Long gone are the days that we could feel secure and know for sure that we had privacy. With the digital age upon us we can no longer be so sure that our privacy is secure. Recently Google has acknowledged their organization holds user data indefinitely. This causes concerns as now we know Google has information on us that we do not want anyone to know about.
We can simply blame this all on the big corporate companies; they seem to be a very good escape goat however, this is not the case; your privacy is totally up to you. Certificates ensure that all the data that is transferred between you and the internet is secure and encrypted. Recently in New Zealand there was a short certificate outage on a banks website. During this outage only one out of 300 users took this security warning seriously.
This is a rather large concern, as many users on the internet have the same belief that their data is safe and secure. By the end of 2005 it is estimated identity fraud will cause up to 5 trillion dollars world wide. We, the users of the internet must keep ourselves safe, secure and pay attention to those security warnings. I have compiled some good tools and tricks that will help keep you much more anonymous and secure.
1) Get rid of the internet explorer:
First and foremost Microsoft Internet Explorer is the highest risk to your internet experience. Not only is the most popular internet browser, but is also the most popular for attacks from Viruses and Spyware. Internet explorer is also too integrated with the windows operating system. Have you ever wondered how a dialer or online casino got onto your desktop?
I personally recommend Opera; they have a nice clean browser. The usability is easy and best of all, it uses tabbed browsing.
2) Protect your Connection.
Make sure you have an active firewall operating; Firewalls stop intruders from entering your connection and causing havoc. Hackers can easily gain access to an unprotected network and steal private information.
With the release of SP2 for Windows XP, Microsoft has incorporated a free personal firewall. If you have broadband your router should have an inbuilt Firewall, and make sure this is enabled, Zonealarm also offer a free Firewall. You must always do what you can to protect yourself.
3) Do not share those files:
One of the most common security flaws running Windows XP, is having File sharing enabled. To disable File Sharing please do the following:
Click Start Menu, select settings.
Click on Network Connections.
Right-click on the Local Area Connection icon and on the menu that appears, choose Properties.
In the General tab under "This connection uses the following items", highlight "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks". (If File and Printer Sharing is not listed, then file sharing has not been setup). You may skip the rest of these instructions.
When you are asked if you are sure …