So what happens when you install a firewall and make sure all operating systems on your home network are fresh installs?
You’ll probably see hits from foreign and U.S. IP addresses trying to make connections to your computers, phones and other devices on your network. You’ll also notice common port numbers in the above log. So what would happen if any of the services and ports were open? It could result in the loss of data.
What should you do? Install a hardware SOHO firewall and keep your OS firewall on. While there are tons of other precautions you also need to take, ultimately this is a form of protection most home users and business users fail to implement.
Installation problems with Office 2013? Check out the Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool. This tool can be used to help you analyze problems with your installation. Download it here from Microsoft.
CrowdInspect by CrowdStrike uses resources such as WOT, VirusTotal and Team Cymru’s Malware to check a running process. This allows you to see if the process may be malicious or not. The DNS information about any connections is also listed to let you determine if a process that is running should be looked into.
ITX-motherboards can often be found in older computers from garage sales or thrift stores. What is the practical use for these motherboards or older computers?
Here’s a small project that involves protecting your home.
After finding an ITX motherboard and gathering extra parts from broken laptops and computers, this project will put the software SMOOTHWALL Express onto the computer to make a mini firewall. Total cost?
$22 250watt power supply
$5 Gearhead mini keyboard
Base processor Athlon 64 X2 (B) 5400+ 2.8 GHz (65W) 800 MHz front side bus Socket AM2
Chipset GeForce 9100
Motherboard Name: APX78-BN
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Nutmeg-GL6E
Power supply 250W
Memory 240 Pin DDR2 PC2-6400 MB/sec 4GB Hard drive 120 GB SATA 6G (6.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm
Integrated on motherboard (NVidia 9100)
Sound/Audio High Definition 6-channel audio ALC 888S chipset
Network (LAN) Integrated 10/100 Base-T networking interface
Added Broadcom wireless to create a wireless router
The number of calls I get to direct people on how to get their identity back or give advice to members of law enforcement has grown to several times per week- Consumerization has lead to a false sense of security. I don’t feel secure on most days…You know, you may live in a small town but the internet exposes you to the entire world.
Identity theft is at an all time high and our use of devices from smartphones, netbooks, laptops, computers and other devices has become a part of our lives. With over 666,000 breaches last year, we believe it won’t happen us. We aren’t creating complex passwords, using VPNs in hotspots (coffee shops, hotels, etc.). We believe that Linux, Apple or Microsoft is secure and we have no idea that even our home routers are being attacked (over 300,000 recently).
The internet has a search engine for unsecured devices that we use everyday and reports are pouring in on the exploits and vulnerabilities on everythingwe put in our hands.
Don’t click on emails from people or business you don’t know
Don’t let social networking and internet surfing be part of your business. You are protecting the identity of your clients
Businesses should use a hardware firewall – Firewalls on your computer is NOT enough protection
Change passwords, clean your computer (Yes, Apple and Linux too), perform maintenance such as updates and encrypt the hard drive or folders with critical data
Don’t use passwords that are the same on different accounts
Use two factor authentication with your bank, cc or any account that offers this services
Don’t use public computers that aren’t updated
Encrypt your flash drive
Never assume you are secure (ALL operating systems are vulnerable)
Get updates on ALL of your devices
Don’t fall for internet scams
Never meet with people to purchase internet merchandise without someone being with you. Choose a secure place to meet.
Make Facebook private (stop publishing public post)
Don’t take pictures of driver’s license, car tags or valuables and post to social networks
Turn off the GPS on your phone and don’t check in at places – You are telling thieves you are not home. Children should never tell where they are going on Facebook or other social networking sites.
Using apps often gives permission for the social network to use your personal information including contact (your friends) information
Monitor your credit report (Credit Karma is free)
Use Prey Project on your phones, tablets, laptops and computers
Update your router, TV and other devices with the latest firmware
ARSTechnica outlines how hackers have made malicious changes to routers….again.
Researchers said they have uncovered yet another mass compromise of home and small-office wireless routers, this one being used to make malicious configuration changes to more than 300,000 devices made by D-Link, Micronet, Tenda, TP-Link, and others.
Whats On My PC and Rick never fail to educate the educator. Rick has once again found a vendor that can Optimize your Computer from the Cloud. Agomo is currently beta testing CCleaner and the optimization of your computers remotely.
According to the study, the most sought-after quality is a broad knowledge of security — more of a strategic understanding than technical know-how– followed by certifications. Read More
Opinion – While certifications are an important part of IT, the technical know-how is the most important. Getting a degree or a certification is a great advancement for your education but can you configure a firewall? Run Linux-OSX- Windows? Support mobile, wireless, servers with Active Directory and monitor and control an IT environment? That’s the difference between $12 an hour and a career.
Thrift stores and yard/garage sales can become a goldmine for computer geeks. You have to know your technology and how to upgrade the device – and you have to truly know the value of a device/computer you stumble on. Here’s an example -
The D-Link Dir-601 is a home router that lacks many features of other Wireless N routers. This $60 router lacks MIMO antennas and has a throughput of about 65 -150 mbps. However, the router can be upgraded to DD-WRT and dozens of features are added to this little router including power settings, virtual wireless, IPv6, QoS and more.
Amanda picked one up for the class for $1.99. A real bargain for anyone. So what can you get for $20 ?
D-Link, Belkin, Hawking, Linksys (WRT-54g), Cisco 150 - Most of which can take alternate firmware.
How about a cool project with a Pegatron motherboard so you can make a hardware firewall (Picked up for $0) -it included a quad core AMD processor and fan and 2 Gb of Ram. Add a laptop hard drive, a 220 watt power supply and Smoothwall firewall to create a tiny firewall that protect you from malicious activity. Total investment – $22. I have a hard drive from Amanda’s old computer and ordered the power supply from Amazon.
Speaking of Firewalls – How about a Netgear FVS328 VPN firewall for the home. Although it has reached EOL, $1.99 and uploading the latest firmware will still add extra protection to your home.