Archive for the 'personal computer security' Category
gmail security

gmail security

Gmail is one of my favorite email products.  Its free, its extremely good at collecting and organizing data (in-line with google’s vision of world information organization domination) and its so intuitive.

The gmail security features are kind of tucked away to bring the organization and search functions to the foreground.  But once you know where they are, its easy.

1. First, browse into your email and sign in.


2. Inside your email under your name, click privacy.

3. Under Account Privacy, hit Security and add alternate recovery email and mobile number.   This will allow gmail security to alert you of any suspicious activity such as someone attempting to access your account.

gmail security

gmail security

System Recovery Disc 系统恢复光盘

System Recovery Disc 系统恢复光盘

This article has a brief description on how to create a Windows System Recovery disc.

This article has a brief description on how to create a Windows System Recovery disc (aka 系统恢复光盘).

What is the use of a System Recovery disc?


The disc contains Windows Recovery tools. It helps to restore the old setup of your computer before it started getting viruses and errors.


1. Click Start and select Control Panel.

2. Click System Maintenance or System Security.



3. Under System and Security, Select Back up and Restore

4.  On the left upper portion , Select Create a system repair disc (System Recovery Disc) and insert a blank CD disc .

5. Browse and choose the drive with the CD drive and Hit Create



6. Wait for some time to finish creating , label and keep your System Recovery disc for future needs.

Dangers on the Internet

Dangers on the Internet
This is a follow up to my post Why is Internet Safety Important

Dangers of the Internet are relative to the perspective of those accessing it. That is to say, on the Internet “dangers” are completely dependent on who is accessing what data from where and what their intentions are for accessing it. For example, researching a list of poisons could be a considered “dangers to the Internet” if a seriously disturbed person intends to kill his or her spouse. On the other hand, if a parent is just wondering what house hold products are poisonous with the intention of protecting her children, can that be considered a danger?

So protection from dangers on the Internet should be proactive and involve human judgment at some level. Policies must be written, planned and implemented in advanced or ad hoc to suit the environment and the users accessing the Internet. Children at a school with access from the classroom will more than likely be different from employees at a skating rink.

Even the items commonly considered dangers on the Internet relate directly to how much access individuals and organizations allow to and from the web. Common “dangers” may include (but should not be limited to) the following:

Accessibility to personal – applies to educating users on the dangers of putting personal information on the Internet and protecting organizational data bases

Sensitive data – For a school sensitive data is likely linked to the grades and personal information of staff and student, but for a business sensitive information could include proprietary information that would hurt the bottom line if it were leaked to competition.

Financial fraud & criminal hackers/scammers- This applies to educating users about criminal hacker techniques such as malware, social engineering, email and website phishing

The access of impressionable and/or psychologically disturbed individuals to potentially harmful and destructive information – This is rather subjective however it should be a concern to schools from elementary – colleges, rehabilitation facilities and mental institutions. There are ways to block certain obvious material with web-blocker type applications, but no one can stop them all. Monitoring is a must if this danger is to be handled seriously.

The risks and damage of these dangers are dependent on the environment & the users involved. It is up to the system owners to ensure that the policies are properly planned, implemented and maintained as exposure to any Internet danger can disrupt the safety, mission and/or values of an organization or individual.

Why is Internet Safety Important

Dangers on the Internet
The amazing freedom and availability of the Internet lends itself to a few major dangers: Pr0n, malware and how to perform illegal and/or dangerous activities.

Whether it is a curious person seeking these things out or the child accidentally clinking the wrong link and getting bombard with explicit pop-ups, the items lists can be harmful to an impressionable mind. Policies must be enforced.

There are a few groups that should have limited exposure to certain types of information on the Internet. Children, mentally handicapped or psychologically damaged people in settings such as schools, homes, rehabilitation or correctional facilities and group homes should be blocked, tracked and monitored while accessing the Internet. Certain information could destroy them if they don’t yet have the capacity to understand or put certain information in the proper context.

Protection from Pornography & Malware

In a professional setting there should be a written policy against accessing and/or downloading unacceptable material such as pornography. These items should be actively blocked whether in a working environment or at home among minors accessing the same system. Allowing impressionable or fragile minds unlimited access to certain graphic material is irresponsible. The law is also a good reason why Internet safety is important. If you are the owner or charged with immediate control of the system being used for illegal activity, you could be partially or wholly liable for the activity. An example is substitute teacher Julie Amero

On October 19, 2004, Julie Amero was substituting for a seventh-grade language class at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Connecticut. The teacher’s computer was accessed by pupils while the regular teacher, Matthew Napp, was out of the room. When Julie took charge, the computer started showing pornographic images.

On January 5, 2007, Amero was convicted in Norwich Superior Court on four counts of risk of injury to a minor, or impairing the morals of a child. Her sentencing was delayed four times after her conviction, with both the prosecution and judge not satisfied that all aspects of the case had been assessed.[1] The felony charges for which she was originally convicted carry a maximum prison sentence of 40 years

– wikipedia

The Kelly Middle School systems were actually infected with malware that allowed the explicit pictures to pop up.

Access to Dangerous information

From the Columbine shooters to the Virginia Tech massacre, most of the killers had a recorded history of mental illness and/or psychologically instability. In many cases, they used public and/or home computers belonging to their parents to research bomb making or even purchase guns.

Controlling access is the best way to get on the Internet safely. Maintaining privacy of users is another important step in Internet safety, however that is a matter of educating users particularly if the frequent Social networks such as facebook or myspace. They need to be instructed about the dangers of stalkers, perverts and predators looking specifically for impressionable minds.

We are the keepers of these impressionable and fragile minds. That is the reason Internet safety is important and why we must be mindful of these subjects.

Free Security Tools

Need a proxy for surfing anonymously? Need email privacy?
How about a free firewall?

Here are a bunch of free security tools you can use.

The Internet is full of legitamate free tools created by people who don’t care about making money or make money with donations and endorsements. Majorgeeks is my favorite place to get anti malware, anti spam, anti spyware tools. You don’t want to go to just ANY site and start downloading software. Not all sites can be trusted. One of the main ways that malicious hackers get in your system is by putting out free stuff loaded with malware. Malware can be put in pictures, music, movies, and of course software.

Make sure you only download from trusted locations.

Security Forums Directory

Easily locate forums and newsgroups related to security. Why isn’t on there? Oh, well.

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A funny musical animation on N.S.A. wiretapping in United States…

Found this via the very popular and relevant Schneier security blog.  

It is a funny Flash musical animation, titled “NSA Wiretapping” (will resize your Web browser's window and requires Flash), on United States' wiretapping.

Tried to put it on digg but somebody beat me too it.

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Delete Search Results: Cover your tracks

Ever search for something questionable on someone else system and go into a hyperventilation panic when you notice that their computer is retaining the keywords you typed into their search engine?  


You typed in “boobies” on your mom's computer and now the word pops up everytime you type a “B”!!


Perhaps it was your spouses system and your were searching for evidence of pornography.

Maybe it was your kids computer and you want to make sure they are o.k. mentally.

Maybe your Internet connection has been down for a while and you’ve had to use your friends system or a public system.

Whatever the case maybe it is none of my business.  And you don’t want it to be the business of the other who will use the system after you.


Here are two simple techniques to get rid of those bad keywords.


For Window XP “Recently Opened Documents”:

To delete “my Recent Documents”

Right – Click on the “Start” button

Select “Properties”

On the Start Menu Tab, Select “Customize”

Select the “Advance Tab”

Select the “Clear List” button at the bottom.  Don’t worry, it will NOT delete the files.  (Deselect the checkbox if you don’t want the system to track previously opened files)



For Windows XP, Internet Explorer:

In IE, Select “Tools”

Go to “Internet Option” at the bottom of the Tools list

Under Temporary Internet Files select “Delete Cookies” and “Delete Files”

To delete the history of the websites you searched select “Clear History”

First mobile phone virus nears 2nd birthday

The first real mobile phone virus, which was found in the wild and could replicate on its own, was discovered almost two years ago. F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hyppnen reports that although there are now over 200 mobile phone viruses — many of which are variants of Cabir — the problem is unlikely to get as bad as it has with PCs.

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18 Days of Reckless Computing

Someone over at wired gives tests his new Dell to see how many viruses and how much malware it takes to get the Geek Squad to call it a total loss.

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