This threat has been an on-going concern for web browser developers and security experts for the past five years. It is a very serious threat because it involves you and me, the victims when a hijacker takes over the computer without us even knowing what hit us.
Hackers can easily snatch up all the cookies in the jar. HTTP cookies are the reason we have anti-spyware, malware, and weaknesses in the wall against attack from invaders. They leave a trail of information, since they are basically text files saved by the web browser, a hacker can follow the trail towards sensitive, personal information saved from the internet. Here is a couple tricks the hackers will use to pull your pants down, no one wants to be caught with their britches hanging out in the wind, so Computer Geeks will tell you how to prevent this from happening too.
Session Fixation: A session is when you log onto the internet, either through LAN or Wireless. The fixation is sending a link that will set the user’s session id once the user logs in. Once this is done, the hacker has easy access to that user’s computer.
Sidejacking: This is a common attack from hackers where they sniff out the packets of information being sent back and forth between two parties and steal the session cookie. While many sites encrypt the login password at the homepage, the rest of the site is often unrestricted, allowing hackers to intercept the information that the user might think is secure yet little does he know…a hooded, sniveling little junior high genius knows this is his in, his entrance into your computer. WiFi are vulnerable and are perfect for hackers to run around hijacking your browser and stealing all the files you thought were safe.
Cross-site scripting: Another widely used and widely damaging attack by hackers who want to hijack your computer is by a trick. The trick is by fooling the computer into thinking the code is trusted, meanwhile it is malicious and once in your computer-devastating.
Man-in-the-Middle: The worst one of all. Let’s set the stage for this attack: Two people are involved in a private conversation online about matters that do no need to be heard by anyone else. On the side is a third party, an unknown party that could benefit from the information being said between the two people. All the third party has to do is wait for one of them so send the public key, and once that is intercepted, the third party can impersonate the two people and take complete control of what is talked about. Scary. The best way to prevent this is to put passwords on public keys so that when you are using WiFi, it is not open for hackers to jump right in.
We talked about the different types of hijacking, now let’s talk about preventing them.
Use a long, random number as your session key, this stops the hacker from guessing the key through trial and error. Encrypting your session is a good way to waylay attackers by creating complicated algorithms that will make the sensitive information only readable to you and others who have the key.
One simple and easy tip that Computer Geeks will leave you with: log out when you are done with a session, it will save your life.
For all you frugal frogs out there feeling jumpy about paying for that “extra protection” on your Anti-Virus program, here is some information that might help with that decision.
Personally I run two programs on my laptop, AVG and Avast, both on the free plan. That means on the “upgrade” screen that always keeps popping up to remind me to buy the “good” version, mine is the one with only one check next to it while the “good” version is the one with ALL the checks.
If you are unsure about whether to pay that $50 clams for the “good” version, there is a good reason to hesitate. AVG, or Anti Virus Guard, used to be free with all the protection available. Then it was bought out and was offered at a price, but what happened to the protection? You might have noticed the pop-up feature, and it pops up once per day for one month each year, all this is designed to make you buy the better version.
The free antivirus kit has less protection now, it has an outdated search tool for rootkits, which is malware that enables continuous access to a computer. Apparently the older free version 7.5 can search and root-out rootkits, but the newer version ?lacks any ability to do anything like protect your computer from such a threat, which is a dangerous one.
Are you thinking what I am thinking? If this trend of taking off protection on the free versions continues, then that so called anti-virus will no longer be free, it will cost you a crashed PC!
The recommended version of AVG includes online and identity protection, anti-spam, and enhanced firewall, along with the basic free version features of High Speed Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware with auto updates and LinkScanner for safe searching.
In a test run by PC World who were also concerned with this question, the results came in with AVG at number 3, Avast at number 2, and Avira AntiVir Personal came in at number 1 for detection, disinfection, and speed. The test was run through a program AV-Test based in Germany, and these three along with Microsoft Security Essentials, who came right behind AVG in the rankings, PC Tools, Comodo, Panda Cloud, and ClamWin.
That old adage comes back with “nothing is free”. If you want the best protection from those viruses, spam, and malicious software that is constantly attacking people’s computers, then you better whip out the dollars and pay up. It is unfortunate that there is no?altruistic?company out there offering it’s security for free, like Microsoft Security Essentials is boasting, but that is reality. I just checked my AVG’s status, and it told me LinkScanner and other “paid for” features are running smoothly. Interesting, very interesting how they offer this for a price yet it tells me I can use it for free.
The decision is yours, the information that Anti-Virus programs gives you is very confusing, so consulting with others is strongly recommended to get a good opinion on the right program.
If you are new to the Computer Geeks Blogs, then you are in for an awakening, as this blog is where you can come for the TRUTH. We are hit with information as soon as we wake up and it lasts all day until we go unconscious. This can lead to health problems, as well as bad habits, so at this blog we try to alleviate the symptoms by cutting out all the B.S. and getting down to the facts.
The fact is that leaving your PC unprotected, or relying on some third rate anti-virus program, is not just unsafe it is down right ignorant. Microsoft has released a security tool for everyone to use, oh boy! Is it what you need during these times of dangerous, unsecured websites, drive-by attacks by hackers, and malicious downloads that you don’t even know is happening?
Microsoft Security Essentials, the new free anti-virus software that replaces Windows Live OneCare which costs money and only protected against adware and spyware, is available for all. It will protect you from not just these two attacks, but also from rootkits, malware, viruses, and Trojans. It goes back to Windows xp, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. But there is some drawbacks here that are significant enough to complain about.
The first is that you need a computer that has a valid license to run Windows. This leaves a whole slew of companies with their computers unaccepted thus unprotected. By throwing this software into as many computers as they can, which is Microsoft’s aim, to give freely of what they found to be a “super” deal. Do not be too sure.
Think if this anti-virus program made up the majority of protection for millions of people with computers. Green light for hackers, red light for you. By trying to be altruistic Microsoft seems to have mixed motives. Maybe if this software was perfect in every way and made life worry free, then we wouldn’t have to explain the truth to you: Microsoft is looking out for themselves, the selfish company.
It is interesting how all these anti-virus competitor companies such as McAfee, Symantec, and Norton dismiss Microsoft Security Essentials as being insignificant compared to their programs. Yet their shares have fallen drastically since the release of MSE in July of 2009 when they released the beta. Who is right? Who is wrong? It seems the war against viruses has turned inward and now a battle for supremacy over who is the most protecting has taken over. What about us?
If you are looking for the right anti-virus program, I urge you to test each one out. Try Microsoft Security Essentials, see how it fits with your system. Do not take the word of any blog, article, or anyone who tells you that their software is the best. The world we live in is hostile, so take the right actions to prevent your personal and business life from being invaded.
These anti-virus programs all work. It is just a matter of scanning for the truth and quarantining the lies.
Flash Drives, or SSD (Solid-State Drives as they are not commonly known) have become one of the best ways to transfer information from on computer to another. It is so simple, you plug in this little piece of plastic with a USB connector into the proper receptacle on the desktop or laptop, and presto there are your saved files, reports, presentations, and homework papers.
SSD’s are like HDD’s or Hard Disk Drives in the sense that they are a data storage unit. The difference is that it is not a disk, but a microchip. This makes data storage more durable, as it is encased in plastic it can withstand shock and temperature damage, it also provides a longer life as it does not need batteries . SSD’s became popular in the military in the 90’s for it’s fast and reliable use when dealing with enemies and missions.
Flash Drive got the name for it’s ability to erase with the speed that of a camera’s flash.
It has become widely used by students today. They are the perfect tool for getting the homework, research papers, and essays done on time. It makes the student’s life easier because they can do the work out on their laptop or desktop at home, save it to the Flash Drive, and bring it to school to print it out.
They used to be costly to buy, now they are only $10 to $15 dollars depending? on how much memory you buy. They go as low as 4GB and get up to 16GB.
One thing that is a drawback of the Flash Drive is it’s vulnerability to viruses and malicious software, or mal-ware. For example, when you save the work you did all night, the last night before it is due, and take it to school to print out. Sure, when you save it on YOUR computer it is free of any viruses, but you do not know what kind of mischief is lingering on the school computers. Chances are they are filled with crap just waiting for a USB Flash Drive to plug in so they can invade it. Say goodbye to that hard worked, procrastinated paper. Those worms that squirm around computers that are unsafe can ruin you just by plugging in your Flash Drive.
So how can you protect yourself from this threat?
Download this free anti-virus software that can scan for viruses within Flash Drives here. By doing this you ensure that your work will be safe, because you can run system checks to see if has any potential viruses before you plug it back into your home computer. That is the last thing you need, a worm working it’s way through every computer that you put your dirty little Flash Drive in.
Another little tip to top the virus trick can be downloaded free here, this will make sure that when you plug in your Flash Drive that it won’t immediately jump out and start screwing up. By disabling the Autorun file, you will have to open it manually, but if that is the price to pay for being safe? Take it.
A few blog posts ago, I touched upon Microsoft Security Essentials’ recent accolades from AV-Comparatives, an anti-malware testing group that compares various anti-malware solutions and ranks them accordingly. As reported, Microsoft Security Essentials is one of just two anti-malware packages — the other being F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010 — that were rated “very fast” in every test category included in the company’s comparisons.
Adding to that initial honor, AV-Comparatives has also given Microsoft Security Essentials the award for the best performance of those programs tested.? Subjecting the competing anti-maleware solutions to a variety of tests derived from real-world scenarios — downloading, extracting, copying, encoding files, application launches, etc. — gave a? clear leader in Microsoft Security Essentials.
What became most noticeable was how little Microsoft Security Essentials demanded of a system’s resources, contributing to AV-Comparative’s decision to rank it as the best-performing anti-malware solution that you can get for free. Brisk performance in every major category, while being light on resources, is reason enough to give this highly recommended anti-malware program a look — particularly when you taking into consideration that it’s free, outpacing those solutions that cost money.
Proving its mettle against the competition, Microsoft Security Essentials is a great tool to protect your computer with.