[Skyman] A brief intro into today’s class: We will be covering the basics of home computer security and wireless at the home. Most of this has been said in open chat, but it is time to offer this in a moderated chat format so we can put this into a concise way for storage in the forums. My background: 29 years of working with PC’s and networking. I used to be a programmer and troubleshooter for various companies in the past. I have designed networks and solutions for several Fortune 100 companies. My knowledge of Apple based products is limited, but the basics which I will try to convey here, will apply to them as well.
[benniez] Thanks for offering this class, should you really have a computer just for surfing and fun and a separate one for banking to be safe?
[Skyman] After the R/V... YES.. Your banking computer should not be connected to the outside world.
[igw] Do you have any feedback on Trusteer Rapport program found at trusteer.com - it's a free lightweight software program used by the banking industry to protect confidential data sent from the PC to the bank.
Read More Link on Right
[Skyman] igw: I have no knowledge of this program...
[chillimac] is the apple pc, or any other operating system safer, or more secure than others, which is the best you can by?
[Skyman] Chillimac: MAC are great computers. There is a long standing "hand-off" to hackers towards the MAC in general, but that changing...
[avr] What would be a practical computer to be used only for secured banking activity?
[Skyman] ANything that will hold your banking software and a printer... It does not need to be the best systems. just functional.
DEFINITIONS OF MODEM, ROUTERS, WIRELESS SECURITY ENCRYPTIONS AND SSID CAN BE FOUND HERE: http://www.3sintel.net/f ··· lossary/
[sfmhi] How do one know if their computer has been hacked? besides the obvious id credit card, etc. breach.
[Skyman] sfmhi: Long answer to that one. let's save that for another time
[mpool90] I run spydoctor and procleaner everyday...is that enough?
[Skyman] mpool90: What are you trying to do? I run various cleaners every few days...
[ChrisGermanator] skyman... pro to pro... what do you really think about fire walls...
[Skyman] ChrisGermanator: Firewalls are great, but in most cases more then one within a DMZ is nice... But, let's try to keep this about basic home security and computers...
DMZ - demilitarized zone - when you're a big company that limits outgoing messages, data packets.... and you have a firewall on both sides and a proxy server to move things around
[devildogmom] Can wireless home network be safe? Or should it be hard wired? Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.
[Skyman] devildogmom Yes they can. Most wireless home networks will be safe IF they're setup correctly. You really cannot get way fro wirless networks at the house anymore. Most of mine are hard wired, but when I upgrade my systems, a wireless device will be needed...
[Beefy] Is a T-1 line the safest?
[Skyman] Beefy A T-1 line is good, but requires a dedicated IP address for the provider. With that come other issues, but again, not really in the scope of the class...
[chipmunk] I am on a wireless network from a coffee shop from where I pick up their signal. Should I immediately get secure internet as soon as it RVs. I also get a shared IP address warning. What does that mean?
[Skyman] chipmunk YES, get a secure network. When you are in a local unprotected wireless network, it is extremely esy to hack into your computers. If you do this, please, make sure that you have ALL personal and private information off of the laptop.
[stillsuki2] Can the banking computer be on line long enough to be up dated
[Skyman] stillsuki2 It can... but during that time frame, various worms and other things can be loaded on your computer. I plan on never letting my bank pay my bills for me and use another computer to get my bank statements. I'll print them out and then carry them over to the banking computer.
[spida] question, if you can not use your banking computer to connect to the outside world how can you get your bank info?
[Skyman] spida Just answered that...
[misskitty] When you say our banking computer should not be connected to the outside world, does that mean we should not use it to sign on to banking and financial websites, to check account balances etc.? Thx
[Skyman] misskitty I'm not going to. People, We really need to alter the way we think about computer security. Currently most of us bare have enough in our accounts to warrant any notice. But when the R/V occurs, believe, people will take notice of more than 6 digits in a bank account and will try to trace it.
[sfmhi] What do you think of McAffie (sp) or Norton anti virus programs? Do you know of others that are more effective?
[Skyman] sfmhi Both of them are great programs. Just make sure that your software gets daily updates from the manufacturer.
[Skyman] The updates are called "signature files" then contain the latest updates to the various virus's and worms that are known
[friend3] Could you elaborate on "Your banking comuter should not be connected to the outside world." How do you do banking on the net and not be connected to outside world?
[Skyman] friend3 answered that above
[pmw1973] does repartitioning your hard drive insure its clean
[Skyman] No, reformatting it will
[pulaski] Is your computer safe when it is turned off but yet connected to your home wireless router while the router remains on usually all the time?
[Skyman] As long as the computer is turned off, you're fine. It's when you turn it on and it starts "talking" is when you become vulnerable
[okienow] This morning you talked about home routers and safety precautions everyone should take to be safe. Can you give a step by step process for us to follow?
[Skyman] Step 1Make sure that when they set the router up at the house make sure the proper encryption is set up. Step 2 - Change the back end password to the router. That will do for starters. Much more can be done with that - it would take an hour to describe.
[Skyman] The most important this is that you change the password and then on Step 1 make sure you are running a WPA2 encryption. See definition of WPA2 in the glossary in the forums
[~PETERSMA] Reformatting will not ensure it is clean. Rootkits can survive reformatting. Not arguing, rather trying to clarify so that someone does not get the wrong illusion of security their system. Please accept this with the best of intentions
[Skyman] I agree with that - most Rootkits will survive a standard reformat.
[Skyman] A rootkit will be defined in the glossary that will be in the forums as well
[txgirl] Can you ask skyman if my plans are to have my money in several accounts but only keep enough in my pay bill account to cover the bills is it OK to have that one on line and how does he suggest getting the statements from the accounts with the most money
[Skyman] "Money on several accounts" is up to you... getting statements from accounts with large sums of money, print them out from the bank if you're going to do it online.
[msjeta1] thank you for answering questions tonight - post rv when we go to set up our new systems who would be the best person to contact to do that securely?
[Skyman] Thank you.... somebody that you trust that knows alot about computers and how to set them up
[WTD46] What are the steps needed to set up secure home network? Thank You
[Skyman] Again, get a password on your router; get the WPA2 encryption key for the wireless part of router; if possible, do everything that you can with network cable so everything is hard wired. If you can't then you have to go to wireless.
[averysgrampa] What do you think about the LifeLock program?
[Skyman] Nice program.
[leslourich] ipad question How safe are bank phone apps?
[Skyman] Most of those have an encryption that the bank uses. Relatively secure
[sfmhi] What is the best router on the market to prevent id theft and/or hacking?
[Skyman] It's the same question as 'What is the best car to drive across town' All routers have the basics - most routers now are very robust in their features - its just which one do you like best
[..tigger1] Skyman is it a good idea to get a whole new computer or laptop after this RV?
[Skyman] I'm going to
[Gram] So much of what we do....shopping, banking, stock trades, etc is done online. Are you saying we should not do that anymore?
[Skyman] Doing shopping and stock trades - most of those people have their own HTTPS certificates (security layer), so when you look at your screen - look for HTTPS which means you're within a secure layer. Financial institutions have a very robust certificate format. Shopping ... you still can - just be sure that when you enter your credit card info you see the HTTPS up top in the web address...
[wheezer2] So are you saying that we should avoid do any line banking?
[Skyman] That's up to you - I'm not going to
[chillimac] What is the best most secure system you can buy, period.... or is it the ops or the wireless that is more important for security? or is it all of the above?
[Skyman] It's a combination of the two. The most secure system you can have at home would be a hard drive that has been encrypted and a good wireless router that handles what we talked about above.... whether its an Apple, a Mac, linux based or Windows
[zipper72] What do you think of an external hard drive that can be hidden safely?
[Skyman] Good idea
[Skyman] The external can be used to backup your system... most important BACKUPs
[countryboy] How do you download your statement from your bank and not be online. You said earlier that you could get a worm but you also said you printed your statement and took it to your banking computer which is not. I believe you need to expound on this information. Thanks. Appreciate you doing the Q/A
[Skyman] You print your statement from your bank from a computer that's online. Take your statement over to your computer that's not... You have two separate computers - one that has for example Quicken.... you would have to re-enter that data. If you do this once a week, its not that bad
[lileagle] Would you recommend securing your home wireless network by setting your router up with a password to secure your connection
[OxygenSpa] I dislike changing passwords but I understand so do 98% of us so many of us would also be vulnerable in that area, any advise on those?
[Skyman] Change passwords once a month and make sure the passwords aren't parts of your name, or consecutive in numbers
[friend3] how safe is using the wireless hotspots form phone companies or hotspot on your phone?
[Skyman] They are better than open 'hotspots' in coffee shops
[blossomcat] Skyman - how do you set up pw on router.? My router was provided by Internet carrier Telus.
[Skyman] Check the documentation on your router. In the documentation it should tell you how to access the router software. By default most passwords on routers that you buy from the store... that password is 'admin'
[olesailor] so what type of encryption software do you recommend?
[Skyman] Pick and choose - there are lots of them out there....
[Skyman] I'm not trying to promote a particular product in any way
[sfmhi] Skyman, pls clarify your answer to chillimac. Are you recommending PC's rather than laptops? TY
[Skyman] No, I'm not recommending either one - whichever one is best for you is the one to have
[peacewoman] what is your opnion of using cloud storage for saving/storing computer information?
[Skyman] I have mixed feelings about that
[igw] What's your opinion of Microsoft Security Essentials as opposed to Norton and others?
[Skyman] Both of them work well. Personally Norton has more robust features and responds faster to new threats.
[canuck] Is CC cleaner a good program for getting rid of cookies?
[Skyman] Dove uses it all the time..
[Skyman] I'd like to thank you all for your time and patience. I know that we did not get to all the questions that were posted. Feel free to ping me when I am back as a MOd. We'll move the conversation to the Nuthouse.. Thank you agai
Short for modulator-demodulator. A modem is a device or program that enables a computer to transmit data over, for example, telephone or cable lines. Computer information is stored digitally, whereas information transmitted over telephone lines is transmitted in the form of analog waves. A modem converts between these two forms.
A physical device that joins multiple wired or wireless networks together. Technically, the wired/wireless router connects networks. Think of them as language translators
Home networkers often use wired or wireless router, such as a DSL [data services link or data secure layer] or a cable modem broadband router joins the home's local area network (LAN) to the Internet.
Wireless Security Encryptions:
The first protocol the Wi-Fi Alliance created was Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP, introduced in the late 1990s.
WEP however, had serious security weaknesses and has been superseded by WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access).
Despite being easily hacked, however, WEP connections are still widely in use and may be providing a false sense of security to the many people who are using WEP as the encryption protocol for their wireless networks (either because they haven't changed the default security on their wireless access points/routers or because these devices are older and not capable of WPA or higher security).
Just as WPA replaced WEP, WPA2 has replaced WPA as the most current security protocol. WPA2 implements the latest security standards, including "government-grade" data encryption. Since 2006, all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products must use WPA2 security.
The bottom line is, if you're looking for a new wireless card or device, make sure it is labeled as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ so you know it complies with the latest security standard. For existing connections, make sure your wireless network is using the WPA2 protocol, particularly when transmitting confidential personal or business information.
SSID: Service Set ID: The name of your wireless broadcast name