Thursday, February 14, 2008

Personal Computer Security

Data Protection - Essential Downloads To Protect Personal Data ....

I was reading Steve Riley's Blog. He has posted a well written article about supporting your family, friends and neighbours. I totally agree with him, as soon some of your neighbours comes to know that you are computer savy you will get a support call, free of charge.

Following to his post, i would like to mention other security products which you can use for yourself, friends, family and neighbours.

With "CyberFraud" ever increasing, everyone should re-assess how seriously we take data security on a personal level. Here are some essential downloads that can help.

First, ensure your PC is protected by a decent firewall.

Comodo Firewall Pro is free and consistently ends up towards the top of the three in independent testing. It's unobtrustive as far as system resource impact is concerned, uses a host intrusion-prevention system to prevent malware from installing, and it also runs on both 32- and 64-bit versions of Vista. You will get the automatic updates, rootkit and real-time traffic protection you would expect from a full enterprise-level firewall but at a price you most certainly wouldn't.

Equally as important is spyware protection.

Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5, which is finally fully compatible with both Vista and Firefox, comes to the rescue. While the interface is in need of modernisation, we can't knock the performance. It helps prevent spyware and adware getting onto your system in the first place, and if you install it on an already infected PC, it works wonders in getting it clean.

Unfortunately, the installation of computer-comprising and data-stealing torjans is the most common kind of infection you will pick up when link clicking, downloading and practising unsafe surfing.

McAfee SiteAdvisor is another free download for Firefox and IE, and it leaves other antiphishing toolbars in the shade of being both unobtrusive and informative. Perform a Google search and it uses traffic light ticks to warn of the status of a link before you visit: hover over the tick and a balloon appears with more detail; click the baloon to visit the McAfee site for the comprehensive analysis of dangers such as spam email delivery, infected downloads and dodgy affiliate links. The same traffic light principle is applied within the browser itself whenever you visit a site.

When it comes to data privacy, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to remain anonymous while browsing the web, and the truly paranoid will want to leave as minimal a click-trail as possible.

Anonymizer does as good a job as any proxy server we have seen. It hides your IP address by redirecting your web traffic through Anonymizer 128-bit SSL secure severs, so the websites you visit see its generic IP address rather than yours. An integrated antiphishing early-warning tool helps protect you from scams and the latest Anonymizer works with Vista, too.

Ultimately, if you want to protect your personal data, there is one technology you simply have to use: data encryption. Your options here are as varied as they are baffling, but when it comes to value and ease of use, few compare to the open-source hero

TrueCrypt, the latest version is 32- and 64-bit Vista friendly, as well as being able to write data to removable USB drives and MP3 players. It can encrypt your data at the indiviual file level or entire hard drive, using 448-bit keys (Blowfish), 256-bit keys (AES, Surpent, Triple DES and Twofish), as well as 128-bit keys (CAST5). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file, which can then me mounted as a real disk, and will happily create a fully hidden volume. It's easy to use thanks to the Windows GUI, will run on Linux, and provides a much more secure environment for your data that, say, a CD in the post.

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