How to Properly Secure your Computer from Attackers

Virtual Private Network

The term VPN is short for Virtual Private Network. This is a service that offers encryption of your Internet Traffic. When you purchase this service you will download a peace of software called a client. This is what you will use to connect to the VPN Service Providers Servers. When you try and connect to the VPN’s Servers the Client on your computer makes a fake Network adapter in your computer. This is a piece of software that allows your computer to act as if a new network adapter has been added to your computer, without physically adding the adapter to your computer. What this adapter does is encrypt all of the Internet Traffic that goes through it and then pushes it out through the default Internet connection (Mobil, Ethernet or WiFi). Once the your Internet Traffic leaves your computer it will be unreadable to anyone that see’s it unless they have the key to decipher it. Once your Internet Traffic reaches your VPN Providers Server It will decrypt your Internet Traffic and act as a middleman and communicates under your instruction to the website, Server or computer you are trying to communicate with. The reason everyone should be using a VPN isn’t for the anonymity features it provides (which is a big plus), but for the Encryption that it provides. The reason for this is because one of Hackers favorite ways to gain access to your personal information or Hack into your Account is by grabbing your Internet Traffic as it travels across a Network. Most of the time this will occur in public WiFi spots like Starbucks, The Library or any modern fast-food restaurant. Actually almost everywhere you go has public WiFi and a lot of cites are starting to integrate Public WiFi Networks through their Inner City Areas. This is one of the biggest reasons that you need to use a VPN because if a Hacker captures your un-encrypted Internet Traffic you could become a Victim of Identity theft, lose control over your computer or accounts (such as Amazon), or get spam email around the clock. The possibilities are endless depending on what Information the attacker got and how he decides to use it. Another Great feature of having a VPN is that they might (should) include DNS forwarding. What this does is use the VPN Servers as you DNS Server that why your DNS requests are encrypted and safe, but you can also know that you are receiving the right website as well. The reason for this is because another trick Hackers like to pull is DNS Spoofing this is done by some how Intercepting the request for a Domain Name lookup for a specific site. This request is then sent to the Hackers DNS Server who can then send you a fake website as a response. This type of attack accounts for most Identity theft nowadays, because it is hard to defend against with just anti-virus software and it can be done remotely. Just taking this step is a massive step forward in protecting your computer and most VPN Services are relatively cheap as well. As we move on from the Internet to our local computer next we will discus the different types of Anti-Virus and why you should use both.

Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus technology is like VPN’s they are something that you need if you surfing the Internet all day, because you never now when you will find yourself in a Hackers cross-hairs. There are two different kinds of Anti-Virus Software that you can get you can get Server Side or you ca get Client Side Anti-Virus software. Now if you want to secure you computer properly then you should get both services they both provide their own strengths and weakness, but used together and a Hacker will have a hard time getting a Virus on your computer and keeping it on your computer. The first I will talk about Is Server Side Anti-Virus Software this is Software that sends all of your Internet Traffic to a Server and that Server runs a Virus scan on all incoming traffic looking for any Malicious software. The reason that you would want to use this as your Anti-Virus solution is because all of this takes place on the Server before it ever reaches your computer. This provides a great amount of benefit to you and your computer. The minute that a Virus Infects your computer it is a problem and there is probably going to be a significant amount of time laps between the time you get infected and the time you scan your computer. During this time if the Virus has been programmed smartly or depending on the type of virus it is it could be setting up a contingency plan encase it is discovered by the Anti-Virus. This is why you will see people that end up with these Viruses that are impossible to get rid of and they end-up having to reformat their computers. By using a Server Side solution you take away that risk by looking for Viruses before they ever touch your computer. If you would like to combine your VPN Service and your Server Side Anti-Virus you can do this using P.I.A. They include Server Side Anti-Virus with there VPN Products check it out here. The downside to a Server side solution is that they can’t be to through and it is easy to hide some viruses from them. This is why you need Client Side Anti-Virus as well because if a Virus does slip through the cracks you will be able to get rid of it. This kind of Anti-Virus runs on your computer and checks your computer to see if it has been Infected by a Virus. If it has it will decide or ask you to decide the best way to take care of the Infection. Client Side Anti-Virus is a must have because without it you could be leaving your computer wide open for a number of Viruses. If you want to be fully protected from Viruses than you should use both services however if you do need to choose one over the other I suggest choosing Client Side Anti-Virus, because if your computer does get infected you will have a better chance of at least knowing about it.

Rescue Discs

Your last line of defense when it comes to protecting your computer are Rescue Discs. The ISO’s for these are usually given away for free by most Anti-Virus companies, so all you do is have to put it on a bootable USB or DVD. These are made to be able to scan your computer even if it has been taken over by a Hacker and you can’t access it. This is the most through and in depth way to scan your computer for Viruses and I suggest scanning your computer this way at least once a month. These USB’s or DVD’s will boot into a separate Operating System other than yours (preferably a completely different one) and scans the Hard drive that your Operating System Runs on. By scanning your computer this way your Operating System is never booted up and you Hard drive acts as nothing more than a storage device. An added benefit to scanning your computer this way is you can boot into a different Operating System using the Rescue Disc other than the one you normally use. For example if you normally use Windows on your computer than you would want a Rescue Disc that runs the Linux or Macintosh OS. What this does is if the Virus does get triggered by the Rescue Disc if it isn’t written to support the OS that the Rescue Disc uses than it wont work. This is just an additional security feature that Most rescue Discs offer to make sure that it solves the problem at hand. This is a must have for every Internet User to have on hand and know how to use.

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Jekyl

Jekyl

Internet Security and Privacy enthusiast “trying to make the Internet a safer place one story at a time.”