After the many revelations lately, people have become more aware about computer security. But this topic is as old as computers, the problem is that too much information exists, many “experts” will try to explain the standard things to do through mainsteam media, which is the boring and usual stuff that doesn’t really protect your computer, like firewalls and antivirus.
In 2008 I attended a seminar by Trend Antivirus, inc, and their experts could tell me already back then that they only catch about 20% of viruses, or less. What does it mean? It means they sell a product that you pay for, that will make your computer 10% slower, open new holes (see trend: antivirus and safetyware new attack vector) and only do 20% of what the ad says.
So forget what you know already. Below I will list some helpful hints.
- Never have the same password across websites. Check out a service like Lastpass.com. Free of charge. (use strong unique passwords)
- Do not use the Microsoft Windows operating system. Use a Mac, or Linux. Linux is free of charge. (+ no need for antivirus software)
- Use a high-security operating system if you can like Qube-Os free of charge. (complete separation of processes)
- Firewall your system. Ubuntu has a great free firewall: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UncomplicatedFirewall
- Use hard disk encryption. (Linux and Qube-os has native support for hard drive encryption).
- Secure your browser!! (Use Firefox, but lock it down! Consider TOR! Use addon: Noscript and ad-blocker). Understand what noscript does, read the documents and manuals for it carefully!!
- Use TOR browser bundle (firefox) and read the documentation carefully, for anonymity online. https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
- Encrypt all your USB drives!!!
- Shred all your papers!!
- Do not simply use TOR or any other security-tools without reading their documentation to fully understand their limitations and uses. Or you’re fucked.
- Remove unused software, do disable services that you don’t use.
- Keep all software running in a sandboxed environment in a VM that you can control (see Qube-OS)
- Use tripwire and cryptographic hashing functions to check that your system is not infected or hacked.
Don’t forget also to bug sweep your house.
Assume skype, and mobile phones are tapped. You can get encryption for most smartphones that run on top of the 3G, 4G or SIP-enabled network.
Use VPNs with end-to-end encryption and perfect forward secrecy!
Learn how to use PGP or GPG to encrypt your email. (For this to work you must teach all your contacts to use and understand this software as well).