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How to detect or prevent outside access to PC


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#1 scudo

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 04:41 PM

Ok read plenty about keyloggers and how people harvest email addresses etc, I have antivirus/firewall/spybot /ccleaner But recently I have taken an interest in anti mandatory swine flu campaigns 911 was a hoax information and worse still the illuminati and the hidden agenda, to name but a few. On some of these I have had limited communication with a few people, it then occurred to me that having a mistrust of governments (rightly or wrongly) that they could be hacking into computers based on key words or whatever being used. Not that they would find much but I wondered if there is a likelyhood of this actually happening and if there is anyway we would know or a way to prevent them. thanks

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#2 Doug

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:29 AM

Scudo,

1. Computers can be hacked. It is a fact of life in our internet connected world.
2. The next fact of life on the internet, is that when hackers attack, they have a reason or motivation.
---The primary reason for hacking is financial gain.
3. The third fact of life on the internet, is that hackers don't waste their time attempting to hack well defended networks and machines, particularly because there are so many undefended and poorly defended machines and networks.
4. The fourth fact of life on the internet, is that hacking is rarely personal. Hackers rarely care who you are, what you have on your machine, how much money you have, or where you live.
5. The fifth fact of life is that the majority of malicious hacking is automated.

Now there is nothing particularly wise about the above points, they just describe the situation.

As to financial gain, the amounts are in the billions.
Hackers are less likely to attempt to take a large amount from any one individual, and more likely to attempt to take small amounts from many individuals.

Therefore bot nets.
You are most likely a low-value target, and any attempts to compromise your machine would be for the purpose of using your machine in concert with many others, to perpetrate some larger goal.


You as an individual may be annoyed that your email client suddenly starts spewing out spam email to your address book friends.
And you may urgently want to stop it from happening.
Hackers don't really care if you stop it or not.
They know that sufficient numbers of machines that they infect will have owners that don't even notice, and allow the process to continue.

In the the course of action, they have harnessed the power of hundreds or thousands of personal computers to better distribute their porn, advertisements, or to harvest financial information, or to perpetrate their end-goal attack anonymously by using thousands of vectors.
_____________________

So you have been browsing into various politically interesting topics.
No harm in that.
But you are concerned that you may have somehow identified yourself to potentially malicious entities.
Have you? Maybe.
Since people who frequent such sites, as well as sites like get-rich-quick, or loose-weight-quick, or similar, are presumed to be less careful in their thinking and maintenance of their security, then sure, a few traps will be offered and if you "click", your machine will likely get infected.

When you visit a website, that website becomes aware of your IP. Whether or not a malicious site can do anything with that knowledge of your IP depends substantially upon your own security measures.

Keep your operating system updated, run an antivirus(updated), run an antispyware(updated) and run a firewall(updated).
Beyond that, use your own best defense.... your brain. Don't click on too-good-to-be-true links or any unknown link for that matter.

Follow the recommendations, here:
http://forums.whatth...ps_t101525.html
http://forums.whatth...ing_t98700.html
_________________________

Then also keep in mind that the above is primarily aimed at protecting you from "remote" threats.
It is also important to protect your machine from "local" threats.
If you run a wireless router without at least WPA security, you are wide-open to trivial local attack.
If you leave your laptop in a public location without login password, you are wide open.
If you have folks in your home who might use your machine carelessly, password protect your login, and know that once the machine is in the hands of another individual, all manner of protection that you may have put in place, can be broken.

#3 Doug

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:46 AM

On some of these I have had limited communication with a few people, it then occurred to me that having a mistrust of governments (rightly or wrongly) that they could be hacking into computers


Exchanging thoughts and ideas as a contributor to a blog or bulletin board or forum keeps you at least at arms length.
Be exceptionally wary if an individual offers you their email address or asks for yours, to further the conversation out of the confines of the blog/bulletin board/forum.

If you give your email address to a stranger, you have no idea what he/she/it might do with your email address.
You "can" use "throw-away" email addresses. such as somguy @ hotmail, or yahoo or gmail.
Then if the account starts getting "spammed" you can abandon it.
But better still.... don't give out email addresses or IM addresses to strangers.

#4 scudo

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:14 PM

Thanks Doug, Going by what you say and what I have for protection I should probably be ok. As I said my main concern is a developing mistrust of government, they seem to be tracking every other area of life via CCT cameras and passports to name but a few. Nothing to hide, but the principal of my freedom becomes frustrating.

#5 Doug

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:20 PM

Knowing that I've protected my own machines as deliberately as my own practices allow, I am generally more concerned about supposed "safe" and "secure" sites where people are asked to conduct business on line. Banking online purchases software registratrion site registrations social networks credit report access phone company and the list goes on... Always read the EULA and Privacy Policy, and then make your own decision.




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