Posted by: Ken Harthun
Opinion, Secure Computing, Security, Security management, Security maxim, Security tools
In celebration of (almost) being close to releasing my first eBook to the general public, I’m releasing the list of the 14 Golden Rules of Computer Security in hopes that any last minute errors will be spotted by my peers here at IT Knowledge Exchange. Here’s the list:
#1: The best security measures are completely useless if you invite attackers into your PCs or networks.
#2: A first, important step in securing your PC is to install and configure a NAT router.
#3: Always change the default username and password of any configurable device you put on your home network.
#4: Use an un-guessable, or difficult-to-guess password always.
#5: A vital part of PC security is keeping up with software patches for ALL of the software on your system, not just the operating system. Where it is available, use the software’s automatic updates feature.
#6: Always disable any message preview or auto-open features in your e-mail client. View messages as text-only until you know they are safe.
#7: If you store sensitive information on a PC or laptop, even if it’s only personal information, encrypt the
folders or drives where the information is stored and use an un-guessable passphrase as the encryption key.
#8: Physical security is almost as important as data security. Make it as difficult as possible through any
physical means for a thief to steal your hardware. Rules of thumb: Lock it up and lock it down; out of sight, out of mind.
#9: When surfing the web, testing unknown programs, or engaging in other activities with the potential to harm your computer, use a sandbox or virtual machine to protect your base system from harm.
#10: When using external removable media for backups, either encrypt the backup files or make sure the media is taken offline after the backup has been completed.
#11 Never enter sensitive information into any web page unless you have verified that the information is being sent over a secure connection signified by https:// in the address bar and a lock icon in the browser’s status bar.
#12: Once a PC is infected with malware, you can’t trust it. The only way to restore trust is to wipe the hard drive clean and reload the operating system.
#13: When it comes to securing a WiFi network, the only way is WPA.
#14: If your email address will be visible to the public, obfuscate it.
In the book, each one of these rules is explained in detail with links to tools and other information.
I value your comments, so if I’ve left anything out, or you have issues with what I’ve posted here, let me know. I want this to be the best first edition it can be.