How to secure your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Posted on: June 16th, 2011 by under Computer Security, Software | No Comments

You’ll be disappointed to know it’s surprisingly easy for malicious computer users to get access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s especially easy if you ever use unsecured wireless networks.

With the help of a program called Firesheep, (details here) anyone on the same wireless network can take over your accounts and cause mayhem. They can send profane messages as you, send links to virus-infected web pages to your friends and business associates, or just make you look like a fool.

While Firesheep requires the hackers be using acomputer, there is now a program for Android phones called FaceNiff (details here)  that will allow a hacker to do the same things right from his mobile device.

Fortunately, there is something very simple you can do to prevent this from ever happening: Turn on secure browsing.


How to turn on secure browsing in Facebook:

(Warning: This feature may slow your Facebook browsing experience. So you may not want to use it if you are in a secured network or use a VPN. )
Go to Account.
Go to Account Settings.
To the right of  “Account Security” click on “Change”.
Under “Secure Browsing (https)”, click the box that says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible”.

Note that if you use Facebook apps (a bad idea, in my opinion), they do not support secure browsing. So, when you use an app, you’ll see this message:

“WARNING: If you click continue, you are no longer in secured browsing. Whoops.”

When you are done using the app, you’ll have to repeat this process.


How to turn on secure browsing in Twitter:

While logged in to Twitter via a web browser, go to settings.
Next to “HTTPS Only ” click the box that says “Always use HTTPS. ”
Click “Save”.

Handy Computer Security Tips From People Who Should Know – the NSA

Posted on: May 22nd, 2011 by under Apple, Computer Security, Microsoft, Operating Systems | No Comments

When it comes to our computer systems, it’s pretty safe to say that everyone recognizes the need to be security-conscious. But how many of us really know what to do beyond setting passwords?

If you work in information security, you don’t need our help. For the rest of you, where do you begin? The task can seem daunting to the average user.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you, even too many, probably. So where do you start?

Well, how about from the people responsible for securing the nation’s information – the National Security Agency (NSA).

From the NSA Mission Statement:

The Information Assurance mission confronts the formidable challenge of preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information. The Signals Intelligence mission collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations. This Agency also enables Network Warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

Surprisingly enough, this agency that lives and breathes secrecy, publishes a wide range of security guides that are completely yours to use for free.

Whether you are an Apple, Windows or Linux user, there are two guides specifically for you at these links:

Operating Systems.

Best Practices for Securing a Home Network

For the main page where you can browse all of the guides (categories on the left), go to:

Security Configuration Guides

These guides are good starting points. Be proactive – don’t wait for something bad to happen.


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