programming4us
programming4us
WEBSITE

Security Tips From The Spymasters

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox
- How To Bypass Torrent Connection Blocking By Your ISP
- How To Install Actual Facebook App On Kindle Fire
1/19/2014 11:09:42 AM

With the revelation that the National Security Agency may have been involved in everything from spying on U.S. residents to cracking online encryption to collecting global financial data, computer privacy has taken on all the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of a John le Carre novel.

We went right to the experts - the NSA itself - and pored over the agency's security tips and recommendations (go.pcworld.com/ nsatips) for its Department of Defense and intelligence-community customers. From there, we identified seven simple measures that you can easily implement to protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals - and perhaps even from the NSA.

On its website, the NSA offers extensive guidelines for securing computers.

On its website, the NSA offers extensive guidelines for securing computers.

Enable automatic software updates

Good security starts with the basics, of course, and nothing is more basic than keeping your operating system current. So it's no surprise that the NSA recommends enabling automatic updates in Windows.

Navigate to System and Security from the Windows Control Panel.Click Turn automatic update on and off, and select Install updates automatically.

Encrypt your hard drive

The BitLocker encryption feature is built into the Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows 7, as well as the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 8. When enabled, BitLocker encrypts all of the data on a storage volume, and it works in the background to protect the contents of a Windows PC from unauthorized access.

BitLocker is an excellent first line of defense that takes a few clicks to enable. However, if you're concerned that the full-disk encryption technology may have been compromised by a backdoor deal with the NSA (though there is no evidence of that so far), you can find alternative methods (go.pcworld.com/nsaencrypt) to encrypt your data.

Encrypt your hard drive

Encrypt your hard drive

Tape over the webcam

Integrated webcams present excellent opportunities for malicious hackers to spy on users. And although the webcam indicator light is supposed to switch on when the camera activates, hackers have found ways to disable the light in certain laptop models.

According to the NSA, a simple, low-tech solution is to tape over your web cam - with black tape, naturally. If you're worried that the tape's adhesive might damage the webcam, use tape to secure a small piece of paper over the lens instead.

Disable the built-in microphone

Similar to the webcam, your laptop's built-in microphone - typically enabled by default - can also fall prey to remote hijacking and allow strangers and snoops to eavesdrop on your conversations.

To prevent that, launch the Sound applet from the Control Panel. Click the Recording tab, select your laptop's microphone, and disable it.

Of course, taking this step doesn't prevent a malicious hacker who has already compromised your laptop from re-enabling the mic. If you're really paranoid, you can disable the built-in microphone permanently by poking it with the business end of a needle or paper clip. The espionage game has its casualties.

Disable your laptop's built-in microphone to ensure that your private conversations stay private.

Disable your laptop's built-in microphone to ensure that your private conversations stay private.

Disable unnecessary network services

Although it's impossible to lock out malicious hackers completely, you don't have to make their task any easier. Start by disabling network protocols and services you don't use. For small businesses, such services likely include IPv6, Bluetooth wireless, or even Wi-Fi, if you use deskbound laptops connected via Ethernet. And if you don't share file and printer resources on your PC, disable sharing - a step that Microsoft recommends (go.pcworld.com/disablesharing), as well.

Harden your account settings

Spend a few minutes tweaking your Windows account settings. A good first step is to disable any guest accounts, to ensure that a password is set for each account, and to disable automatic login.

Next, enable a screensaver and set it to start with an inactivity timeout of between 1 and 5 minutes. To do so, right-click the desktop, select Personalize, and then click Screen Saver. Select the On resume, display Logon screen checkbox. Obviously, you will need to have a password configured first for this step to work.

Lastly, require that users reenter their system password if the PC has been inactive. Click Power Options in the Control Panel and select Require a password on wakeup in the left column.

If you use sleep mode, set the PC to require a password on waking up.

If you use sleep mode, set the PC to require a password on waking up.

Don’t read email on an admin account

Web surfing on a user account with administrative rights is kind of like walking through a bad neighborhood with your house keys in one hand, your Social Security card in the other, and your ATM PIN written on your forehead.

The usual advice is to avoid surfing the Web on an admin account to limit the damage if a zero-day exploit compromises your account. Given the growing number of attacks launched via email messages, it's a good idea to extend this precaution to your inbox by reading email only on a non-administrator account. This practice won't protect you from phishing attempts, though, so be sure to stay on your guard against fake email messages, too.

Other  
 
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
REVIEW
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
programming4us programming4us
programming4us
 
 
programming4us