Electronic Stores

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Electronic stores and best buy stalls are the places where most PCs are bought today. They also offer a security package that contains most of the necessities like anti-virus, identity protection, and firewalls. Windows operating system comes with basic firewall and a virus protection. McFee solution can be used to deliver a complete protection from virus and internet security. On firewall installation, encrypt your Wi-Fi network by use of WEP or WPA key that will change frequently.

Online banking is a target of many cyber criminals. One of the common criminal activities is phishing. Its Internet fishing where the fishermen is the criminal and the bait is an email to catch you. Here, the criminal will send you several emails that pretend to be from the bank that might require you to update your details. Once this is successful, they take your Intent banking details.

Many browsers have padlock icons. For instance, Internet explorer 7 will provide you with the icons on the right side of the address bar. Click on the padlock and a security certificate shall pop up, than you have to click a link that says view certificates. Make sure certificate is not expired. Despite these prevention measures criminals are getting more clever as spoof the visual clues. Just a word of caution: banks never send emails asking for login credentials. Thus, in the vent you get such an email you should not click the link.

The advent of IT and globalization has kept the world on passwords for every transaction. We have many passwords that make it hard for us to track them all. It’s advisable to keep changing passwords frequently. One should avoid having the same password for all sites on the Internet. Each site should have a different password.

Remembering all passwords is a difficulty. A good technique used in password creation is to take numbers and letters from a favorite song or a special message then make it as complicated as possible using alphanumeric characters, lower and uppercase symbols etc. Make your passwords longer than four characters, this is because using password-cracking software short passwords are easily cracked. It’s advisable to use at least eight characters in a password.

Online banking is very sensitive and one should never log in to his/her bank account using another person’s computer. The computer might be infected, might have spy wares or have no the security measures.

Cyber cafes are also not secure for online banking. In most cafes the data that you enter is saved by the owner thus, you might not be sure about the level of security of your information. If you forget to log out properly it would expose your security to risk. One should only his/her PC for online baking.

Internet comes from the service provider company via a cable into a modem then into the router. The router then sends out Internet data via Wi-Fi or cables. Most routers have password-protected code making it hard for criminals to temper with your Internet. Thus it is advisable to make this set up when your hook up your router.

Windows provides an option to automatically download and even install patches and updates to systems that are connected to Internet. This is facilitated by windows as a guide in ensuring all updates are installed. It is also possible to use available options in Windows to download and install the updates in your absentia.

Facebook is a personal network that allow a user to create online profile, link with other users with key emphasis on social relationships like friendships. It also involves sharing information with fellow users, like gender, contact details, interests, employment and educational background, as well as sharing files and links to music, photos, and videos.

The information that a user shares include; age and gender, photos and other media, interests, contacts, status updates, physical location and biographical information.

What are the security and privacy issues associated with social networking sites?

The contemporary society extensively uses social networking sites as a means of communication. While there are benefits derived from the distributed, collaborative approaches promoted by responsible use of the sites, information security and privacy issues are major concerns. The accessibility and volume of personal information in Facebook have attracted many cyber criminals. The softwares that support user participation are prone to malware thus threatening security and privacy. Common social networking risks include spear phishing, spoofing, social engineering and theft of identity.

Security and privacy in social networking are essentially behavioral issues and thus solutions are not technological per se. The information that one gives malicious people an opportunity to cheat. When one provides private, sensitive information poses a risk that technology solutions cannot be laid blame on.  Information like address, phone number, confidential business and personal information, financial information, social security number should not be put online.

Privacy

Facebook makes it easy for sensitive information to be availed to the public domain unintentionally. To address the privacy issue one has to answer key question: who (only) can see the information? Who controls the information I provide in Facebook?  What information about me are other users able to pass to others? Do I have trust with those I am connected with?

Utmost care should be practiced whenever sharing information through posts. Empirical evidence shows that sharing too much information has even led to kidnaps and burglaries in US. Besides the fact that now social networks allow cross posting exposes users to more danger.

Facebook has many assumptions on privacy of information. Some privacy settings assume that one wants to share information that is found in the default settings. Thus before setting up an account make sure you fully understand the privacy settings. This information you can get from open Book and Reclaim privacy which is a browser tool for adjusting ones Facebook privacy settings.

Security

The AccessNowGuide is a good resource that offers critical basic tips about the e-mail security. Despite the end-to-end encryption (HTTPS) that are provided by Gmail and Hotmail email services, risks still linger. The security in a Box tip sheet, security check list, Hotmail’s guide and HTTPS, everywhere there are some of the resources one can get information from.

Care should be taken when accessing social network account in cyber cafes. Always delete your password and browsing record whenever using a browser on a public machine. See Security in A Box: How to destroy sensitive information on deleting history and password. It is advisable when login into your account to use https:// which adds a layer of security through encryption of the traffic from the browser to the site. See Security in A Box: How to remain anonymous and bypass censorship on the Internet.

Make sure you use secure passwords for both the email and social sites. The password should be regularly changed. Creating strong password involves several steps:

Think of a phrase (not a single word);

Make sure the phrase is 8 or more characters if not make it longer;

Make sure you combine numbers, symbols, lowercase and uppercase letters;

Do not use similar password for more accounts as this can be easily trapped especially where there is no HTTPS;

Regularly change the systems, preferably every 3 months;

Where you have a problem in remembering passwords a secure encrypted program such as KeePass is recommended;

It’s advisable to test the strength of your password by taking the online test.

What are the precautions I should take?

Firstly, I should make sure that the computer that I am using has proper security measures by having anti-virus and keeping all applications and OS patches updated.

Secondly, I should be cautious when clicking a link that will direct me another page or even running an online application irrespective of its origin. Many of the applications that are embedded in social sites require your private information and this is what cyber criminals use to distribute their malware.

Thirdly, I should be sure that my password is unique. One should never use the same passwords on all accounts as it increases vulnerability of attacks.

Screen names that one chooses should not give so much of one’s personal information.

Fourthly, take care on whom I add as a friend, pages I join and other subscriptions as the more “likes” and friends you have the more information you share.

Fifthly, I should never assume privacy in the sites. Let information that should be confidential remains so and let the posts be seen by only those whose information I am comfortable with disclosing to a stranger.

Sixly, I should allow my personal discretion guide me on any posting I make. Information shared online might not be retracted later and thus it’s almost permanent.

Seventhly, I should configure all privacy settings to allow only the people I trust access the information I give out. It is also advisable to restrict others from posting on my timeline. The default settings in Facebook allow some information be visible to the public, this should be changed.

Eighthly, I should acquaint myself fully with the privacy policy of Facebook. If I am in agreement with the policy then I can proceed and register as a member otherwise do not enter in the site.

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