Internet and Computer Security

Internet and Computer Security

 

Great talks on Saving the Family that can be used for FHE

  • David E. Sorensen, “You Can’t Pet a Rattlesnake,” Ensign, May 2001, 41

    • Pornography, though billed by Satan as entertainment, is a deeply poisonous, deceptive snake that lies coiled up in magazines, the Internet, and the television.

  • Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments by Jeffrey R. Holland;

    • Sex as a Sacred Marital Ordinance. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave an inspired discourse on human sexuality entitled “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments.” Defining sexual relations in marriage as a sacrament or sacred marital ordinance, he stated, “Sexual intimacy is not only a symbolic union between a man and a woman—the uniting of their very souls—but it is also symbolic of a union between mortals and deity. . . . Human intimacy is a sacrament, a very special kind of symbol”


Internet

The Internet can be a wonderful tool and resource for information, but caution must be exercised in order to protect families and individuals from the potential dangers that are present online. Church leaders repeatedly counsel members to avoid Internet pornography, gambling, and other evils that are available on the Web. The Church also provides links to many resources to help individuals and families use the Internet safely and wisely.

  • LDSMediaTalk.com Sharing technology ideas with LDS parents and youth to strengthen families. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.) 

  • “Protect Kids Web Site” ProtectKids.com is part of a national nonprofit effort to make the Internet safer for children and families. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “Web Wise Kids Web Site” This nonprofit organization is dedicated to teaching adults and children how to avoid online predators. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • ContentWatch Internet Protection Articles This site lists family-safe sites, online safety tips, and other helpful information. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • Free Training Learn what parents can do to protect their children and home from Internet pornography. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “Family Friendly Sites” This subsection of FamilyFriendlySites.com lists several helpful resources for parents to promote their children’s online safety. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “I Keep Safe Web Site” Provides information and resources for children, parents, and educators to promote safe Internet use. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “Get Net Wise Web Site” GetNetWise is a public service to help ensure that Internet users have safe and constructive online experiences. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “Internet Filter Review Site” This site provides product reviews of Internet filtering software and other anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)
     

  • “Internet Safe Web Site” This site is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families to educate people on Internet safety. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “Kid Smart Web Site” This site focuses on five safety tips for children to remember when using the Internet. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

  • “NetSmartz Workshop” The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource that teaches kids and teens how to stay safer online. (Note: This site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Church.)

 


Here is some great info I got at church about Internet, Media and Computer Security and Recourses

 

Internet and Computer Security Resources

Internet Filtering
This area is broken out into two different areas, Web Browsing/Access and Email.

With internet access there are many, many, many areas to be concerned about however with some basic knowledge and power you can limit your kids and your exposure to unwanted content and your security risks. Many of you might have heard of *pop-ups* (this is where you have opened a web site and another window is opened showing an ad). Some of these are valid and not harmful. However this is the number one way for spyware to install on your computer. The best way to handle it is to just close the window that opens by clicking on the small X in the upper right corner, BUT NEVER click on anything that says *click here* on one of these windows. It is important to teach your children this method of safe computing as well as they are the ones who usually click on those.

There are many web browser filters out there however most are very limited in what they provide or what web browser they work with etc. (this means that they can be worked around by using a different web browser). The best solutions for this kind of filtering has long been only (and even these are not 100%) made for large organizations/corporations. However the below link is for a product that is 100% free for use. It was created and is maintained by one of the top 3 companies in the web filtering/security market. It is very simple to use, very flexible and also very feature complete at the same time.

Web Browser: (Free)
http://www.k9webprotection.com

It is important for you to understand that any unknown/unsolicited email is considered SPAM or even a virus. If these are opened it may lead to small or large computer problems or damage and can expose kids (or you) to unwanted content. If you have looked at the message and do not know who the sender is it is good safe computing practice to just delete the message. Most importantly never click on anything within any unsolicited messages.

Some internet service providers provide some level of SPAM filtering, so check with your provider. If they do not below are a few good solutions.

Email: (Free, but serviced based)
www.spamjab.com
www.spam-stop.com (US association to spamjab.com)

Email: (Fee Based)
http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com/iHateSpam.cfm ($19.95 per year)

On Email/Spam filtering, some antivirus software packages provide solutions that are integrated, these work well. To list a couple they are Symantec and McAfee/Network Associates that provide this type of option

Other Filters…

                                                  Family Safe Media (www.familysafemedia.com)

                                                 www.SoftwareforParents.com

                                                http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/?ttreng=1&ttrkey=internet+filter

                                                www.Filterreview.com

                                                 www.Familyschoice.com

                                                www.Keytrapper.com

                                               www.pc-keystroke-recorder.com

TV safety

a.       Blocking TV stations…go to www.coxcommunications.com

b.      TV watching rules…do you have a contract?

c.       TV guardian http://www.familysafemedia.com/tv_guardian_summary.html

d.      TV and video game time managers http://www.familysafemedia.com/tv_time_management_tools_-_par.html

2)      Movies:

a.       www.kidsinmind.com (free)

b.      www.screenit.com (subscription based)

c.       Filtering DVD players http://www.familysafemedia.com/edited_movies_-_parental_contr.html

3)      Cellphones, iPods, etc.

a.       Do we monitor?  Internet enabled on cell phone?  Allowed to use anytime?

b.      iPod downloads?  Do you monitor and approve first?

 

Computer Security
In general the best thing to do is to make sure that your computer is up to date with all security patches from the software venders. The operating systems as well as any other software that is installed on the computer can cause security issues, this is why it is always a good idea to stay current with patching or upgrades. This is most important for the operating system (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, etc*, even Linux. Nothing is secure!)

Patching:
http://update.microsoft.com (this is for Microsoft Windows Updates)
http://office.microsoft.com/officeupdate/maincatalog.aspx?lc=en-us (this is for Microsoft Office Updates)

Spy ware:
There are a number of anti-spyware software packages on the market, some are free and others are Fee Based. However most are not as good (as effective) as the two that I have listed below.

Spyware: (Free)
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=435bfce7-da2b-4a6a-afa4-f7f14e605a0d&DisplayLang=en

Spyware: (Fee Based)
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/CounterSpy.cfm ($19.95 per year per computer)

Antivirus Software:
In the Antivirus Software arena there are many companies competing to get your business. There are however a few that are free and are by large AV companies that offer more feature rich versions at some cost. Below are just a few. (There are some antivirus hardware venders as well however these usually cost a lot more and can be more difficult to configure for home use)

AntiVirus: (Free)
http://free.grisoft.com
http://www.my-etrust.com/microsoft/ (free for 1yr)
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/downloads/default.mspx (this is a list from Microsoft that has partner links for 90day trials. This would be a good way to see what impact the companies software will have on your computer. Or if you think you might have a virus right now but do not know which to get or have to money to do so right now. NOTE: there are also a couple links on this site for free anti spyware software as well.)

AntiVirus: (Fee Based)
http://www.grisoft.com (fee based version of the first one listed above)
http://www.mcafee.com
http://www.symantec.com
http://www.trendmicro.com
http://www.bitdefender.com
http://www.f-prot.com
http://usa.kaspersky.com
http://www.zonelabs.com
http://www.pandasoftware.com

Firewalls:
There are different kinds of firewalls that you need to be looking at and concerned with. These are hardware based and software based.

If you have a high speed (broadband) internet connection like Cox, or DSL from Qwest (basically anything other then using a modem and a phone line to dial up to the internet) you should have both the hardware and software firewalls. On these devices it is very important to change default passwords for administration of the device. It is also important to limit access to your network if you have a wireless network. With most of these devices you can also block access to websites based upon *key words*.

If you use dial up only then a software based firewall will be best for you.
Some companies that make hardware firewalls are:
http://www.netgear.com
http://www.linksys.com
http://www.dlink.com
There are many different kinds and prices for these, but not having one will surly cause heartache from virus and other attacks from the internet. Remember any data like banking accounts, medical information or other personal information that you have on your computer can be easily retrieved if you do not have something blocking others from accessing your computer, this is what the firewall does.

Companies that offer software firewalls are:
Microsoft in Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (if you have this just keep it and use it)
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Kerio.cfm (this is another good one to use)
Also all of the antivirus software companies listed above offer firewalls.

If you have a computer with Windows XP, make sure that it is updated with service pack 2. This will install many security fixes as well as load a firewall on the computer. My personal recommendation is to use this firewall and only this firewall if you have Windows XP. If you are running an older version of Windows I would recommend 3rd party firewalls, some of these come with antivirus software and others are sold separately. However some of these can be complicated and hard to use and can cause other software to stop functioning correctly, so you will need to be careful. Also if you are running anything but Windows XP you should consider upgrading to it or upgrading your computer if you can afford it. All other versions of Windows are no longer supported by Microsoft.

When it comes to security it might be nice to look at an *all in one* package to do it all but those products may not be the best and might even slow your computer down by 40% or more depending on the computer speed and what company*s software you use. This is why I like to keep things while not totally simple at least clean, meaning that a specific piece of software has a specific function. If I have a problem with something it makes it easier to know where to look and how to turn it off or remove it, update it etc… This is why to me the *all in one* solutions are not the best and why I like to keep is simple.

i-Tunes
Podcasts and other functions in i-Tunes can be managed through the parental controls options in i-Tunes. This is setup from the edit menu, and preferences. On the preferences panel select the Parental Controls tab and disable what you will*

Non Computer

TV:
Most TV*s that have been bought over the past 15 years have what is called a v-Chip in them. This chip allows you as the parent to selectively allow only those shows with specific ratings that you want. This is however only good if the channel and show is rated.

Satellite and Cable:
All of these (not Cox basic without a cable box) have the ability to have parental controls and passwords to allow the viewing of channels and shows at specific times of the day etc* They also usually have the ability to filter out the channel so that it does not have to show up on the channel listing/guide. If you need help with this just call the sat or cable provider and they should gladly help you set this up.

Remember that if you have just signed up for one of these services you may be been given 3 months of free pay channels. It is very important for you to look through what channels (even just the show titles can be bad) and to block these out before your kids find them.

On all of this the biggest thing to remember is to just talk to your kids (age appropriate) because in the end you cannot control what they may see or be exposed to in other homes.

Additional info:

http://www.spectorsoft.com – Key logging – log anything that is done on the computer

http://az.gov/webapp/offender – AZ Gov site for listing sex offenders


Below is information I have collected!

Be secure when using Gmail in public places

Google’s Gmail is one of the most popular free e-mail services around and the de facto standard in the technology community.  As with most webmail systems, when you sign in, you are on a secured (encrypted) page, but once you log-in, you are on regular unencrypted pages.  This isn’t much of a concern if you are in a secure environment like your home or office, but when you are connecting via a public wireless hotspot, this can be a bad thing.  Anything you do on an unsecured web page could be potentially collected by others that are connected to the same hotspot.  

An easy way to make sure you are secure whenever you use Gmail on a public hotspot is to add one simple character (the letter s) to your web address.

Instead of going to http://mail.google.com go to https://mail.google.com which tells Google to run your entire Gmail session in encrypted mode!  Encryption can slow down the performance, which is why it isn’t automatically in “secure” mode.  If you want to make sure that you always run Gmail in secure mode, you can go here to get the steps to change the settings permanently.


Install Virus protection. 

Don’t use the trial version that came with your computer and no longer has updates available, you need up to date antivirus protection to prevent viruses.  Try  AVG antivirus at www.grisoft.com they have a great program. They have a full version that includes daily updates for two years, for only $34. or, if you are confident that you wont be needing tech support, you can use their free version.


Spyware Protection. 

Lately, spyware has gotten so bad on the internet that it will cause as much, if not more damage to your
system than many viruses.  These two programs are a must, please installed, updated, to prevent the spyware from being installed in the first place.

First, is Spybot Search & Destroy from http://www.safer-networking.org . This is a free program, if you download
something called “Spybot” and it asks you to pay before it will clean out your computer, get rid of it and go back to the freeware page: www.asktcl.com/free and download it from one of the sites listed there. Once you installed Spybot, download all the available updates, then use the immunize function to protect you from all the spyware currently in their database.

The second free spyware program to install is called SpywareBlaster from http://www.javacoolsoftware.com this
program will protect you from home page hijackers and other Active X based spyware. Again, make sure you have installed all the updates and enabled protection, and be sure to check for updates on both programs every month or so.


Pop-up Protection. 

The internet is full of pop-ups advertisements, and they slow down your web surfing, expose you to potential spyware, viruses, and images that you just don’t want to see. There are some good pop-up stopping programs out there and they are worth the money, but the Google Toolbar does a good job of stopping 80% of the pop-ups and is free so make sure you install the Google toolbar on your computers. It does not block pop-ups that are needed like banking login screens, but blocks most of the bad ones. You can get the Google toolbar at www.google.com just click on the link that says “More>>”


Remove Yourself from Online Directories

Privacy is now a concern for us all, regardless of whether or not we embrace the Internet. Without your consent or knowledge, your personal information may be readily available to any who would want it.

Many of the online phone directories buy personal information from data brokers, who in turn get it from other public and private sources. Still others receive information from Acxiom – a major U.S. data vendor.

You can request that Acxiom remove your name from their listings by sending an email to <a href=”mailto:optout@acxiom.com” mce_href=”mailto:optout@acxiom.com”>OptOut@Acxiom.com<;/a> or calling 877.774.2094. They’ll mail you an opt-out form to fill out and mail back. But, that still leaves the issue of removing your name from every directory that has purchased your information from Acxiom.

One option is to move, change your name and identity. A slightly more practical alternative is to manually remove yourself from each online directory. The method for each might be different: some might require a phone call, a letter, or e-mail. Following is a list of popular personal directories and their respective opt-out links:

• Google – Google Removal Form

• Yahoo – Yahoo Removal Form

• Whitepages – Whitepages Removal Form

• Lycos – Lycos Removal Form

• AnyWho – AnyWho Removal Form

Doing this by no means guarantees anonymity, but will definitely decrease your visibility online.