Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cyber awarness for beginners

Hello everyone and welcome to my first article. First off, as the title states, this is for beginners, not you experienced computer users out there. Second, I am not anywhere near being good at hacking, I just find computers enjoyable and this article mainly reflects on situations that I have found are the most common after being asked dozens of times by friends and family for help. Now let’s get down to business! #1The most obvious problem with most people’s computer security is their password(s). People oftenleave their passwords written onpieces of paper, or on Word documents. Others just make their passwords based solely on how easy it is to memorize them.The problem with this is that they are often very generic or easy to guess, perhaps their last name and a 1 or something of the sort. Unfortunately, the most common password isn’t love, sex,secret, or god (high five if you get this), the most common password from one study was “123456”, with others such as “qwerty”, “abc123”, and the ingenious “Password” also high up on the list. Come on people; come up with a password that no one will ever be able to guess.Also, using dictionary words is not a great idea because it can make the password very easy to crack. Making the letters upper and lower case can slow the crack quite a bit, but having a random password will always be the best. Maybe use some combination of letters and numbers that is an abbreviation for something important to you, or just memorize some crazy jumbles of numbers and letters, whatever works for you.
#2The second most common security problem that I have seenhappening to people is someone “hacking” their account on somesocial network site such as Facebook. And no, they were not attacked by an actual hacker. They just left their computer logged into their account and walked away for a minute. This isthe most absurd problem on this list in my opinion because it doesn’t matter how insanely difficult that your password is, how good your programming skills are, or how many anti-virus programs that you have on your computer, your “friends” who are standing there can just zip right in and screw with your settings. This doesn’t only apply to social networking sites either, this can apply to an actual machine or network, etc. Whenever I step away from my computer, I lock it, log out of whatever I am on, whatever needs to be done to ensure that my computer is safe from prying eyes. Sure it may be a hassle logging back in every time, but I would rather have to type my password a few extra times thanhave to fix whatever problems might occur on my unattended machine. Besides, I don’t know about you but I cringe at the thought of someone getting their paws all over my computer.
#3The third thing that I want to discuss is the most common problem that I see people having when they have an infected computer. When I go in to help them, I find that there are numerous settings that are out of whack, random files on their drives, things shifted around anditems that just plain don’t function. They often tell me that these things have been going on for oh, maybe a week or so. Theylet the problem get way out of hand. They don’t notice that theirsettings have been changed, filesmoved, etc. until it is being done to such a degree that it is impossible to ignore. When usinga computer, you should be takingnote when you tweak settings, what the default settings are for different controls, and when you change them (just have a generalidea, you don’t need specific dates and times). This way you know that when things start acting differently, you can check to make sure that it wasn’t just some setting you changed the day before interfering with whatever you are doing now. This allows you detect whatever bug you might have before any major damage is done.


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