22 January, 2012

by Updated on 22 January, 2012 5 comments

Guide To Maintain Online Security & Privacy With Freewares [ Update 3 ]

Online security and privacy are dream these days. It's too difficult to maintain your anonymity or privacy on the internet, if not impossible. Security is also in the same way. It's also a common thinking that you must have to go with professional paid software and support to maintain your online as well as offline security and privacy. Though, you need professional support team, if you have an enterprise setup, you can still rely on completely free software for every need.
Everything of you daily life is online. Your communication email, instant messenger, your financial transactions, social media, you identity, location, personal photos, family relation status and everything else you think off. Its important to take your security and privacy very seriously.
This guide includes easy steps to secure your online privacy. The other thing is, all software and services mentioned here are ONLY FREE software. No any paid or trial version software is discussed here. Give your 20 minutes and most of the concerns will be covered here.

Whenever you are not connected to the internet, it's some relief to your computer security. You just have to care about the thing you personally are doing. This includes installation of various software, data transfer from various memory devices like pen drive, optical media.

So what are the steps you should follow to be secure?

Antivirus
Everyone aware of this. You can have any good software suite but make sure its also not spying on you. Though, its very difficult to trust anyone, you can go with Avast or Avira. Both offer a good free variant of their security suite. Make sure, the software engine and definition database are updated regularly. What you can do is, keep the Auto update option in your antivirus software ON.
  • Avast:: Avast is a most famous Free antivirus solution and also give the same level of security any other paid antivirus offers. Avast is light on system resources, easy to use and free. Users have to fill the registration form provided in the software itself to validate the forever free license. It automatically updates itself wherever you connect to the internet. 
  • Another good free option for antivirus are Avira (Download) and Microsoft Security Essentials (Download)
  • Avira is a good alternative to Avast but give more False Positive warnings and may interrupt the common work. It is also an irritating for basic users. 
  • If you are  using Windows 10, Microsoft Windows Defender is also a better option. It is well integrated with system and works silently. Its very good at threat detection and can be used as first and main security protector.
Firewall
Firewalls is a protection wall between you and the rest of the world. Keeping this wall strong to protect yourself is important. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don't permit.
The built-in firewall of Windows is not sufficient to protect you, you must install a good Firewall.
  • Comodo Firewall: Comodo is popular for Firewall though now it offers antivirus and other solutions. The standalone firewall is a great solution to your firewall need. It has Auto Sandbox technology and cloud based activity monitor support. It is very easy to use that anyone can understand how to use it.
  • Download Comodo Firewall from HERE.
  • There are other options available for firewall like ZoneAlarm and BufferZone. BufferZone is really a simple to use even simpler than Comodo. But if you want a specialist, Comodo is best.
Anti Spyware
Spyware is a form of malicious software that monitors your activities, can collect your personal information and send it to the predefined address without your knowledge. The data it collects may include your key-loggers, passwords, internet activity monitoring data and anything. Having a Anti spyware is an additional benefit. 
  • There are many good AntiSpyware software available like Spybot Search and Destroy (Download) best one in this category.
Oh my God, how many software you have to install? Let's find out.  
  • Avast is a free and specialize in Antivirus, where as Comodo firewall is a specialist of Firewall. Spybot is a specialist in antispyware.
  • You can get the best combination of all these three functions in Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • You can also use Avast + Comodo Firewall which has other functions like sandboxing and malicious activity monitor by any software which can give you better security against Spyawres.
  • Another option is to use Comodo Internet Security (Free) which has all these functions ( Antivirus + Firewall + Antispyware )
Browser
No any security software will save you if you are using an outdated web browser like IE 6. You can use any available browser like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, or Internet Explorer. Keep your browser up to date. All these browsers have hot updates enabled so you don't have to bother about updating the small updates only keep track of major releases.
  • If you are using Firefox or Chrome, you must install following extensions to protect your online security. 
  • Web Of Trust  This is a community based website reputation tool. It's a must have for everyone and alert you if you are browsing a site having bad back records.
  • Close ‘n’ Forget – Very simple Firefox extension that closes the current tab and make Firefox forget about the visit: suppressing cookies related to the current page, cleaning the browser history and so on.
While you Browse
  • Always have HTTPS enabled for every site you use. Most of the sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter have the HTTPS option available. You just have to enable it. 
  • Never download software from unknown sources or bad reputation site (Web of Trust extension will help) or from unknown Torrents.
  • Never try to download serials or keys of the software.
  • Always use a separate email address for personal + banking + shopping + other important activities and separate for social networks and other online activities.
  • Keep your password Strong yet easy to remember and don't use same ID passwords for different sites.
  • Enable 2 step verification for GMail and Multiple Sing-In for two or more GMail accounts for easy switching between two accounts.
  • Also enable 2 step verification for other popular web services. These services have 2 step verification facility: Facebook, Microsoft All accounts like Onedrive, Outlook and other, Dropbox, Yahoo!. Enable it.
  • Check what applications are accessing your Social networks with Great Service MY Permissions
  • Clear all unwanted email notifications from various social networks with Notification Control 
Phishing

A bait, most probably an email message is sent to you, so that you fall pray to the link inserted in the message that is not a genuine link but looks more similar to the expected.
When you click on the link, you will be taken to the malicious website where it asks you to log in credentials and when you do that, your account is hacked.

Take an example: you may get an email saying that your bank account is suspended and you need to take quick action to avoid penalty or avoid suspension and there will be some time limit to do the necessary action. It asks you to click on the bank website link given in the email and log in to your online banking account.
  • In this case, the sender tries to pressure you by giving time limit and the email looks as if it is sent from the authorized website.
What you should do?
  • Never click on the link / URL in the email. Type it yourself or from your bookmarks.
  • Be more cautious when entering credentials like passwords, credit card numbers or other such sensitive information and always double check the URL of the page before you enter the data.
  • If you are giving such information, Check for httpS again.
  • Never use Free Wi-Fi, unknown hotspot, if the website is not httpS, as all the data can be traced.
  • Banks never send such emails and never ask for the log in credentials.
Trojan
Trojans are software those behave like a good guy but in the background do the bad work very silently, without any visible change in system activity. The most of the time, Trojans install a key-logger, keystroke recorder software and record everything you type and then sent all that recorded data to the respective server without  your notice. You keep using the other side of that software and feel good.

What to do?
  • It is really difficult to track the Trojan but Firewall can come to your help and track inappropriate activity. 
  • You can always check which application is sending and receiving the data over the network.
  • Never download software from unknown sources.

Use Password Manager Software

  • It's quite difficult for most of the people to accept the idea of using special software to manage password and other log-in info. But more you get online, the clutter of passwords, bookmarks, email address and other thing increase and so we tend to use the same passwords everywhere. Start using it. The best option available is KeePass Password Safe. It's open source, proven security, encryption control and everything you want. It's great and should not be compared with any paid or free competition.  KeePass Homepage.
  • Knowledge is the Power.  If you are interested in protecting yourself online or want to help others keep their identities safe consider a computer science degree online.

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About The Author
Passionate Technology Blogger. Not a profession. Find only real life useful and simplified Tech articles, How-To's on TopTrix.
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5 comments:

  1. Good guide. Thank u.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for all of that, I wonder if there is anyway I can prevent spam posts on my blogger blog. Any advice would be helpful. Merry Christmas Pravin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two ways. Either you can activate the Captcha word verification or you can disable anonymous comments. Most of the automated spam comments are anonymous.
      There is no any other way. You can use other complete different commenting system like Facebook social plugin or specialized commenting like Disqus and other.

      Delete
  3. Thank you very much Pravin. I enjoy our tips very much

    ReplyDelete