Friday, October 24, 2014

Respect my Securitah!

The internet can be a very unsafe place, from people accidentally giving away their first child, to hackers having at it at peoples computers. All this stuff can lead many people to the conclusion that the internet is a bad place, when in fact if you know how to use network security to your advantage you will be just fine. A better way to describe it, is that they have themselves a double edged sword, in the way that they get all these cool services and yet they always end up having troubles with their computers. These troubles may include getting hacked, having your private information stolen, or getting stuck with an annoying virus. All of the above
problems that can happen to you and your computer can be avoided, with a little help that I like to call knowledge.

A study done by Armeen Khan from the Telegraph, stated that over the past six months about 12 million people had their computer attacked by a virus. All of those people got attacked, even though 95 percent of them said that they had antivirus software. Following that study, let's get into the basics of protecting yourself and your computer. When you first get your computer, be sure to adjust your computer's security settings. As you are adjusting the settings make sure that you have some sort of updated version of virus/malware protection loaded on to your computer. Many computers already have a free version of this so make sure to have it on. Besides this be sure to have your firewall up and running, by going to the security settings on your computer, which stops unwanted outside access to your computer. The last important security setting that you may want to adjust is the cookies section. Cookies are pieces of data that websites hold on to, this can be good if you want some websites to hold on to what you like to buy for instance. It can be bad, though, if you don’t want certain websites holding on to secret information.

When searching the web you must be careful. A little tip is that at the top of the url the s in https stands for secure, and if there is a little lock that is closed it means that site is even more secure. If you are knowledgeable about safer websites try to only go to those, because websites that are corrupt can load unwanted viruses, adware, and other things onto your computer. One last tip is that when you are in your email, never open up spam or suspicious looking emails for they may contain unwanted programs. That also goes for ads on the side of websites in that they may also harm your computer.

The many different types of harmful things include: Worms, which travel from computer to computer through networks; Trojan Horse, which hides in files that seem to be harmless; Malware, which is defined as something that is designed to disrupt the way your computer works; Adware which shows advertisements that are unwanted; and last but certainly not least the big one Viruses, which are basically all of the above. You can protect yourselves from all of these by being suspicious, being smart through common sense and your gut feeling, and just having good antivirus/anti-spyware programs. If you have a computer from Apple, here are some safety tips for Apple. If you have a computer that runs on windows here is something that can help, Microsoft Safety Scanner.

This brings us to the last thing, and definitely the most important thing that people need to read all of a contract, understanding while doing it that a signed agreement is binding. What I am referring to is the terms of service, for almost anything digital like signing up for services and games. These terms of service are usually very long and full of words, which led a certain company known as F-secure to do a little test on the public. This test was taking place in London, and the plan was that in exchange for free wifi, the people had to give away their first born child to the company. They hid this exchange within their terms of service to check if many people would still agree to it anyways. In the end thirty three people only accepted the wifi once the terms were taken off, but six people unknowingly signed it without reading it. This shows the biggest point of all , which is that you need to be smart when using the internet/digital world. If you do this, nothing within the internet will be able to bring you down, and you will be able to use the internet to your full advantage with an eased mind.

People who argue against me might say that whenever a better antivirus/antimalware product comes out, there is always an updated virus to outmatch and bypass your security. This is infact true and there is always a risk, but if you keep an updated antivirus/antimalware, and use your wits, you have a good chance that you will be fine. This relates to Digital Citizenship because hackers and other people are taking advantage of other peoples dim-wittedness. It also relates to it because although that one company did it as a test, another small business could actually take advantage of the fact that fifty eight percent of adults would rather read an instruction manual or a credit card bill than the terms of agreement. This previous test was a 2011 survey, and it is my last example of the connection between digital citizenship and the internet. And how you are responsible for yourself, which includes your safety online.



  1. Hello, Student! You had a lot of convincing evidence that I was very impressed with! Adding on to your post, what do you think the best way is to create a password that can't be hacked easily? I've heard that it needs to be something that's not personal, but that makes it harder to remember if it isn't personal. Is there some different security process that would work better? With all the technology that we have now, it seems like there should newer and better ways to keep our information safe.
    Thanks for posting!

    1. Hello Hayden,
      I have learned from my Digital Citizenship class teacher Mrs. Gerla, that when it comes to passwords you want to find a word that you can easily remember. Make sure that this word is a good sized word, and for whatever thing you are making an account for like Facebook, you would have your word, but you would add an F to the beginning and the word book on the end of it so that you can always remember your password. You also won't ever run into the problem of having the same password for everything, so as for it to be easily hackable. I hope this answered your question.

  2. Hi Student! You did a great job on showing the range of bad things that could happen when on the internet, and providing legitimate evidence for them. You also put a lot of nice easy tips that everyone can use to make people's online experience safer. Relating to your post, you can also take some protective measures against malware, spyware and other malicious content that may come off of sites that a child might visit on accident. There are lots of sites and applications that allow you to block potentially bad sites and/or monitor their activity. I think that you showed many good points on the good and evil sides of technology. Thanks!

    1. Dear LyvSec,
      Thank you for commenting, I completely agree that many viruses, malware, etcetera can come from someone visiting a corrupt website, and I believe that it would be good if their parents/guardians, knew about the many technological options that you can take to help in this situation.

  3. Student, thanks for adding the links to some helpful sites for protecting Mac and PC. I actually installed a few new browser extensions based on the recommendations in the article for Macs. HTTPS Everywhere was a good recommendation that touched on a few of your points here. Not all sites have https available, but this browser extension helps make sure that it is active as often as possible. HTTPS Everywhere is a project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Tor Project. The Tor Project is another great site to check out, either to download their own, secure browser, or to just learn about all the things that compromise our security and privacy when we are surfing the internet. I appreciate posts like this, that make me pause and consider what I could be doing to protect myself better. Thank you!


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