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Internet Security: What is it and how to configure your computer to protect us while you surf the net? step by step guide

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In the network nobody is safe, it is something that we have to assume and the sooner we do it, the better for everyone. It is also necessary raise awareness in the whole family about the importance of privacyboth on a personal level and on any other and how vulnerable we areno matter how much we consume content and no matter how experienced we think we are.

Internet security is much more than we imagine and we want you to know what it consists of in detail. With this concept we can refer to many things, making the list very long and this post endless.

However, we will try to approach it from the most general points, so that, when you finish this reading, you will know, at least how secure are you onlineWhat are you exposing yourself to and how can you avoid it?

What is Internet security?

Internet security is a compendium of actions with which any user reducesas far as possible, the vulnerability to which it is exposed the simple fact of have connected, with any device, to a network.



So we can say that they are all those mechanisms that can be used in our favor so that we are not scammed, stolen, our information is not known beyond what we wish to give, malicious elements are not introduced into our devices and software, etc.

These might be both internal and external and serve, as we say, to reduce and eliminate those elements that make us vulnerable against teams, people, procedures.

A simpler way to understand computer, technological or industrial security (always depending on where we apply it) is to know precisely what we are exposed to as well as the solutions that exist to avoid it: that would be security that we so much want to achieve.

What are the main dangers that we must protect ourselves from when surfing the net?

internet security information theft

Though there is a lot where to inquire, there are certain practices that are the most used at the domestic and small-scale level, that is, to which we submit all common Internet users day by day:

Malicious information theft

Malicious and aggressive information theft is done for various purposes. As usual, seeks to supplantOne way or another, the identity of the user, either to create profiles on platforms of a certain type, try to access their accounts, sensitive information, blackmail… The other great purposes are the sale of that information or direct access to our systems.

The ways to get this data are very varied and more or less professional and meticulous. from create a friendship” with the future affected to extract the information from him in a “legal” way until introduce malware on your computer that copies your passwords, for example, going through downloading your information to try to access, with it, spaces where you may have other information of interest or the phishing.

And, in turn, how do they do all this? They pose as workers or entities to ask us for some information (what is known as social engineering), creating fake profiles on the Internet, through attractive emails or SMS with those who are encouraged to click on a link…

Unwanted capture of information

It should not be confused with the above. Information is also being stolen from us, let’s be clear (or, at least, that’s how we feel). However, in this case it is done in a way where it is supposed to the user gives his consent and its purposeat least at present, it is assumed that it is not malicious.

We are talking about the data that Google collects from our searches and that is used so that we can then see ads, out there, precisely about things that we have searched for or similar, or that information that Facebook sold a few years ago and that has caused the law to be modified ; does it ring a bell?

Privacy settings of your profiles on any page, the use of one or the other extensions, cache, type of pop-ups what do you accept, the cookies stored. All this supposes information that is used to analyze you and create attractive resources for you.

all this information they are data that we are not hidingbecause we type them, obviously, but nobody tells us that they are going to be used… or is it?

The truth, and more since it happened the famous trial of Facebook for the use of datais that we are informed and we also consent when we “read Facebook’s privacy policies” and other information that is given to us when installing apps, extensions or even games, when we participate in sweepstakes or simply, the policy of a website that is postedin view of all, and that indicate that you must read and that, with the acceptance of the creation of a user, you are accepting.

Nobody does it, nobody reads 10, 20 or 50 pages about data use; we all scroll and accept and, with it, we are consenting, whether we like it or not. However, you should know that, on occasion, certain circumstances have been ruled abusive in which this data usage information was far-fetched, difficult to understand or too hidden. Still, don’t relax, if you accept, it’s your own fault.

The good thing about all this is that there are many solutions to each of the circumstances. Nobody forces you to become a user on a site whose policy you don’t like or to install an extension that collects information, you can delete your cache, configure the privacy of your profiles or the navigation you carry out on each site, etc.

Internet scams

As in everything, there are more and less elaborate ones, but there are, and many, tens, hundreds, thousands. From the African king who needs your help to clean your money to leave the country and will give you a percentage up to pyramidal processes going through the sale of miracle products or that never arrive.

The phantom investments, loans with conditions that we can not even believe how good they are, job offers in which they ask you money or sending something, directly, sentimental internet scamsrentals and, obviously, identity theft for the purpose of any scam (data theft, attracting customers who sign an abusive agreement, etc).

That scams are everywhere; the scam of the holy card or the donation from goods to sects are two clear examples that we all already know, but on the net it seems that we still haven’t gotten used to it. People with bad intentions abound and, if there is a channel, there will be a method; We are not safe anywhere and therefore be wary of anything that sounds too good.

Bullying

cyberbullying internet safety

There are many forms of online bullying.. Each has its objectives, its methodology and its particularitiesalthough, there is a common main aspect: a victim who suffers humiliating and inferior treatment One way or another.

We present a small list of harassment on the Internet:

  • Extortion. Extortion is the use of resources such as threats, intimidation or violence to achieve something. When the purpose is sexual is called sextortion, which is the use of that superiority to obtain sex, whether physical, in meetings, or through the network. As usual, sextingwhich is the sending of sexual content in digital format (a real danger and vulnerability!), usually leads to sextortion, making use of the material uploaded from everything to blackmail.
  • stalking. It is the stalking A person. Obviously, it is achieved because there is an excess of information or access to the contents of said user. The famous buzzes, the insistent Facebook crushes or looking for a person by one or the other means as it blocks you are many clear. It is also considered as such treatment between couples who investigate what the other does and use it to have controlcause fights, etc.
  • Bullying. It is a harassment that occurs, in theory, between equals. is attacked repetitively, including contempt, insults, lack of value to any aspect of the attacked. It often happens that it happens in a physical way, that is, in a face to face, especially among minors, and, with the standardization of the Internet, it moves there. This, of course, is not always the case; it may be that someone attacks another without knowing him at all, because of a simple opinion that he has read or who knows the motivation (which is never an excuse, of course).
  • grooming. It is the concept that refers to a bullying in which the victim is a minor and the attacker is older old. The intention is sexual. It can lead, of course, to sextortion although, initially, the idea is captivate the victim so that she is the one who “accesses” the situations that they give The two main ways to achieve this are with false profiles in which the identity of a minor is supplanted (or a non-existent profile is directly created) or offering something that the minor lacks to create a bond of trust and even affection. .
  • gender violence. It occurs towards people of the opposite sex. Their effect on the internet occurs when done in a groupgenerally, defending radical ideas, although, of course, it will not always be this way. The person is devalued because of their sex, either clearly or covertly.
  • violence in general. A circumstance in which the way you speak and treat another is more violent than you want to endure. This can be somewhat subjective depending on the user and the type of relationship, although it is clear that you should never give in and accept actions, ideas and words with which you are not comfortable, even though they may seem harmless (which, sometimes, is the case, making it more difficult for the victim to notice and act).
  • Attack on the image. The information divulgation of someone or the expression of false data in order to attack the image from someone, whether personal, professional or otherwise, is also considered a type of harassment. The opinion of another given opinion in which the first ridicules the content or the way of thinking of the second would also enter here; make a mockeryspeaking clear.

cyber attacks

Are computer attacks carried out on computers connected to the network. It is not something personal but a practice that seeks to alter the operation of a machine or to gain access to or control its information with a purpose.

Steps to increase the security of your browsing and Internet connection

To be safe from many of the situations that we have detailed above, it is necessary to have good practices when browsing the net, so that security increases in one way or another.

Next, we will detail a list:

Privacy Settings

internet security set up privacy

It is essential to start by making a correct and balanced configuration of our privacy at all levels. This means entering the configuration menus of all the spaces and elements related to the network.

Browser

Your browser, no matter which one you use, will have a configuration section within its own settings. Look for it and dedicate a long time to it, because you can’t imagine the amount of Aspects related to your privacy and browsing and memory options and information collection what is there and what you can choose to keep or disable.

Social networks

Social networks, so commonly used, deserve an extra mention. We are not talking about the content that you yourself decide to upload, attention! but of other settings you need to make in the same way, investigating in your profile options of each of the platforms and choosing wisely the parameters that best balance enjoyment and privacy/security.

other websites

In general, wherever you go you will see what you can do settings in your profileincluding privacy.

eye toowhen entering a website, to the typical box of use of cookies. In it they not only tell you that you use them but, recently, they give you the option of modify them so that the site keeps only the navigation information that you allow.

Configuration of the synchronization of your information

Signing in to Google from different devices means that your data and the information and files you handle are synchronized. It can be useful but also implies that Google has all thiswhich, in turn, means giving away data to the company that possibly benefits the most from it.

timing has its own section in the browser’s privacy settings menuso that if you have paid attention to the previous step you will have already done this one too.

The thing is… Do you want to be out of sync? Most of us have had a hard time having things here and there (I say this from experience) but the truth is that Google makes it more and more difficult if you do not synchronize. So… it’s a matter of seeing how much it affects us in browsing and if it compensates, although, if what you are looking for is to improve your privacy, surely yes.

data encryption

Since we are lucky enough to choose more or less extensively what to synchronize and what not (you don’t have to choose everything or nothing), you will surely be encouraged to keep certain aspects in sync. When you decide to do it, take good care that the information that is “exposed” is encrypted.

This is something that, again, you will be able to access from the same synchronization menu which we have talked about in the previous point, with an option that says something like “Encrypt the data you sync” or similar.

Common sense when uploading content

Needless to say everything you upload to the network is a vulnerability giant.

If you want to keep a low profile, do not offer information delicate as the one that serves to locate you or to communicate with you outside the network spaces that you have created for it. Telephone number, address, location, photos in easy-to-recognize spaces, indications of where you will spend certain moments, place of work, hours… All this only serves so that whoever wants to find you, does so.

It seems somewhat exaggerated but the truth is that you can not imagine what many people come to suffer because they find themselves on the network with someone who gets annoying and dedicates himself to stalking or stalking, as we have seen before. The type of content that you upload can also make some or other people interested in you.

As usual, photos of a sexual nature translate into a situation of continued harassment by a number of people, especially men, who send dozens of friend requests or write you private messages, even without being friends on the network. And this already unpleasant situation can increase, from insults to humiliation.

Secondly, the content where an ideology is allowed to be seen in depth is never usually beneficial. Of course, we all have the right to have our opinions and express them but think that those things you write can be read by recruiters or even the human resources staff of your company or your teacher.

Should it matter? The truth is that no, but unfortunately, many people can sympathize rather little with you for that simple reason and be unfair in certain aspects, for example, discarding your job application or being harder on you when it comes to passing your subject.

Think too who you expose with your images, mentions and tags. From minors to people who do not want to be associated with any topic or conversation, and what this may entail.

SSL or HTTPs spaces

internet security https ssl

Sometimes your safety doesn’t depend on you but on the sites you frequent. There are currently two signs on the pages who are going to tell you that, in fact, they are safe. These are the ssl-certificate (the information is manipulated with encryption systems and as it goes, it comes back) and the HTTPs protocol.

Google support services are not so friendly

These support services that appear in Chrome, in addition to not being particularly useful, they are a hive of information. You can get rid of them by disabling them in the advanced browser settingsin the tab “Privacy & Security”.

Cookie management

Cookies are your trace In Internet. We have already seen before that you can configure them and we maintain it, since there are some that are even in charge of save your usernames and passwordssomething highly dangerous because, although these profiles no longer exist, they can serve as a basis for deciphering other usernames and passwords.

You will have already seen that from the browser you also have access to its adjustment, with a lot of options and nuances, by the way, with its own tab, “Cookies”, within “Settings”.

Secondly, clean them often, and do it with the cache and search history too.

Disabling and removing plugins and extensions

Browsers have certain plugins we may never need. In principle, they are useful for certain users but also will affect the use of your informationso it would not hurt to investigate about it and consider, depending on its use, disable them, configure them so that it is the browser that asks you whether to use them or not or even eliminate them if possible.

a lot of eye to the software that you download and install because, sometimes, they come with the installation of extensions marked by defaultso that when you want to realize it, your browser is plagued with things that you don’t know what they are.

Disabling activity monitoring

Google is back in actionthis time with what is known as activity control. This is included by default when we use their products and is responsible, as you may have guessed, for controlling what happens while you are browsing with your Google account open.

Disabling this option requires, in this case, Go to your Google account settings, not from the browser. The option you should reach is “Web and App Activity”.

Software update

internet security update software

Always keep your operating system up to date, your browser and any software you have installed on the devices from which you access the Internet. Although some updates have nothing to do with it, many others work on security, fixing bugs, closing gaps or adding options that improve it.

password creation

We know that it is a hassle and that, in the end, we all use the same technique to create passwords, but, seriously, give them time and originality.

There are those who use the same one for everything, who has easy passwords to guess and there are also those who use the same one with some differentiating element depending on the site they access, creating a pattern that repeats over and over again and that, once known, has the same meaning as not having a password.

Forget the names of children, pets or couple as well as special dates. Create strong passwords it is not so difficult, do not use this personal information that many people can know or find out.

Combine, whenever given the possibility, uppercase, lowercase, figures, letters and symbolstrying to include as many as possible (from 6 characters, with 8 being the recommended minimum).

On the other hand, if you detect that they have tried to enter your profile (a notice is usually sent to you by email), change passwords from time to time but, yes, do not use previous ones.

If you need to write them down, do it in a non-digital formatin a document you have at home, never carry it in your wallet! write on it as little as possible so that they cannot be related to the websites to which they correspond; that way, even if someone sees them, they won’t know exactly what they are. If this document disappears, obviously, change all your passwords.

logouts

Every session you starts on a device used by someone besides you, even if it’s just one person or someone you trust, close it, and do not keep the option to remember password.

Obviously, it is more like entering any site from a bookmark and without having to log in, but it is certainly not the most secure. Reserve this performance for teams played only by you such as your mobile phone or your laptop, as long as these are password protected; It would not make sense for them to be stolen and anyone could have access to all your profiles.

delicate downloads

The free downloadsespecially those of copyrighted content, are usually accompanied by great disappointment in the form of malware.

Always look for software, apks and other content on official websites or on sites dedicated to uploading official content, analyzed and/or with permissions and that they are known, precisely, for the quality of their files and download processes. If you have to search through dozens of pages to download something, you may be in an inadvisable place.

Beware of public networks

internet security public networks

when you connect to public networksboth those that are already installed in the streets and those that are offered in libraries, hospitals or businesses, do not log in to sites with sensitive information or make purchases.

Use these networks for the basics, some entertainment and little else. Sensitive information, the more layers of security it has, the better, and, without a doubt, a network that is not yours and that is accessed by hundreds of people every day, is not.

We are no longer talking about the network, in itself, being inadequate, but about someone lurking waiting. Someone may have named their own network after an establishment for you to come in and see exactly what you do. You may as well be at the mall sharing a network with a hacker who is dedicated to taking data.

tracking detection



With some extensions you can find out which sites you frequent track information about “at your back”. Thus, you can keep an eye on your privacylook for opinions and information on the Internet and decide, based on what you discover, whether it is worth entering them or not.

Use of security elements

If your computer has security elements such as a firewall or an antivirus, use them. If they are there it is to do their job, furthermore, you can themlike everything already, set up quite personally and disable at specific times if you need it.

Use of double verification

It is a process that requires two actions for your part at the time of log in or do specific actions and of a sensitive nature, to have greater certainty that no one is acting on your behalf. We see it on more and more websites and it is a functionality that will continue to be introduced more and more as we make greater and more sensitive use of the Internet.

Use of anonymous search engines

One way to leave no trace or to do it to the exact extent you want is to use other “anonymous” search enginesless known and that make sure you navigate without wasting information as you do. Tor Browser is the best known, famous for be used, with your own peer to peer network (which encrypts the information wonderfully), to enter the deep web, although there are many others.

Safe link clicks

If you see a banner that is of interest to you, do not click on itespecially if you are on download pages, for adults and others.

It is very likely that it is misleading advertising that takes you to sites where payment data is collected (the bait is usually sexual, betting, miraculous products and, in general, adult content or false offers) or that, directly, introduces malware on your devices.

If you really find something that interests you in an advertising banner, go to the website of the brand, store or firm and corroborate that what you have seen is real and can be accessed from the official website.

Analyze your digital containers

Do not allow the automatic execution of external memories on your computers. Configure them to have the possibility of analyze them first, and do it; Who knows what’s in there!

Another resources

Obviously, these tips are intended to make the connection to the network more secure. Nevertheless, there is little we can do in the face of the bad faith of certain people nor can we advise you on more sensitive or personal issues, especially if we do not know your case.

What we do want to emphasize is that we must be very careful with whom we address, because not everything is what it seems, that let’s use common sense and that, in the case of minors, parents always have knowledge of the spaces that they visit.

What are the best accessories and tools to make our browsing more secure?

Of course, we can resort to all kinds of resources that allow us to multiply security, not only reducing our vulnerabilities but also protecting ourselves in different ways:

Security Basics

internet security antivirus firewall

start with use the included firewall on your computer. It may seem absurd, something obsolete that is no longer in fashion but, without a doubt, it does its job (more, I would say, when, for example, it jumps when I run a video game that has been updated). take a look and configure it as you see fit. You know, the more freedom, the more risk; you will have to find the balance.

Same thing with antivirus.. There are so many on the market and. although it is true that “nobody” goes to a store for one anymore, they are still used, whether free or paid. Don’t worry because you won’t be obliged to do anything, there are dozens and dozens of them, so there will always be one that offers exactly what you are looking for; no more no less.

Of course, In addition, to configure them, pay attention to them! When something is detected, give it the attention it deserves. They will surely jump you when you download something (with or without your consent) or when you are on pages full of ads. Be very careful what you do and, if you get an alert, think about whether what you are going to do is worth it.

You can, for example, pause whatever you are about to watch or download and search for information about whether the file is corrupt or the web is dangerous, that’s what San Google is for! Someone may have had the same thing happen to them and report it. in forums and the like.

Backup or backup

Backups are used to restore our equipment, so that they are as they were the moment you made them. This does not avoid us a problem but it does allows us to go back if, for example, a virus sneaks in. Be careful, not all malware will magically disappear, but most will after a deep formatting and reinstallation of backup items.

VPN

VPNs or virtual private networks They are, as the concept indicates, a safe space, a kind of extension or extra layer for a LAN network. Allows the sending and receiving of information on other networks as if we belonged to a private networkwith its security features, among others. The connection is virtual, point-to-point type.

proxy servers

It is a piece of equipment or system that works as intermediary between another device (your computer, tablet, etc), from which you request information, and a serverwhich is claimed.

We can say that this has our backs, always in quotes, well, apparently it is not we who sail, our address is not shown but that of the proxy to which we connect. What it does is access the Internet at our place.

Parental control

There are different measures to have control over what children do In the net. Qustodio, Secure Kids, Eset Parental Control, Parental Click…

They are all software with different functionalities such as browsing monitoring, blocking websites, users and/or concepts, restricting certain content, limiting the viewing of videos or browsing time, the creation of child profiles or platforms of children’s content. If you want to know how turn on parental controls enter here.

ad blockers

internet security ad blocker

Why do you want to see advertising? Unless you are a person who loves to buy everything that comes into your eye (which can be, hey), you do not need to see advertising.

This slows down the equipment and makes it difficult for us to access the desired spaces; That’s the best thing that can happen to us. Then comes, as we have already indicated before, invasive advertising that does not stop jumping, to which we are forced to click before being able to give play to a video, the misleading one that takes us to payment sites, information tracking or, directly, that infects our computer…

Avoid all this with an ad blocker. Its consumption is ridiculous, not to say null, and it will keep us safe from all that torrent of useless windows that are only going to be used for something negative, never positive. Also, blockers, such as antiviruses, can be paused and set not to act on certain pagesso that, in the end, it will always be you who decide how and when to make it work.

Clear example given from experience: digital newspapers. They insist on advertising us to get some perrillas. Voucher. I pause the blocker because I know that its advertising is not malicious or abusive. Even so, I don’t have it configured so that it never acts on that page but, every time I enter a site like that, when the warning pops up, I pause the tool, only during that reading session.

Peer to Peer applications to share content

Do you know how Peer to Peer networks work? It is very simple and complicated at the same time. it works packing the information in parts and sending it from one computer to another in several sectionsso that no one knows the full content of your message or where it comes from or where it goes; you can only have a small fraction of information and at one point in your journey.

This, moreover, hides under layers and layersthis being the reason why this type of navigation is known, in a vulgar way, as tor navigation. In fact, the most famous network of this type (more or less similar but not identical) and its own browser bear this name (The Onion Router). with these apps the IP of your team is not revealed and, therefore, your anonymity is maintained.

In addition, its nodes are changing, since the network is made up of the users’ own computers, which come and go with no connection. This makes tracking information and the beneficiaries themselves virtually impossible. That parallel configuration makes these networks robust.

However, at the same time, and precisely to that anonymity, downloaded content can be dangerous, because I play with the fact that no one will know if you are the one who has infected a file. To try to combat this, resources are available such as sandboxes, comments, multi-key encryption, recognition systems (although you don’t know who a file belongs to, you do know its reputation).

private browsing

If you don’t want to go that far or don’t know how to use Peer to Peer networks, you have the option of perform anonymous browsing. Most browsers already offer it and, in theory, they allow you to browse with greater privacy and without memorizing the information of your experience (something that is done when you use it in a conventional way).

In Chrome, for example, this resource would be “New incognito window” and it is located in the menu button of the same, top right; in Safari we have “New private window” available in the top tab”file“. And so with each one of them, it’s a matter of figuring out which option in the browser you use.

more secure browsers

The most popular browsers are also the most insecure. Why? Too many users and therefore increased spending on day-to-day support that cannot be spent on research and security. For the same reason, also are more attackedsince it is known that the flow of users is constant and numbered in the thousands per second.

It also turns out that the lesser known ones are more specializedso they have staff of support with specific knowledge at the same time that they are a challenge for a cyber attacker with general knowledge, they are a goal that needs to be studied much more.

For all these reasons, in general, browsing will be much safer using Tor Browser, Comodo Dragon, Epic Browser, SRWare Iron and many others. look at others safer internet browsers here.

If you don’t dare with these unknown, popular ones, Opera and Apple Safari they are the safest and Chrome is presented as the least recommended in this regard along with Microsoft Internet Explorer which, in some cases, is no longer supported.

Software to remember passwords

There are very simple softwares in which you can save login information, including username and password of the sites. They must also they generate secure passwords themselves and according to the demands of each website or that remember other information.

bad thing about theseof course, is that they force you not to use your devices, because, logically, they are a way to facilitate access to your sites and your information, which is precisely what we are trying to avoid.

So what? We are in favor of using these little programs but not sharing any device with absolutely anyone and having them protected, just in case.

Temporary file removal programs

internet security cleaning software

They were also used a long time ago and they seem, along with firewalls, the great forgotten ones. Nevertheless, its simplicity, its negligible weight and the increasingly interesting options that they are presenting make cleaning programs essential for me.

every so often configure how you want your team to review. They analyze it in search of what you want to get rid of (system files created in a timely manner and that were not deleted, other temporary files, cache, history… and even unused files and applications. You can also (and depending on the program), add filters as well as, of course, check the files before they are deleted.

Insecure browsing on the smartphone

Not all devices are created equal, and this includes the level of security. Smartphones, which are used more and more, are the target of cybercriminals; are trendy.

Also, don’t have the same protection than, for example, a computer, so there will be sites that are a nightmare to enter (especially those plagued by pop-up ads with dubious content).

To this must be added that There is not the same offer of antimalware software and the ones that exist are very basicwhich means that, even if we want to, we cannot protect ourselves completely.

Work tools in work teams

Although using our own devices to work is more fashionable than ever (Bring Your Own Device), we cannot help but recommend that do not unite both worlds.

Your personal information may not be safe in your company’s system because it is possible that it is attacked for being, precisely, that, a corporation. On the contrary, it may be even worse, that your computers are less secure (in general) have sensitive and very important information of a company is for a cybercriminal like winning the lottery with a ticket that has been found on the street.

If each data remains in its scope, we prevent all of it from being compromised at the same time.

Computing

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