Yes, computer security is on topic here. If you are reading this, you have access to a computer. And if you ever put anything of importance on a bit-box that data is at risk. Eveb uf tiy gae the world’s best anti-virus, the firewall is on, is locked as tight as Steve Gibson’s Gibson Research website.
Mr. Gibson makes and sells software, and provides free and excellent software. While it is free of charge, it is much better than most of the freeware out there. Click on Shields Up logo to see if you computer is responding to probes of your URL. If it does, you have a very serous security problem.
Sometimes all it takes is turning the operating system’s firewall on. Or your AV program’s firewall on. Other times the problem is harder to repair, as in the case of some early browsers.
Whatever the problem, and whether or not your computer os “Leaking data” go through Gibson’s suite of free security programs. If nothing else, turning off programs that pose security problems and choosing the fasted Domann Name Server, DNS, at your location will save wait time and improve performance.
And then do one more thing. Change your modem or router’s password. Decades ago, I used ignuslucere,fire light, for a security code, which will no more do now. I would link it but the grc.com sie will not allow it,
Sp at the very top of the site linked above, go to the very top, and click on the “Secure” tab. Scroll down on the “Perfect Paper Passwords” headline, and click on the orange tab. Generate a random password per directions, and copy and past that into a word processor or any program you can print from. Crank the font size up to comfortable reading at a little distance size, and print it. In fact, print several copies. Keep one in your wallet, making sure the start of your passwords is unmarked.
Two numbers you can remember, your birthday and Hallowween are good, your wife’s birthday could be a useful as starting points for your 15 or 17 character strong password.
Mark ONE copy of your strong passwords and put it in a safe place. One that would take a little time to get to.
what you have is a piece of paper with 63 16 random character passwords that statistically will take 250 billion years to crack at 1,000 attempts a second. Practically speaking, trying rainbow table, dictionaries, and hother hackers tricks are very unlikely to work within the hackers lifetime.
now, with two of the 63 in hand, use change every password of importance, to ONE of you strong passwords.
IF you already have a NAT router or an “accessory firewall,” change the password to the second strong password you have selected. And if you do not have a NAT router, get one. The price is small for the level of extra protection gained.
And if someone steals one of the copies of your strong passwords? They have something that looks like this:
ZznH Urm# uNEx %7Sd 8Tje L+5S ?xU vVo3 jMsV J8WD xL%j vH42 YDA! U8Ph
Without a key, the password is essentially locked.
And only you know where your two strong passwords begin or how long they are.
And with that relatively small trouble and expense, your computer can be about as secure as computers get. In time, the passwords to your critical data can be hacked, but the hacker would be terribly fffortunate to do it by trying character strings at random.
After you get access to your data much more difficult, go through all of Gibson Research’s security programs such as “UnPlug and Pray,” and check on the possibility of an unexpected back door to your data on your computer. It does not take long, and the results are often “interesting.”
Speaking of software, Steve Gibson has a product I would not willingly be without. SpinRite is a hard drive maintenance program that automatically compensates for wear in the a hard drive’s read and write system, finds and marks bad sectors, and barring a catastrophic component failure, and vastly extends the life of a drive.
as with all product reviews at the Alley, I speak from personal experience with the product. SpinRite has twice revived the hard drive in my company’s primary server, so the benefits greatly outweigh the cost.
and if you are wondering – this is not the first time I have put up a similar post on computer security. This post is a result of a news report that the ride share service called Uber paid $100,000 to get its hacked data back, and did nto report that theft and ransom to the police.
You do not want to find yourself in a similar situation, so secure your data, ASAP.