Tuesday, May 8, 2007

You can't download condoms. Low tech, often means safe.

I want to talk about security, but not about the type of security where you download some kind of program to protect you. No, this time let’s talk about low tech.

There are so many simply ways you can protect yourself from electronic thievery and the like that don’t involve special hardware or software.

Take for example using your credit card over the internet. By now you should know that if a padlock appears on a site it means you have a secure connection and that information passed between yourself and the web site cannot be read by others.

Actually that doesn’t mean your safe, because even unscrupulous people can make a secure connection. You also need to know who your dealing with and decide weather you trust them or not.

But that’s for another post. I’m going to talk about a low tech solutions to protect yourself.

Have you heard of a think called a Trojan? It’s a program that infiltrates your computer allowing its owner control. Control can mean running programs like keyboard loggers that record your every keystroke (in the hope of finding you credit card number etc). So when you enter you credit card number why not start notepad and click back and forth between the web page and notepad, occasionally typing some random numbers into notepad. Then you wont have to worry about a keyboard logger that slipped through your high tech securty suite.

My brother suggested another cool low tech solution. Save a text file with the middle six digits of your credit card and then copy and paste it. Don’t use the whole number because that might be able to be found. Also don’t be stupid and call it “credit card number.txt”, give something memorable like “are you sure you can afford it.txt” this will also help you control spending habits!

I’m always surprised how terrible people are with the saving their files. That’s why Microsoft saw fit to make a folder called “My Documents” for us to store everything in.

This makes an easy place for virus writers to tell their programs to search for useful information. I personally use a folder called “My files” on a separate Hard Drive. This has the added advantage of making my C: (Window Hard Disk) free to format and re-install Windows from time to time (it needs it).

When it comes to email security, tell your friends that all future emails coming from you will have a subject that starts with something personal. E.g. “Today’s topic:” or “Newz:” and then ad whatever you need specific to each email. If you’re email gets hijacked by a virus, your friends will always know if you authorized the mail they received from you or not.

Never under any circumstance store passwords on you computer unless they are in a specific encrypted program. Why not write them on a piece of paper and store it safely.

You see we have high tech lives and are under high tech dangers.

Don’t be afraid to come up with a new low tech way of keeping safe. If you think you have a good one, add it as a comment here.

Keep safe.

No comments: