Novice Security Guide For Windows Users


Computer abuse occurs at least once in everyone’s life. To some people it might be not of a great importance, but to others it could be fatal. Thus, there are a few basic things you should keep in mind if you leave your machine unprotected. drivingschoolintoronto

First of all we are going to consider the most common abuses which can be done to your computer if someone gains physical access to it. Except for viewing and stealing your private data they can get information about the way you use your computer and turn it against you. Let’s regard a few possible ways of exploiting your machine.

Just by using the search function it’s possible to tell which files you’ve accessed. Moreover the location, date and exact time of their execution will be provided to the abuser. Your system folders (located in ‘Documents and Settings’) also contain private information:

  • the ‘Temp’ folder: it contains programs you’ve installed and files from archives you’ve opened;
  • ‘Cache’ folders: contain pages you’ve visited, mails you’ve sent and/or received and so on;
  • ‘Bookmarks’: they list the URLs you frequently visit;
  • ‘Recent Documents’: they display files you’ve last opened;
  • the ‘History’ folder: it has all sites you’ve accessed;

 

Cookies represent a more serious threat due to the fact that they allow the enemy to log in to your account without knowing your password. Thus, it’s recommended to clear your cache, cookies and history folders regularly to prevent unwished surprises.

However, as you might know, it is not necessary for someone to use your machine manually, in order to abuse it. Remote access is even more dangerous. There are a million ways to catch Trojans which make it easy for the attacker to see the contents of your hard disk and run your programs. To prevent this, use a firewall and good anti-virus software. Among other threats there are keyloggers. They can send your usernames and passwords to the attacker, as well as other texts you’ve written (documents, mails etc). There are two other factors which are worth mentioning: spyware and malware. Spyware invades your privacy as well, since it sends lists of sites you visit to databases that monitor your browser’s usage and collect statistics without your approval. Malware is meant to infiltrate and damage a computer (regular viruses, worms etc). To protect your computer from spyware, use programs like SpybotS&D or Ad-Aware SE. temp-mail

Now we are going to learn a few other relevant terms: phishing and spoofing. Phishing combined with spoofing can make a fake mail look genuine and redirect you to sites that look identical to the real site you’d normally expect (most commonly eBay, PayPal etc.), but in fact log your account name and password in the attacker’s database for later abuse. You can probably see where this is all going. They can not only steal your account, but also cause damage. Imagine someone stealing your eBay or PayPal account and making transactions on your behalf.

Unfortunately in such cases the sites can’t help you since it is your job to secure your username and password and to not give them to anyone. This is why I also recommend having different passwords for each site as to not compromise all of your accounts.

 


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