Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Dao of Online Security

After a recent series of meetings regarding security, I decided to create and regularly update this post about online security and how to stay safe online:

  • Use an Encrypted Proxy when using unencrypted Wi-Fi.
    Each time you connect your PDA or laptop to a wireless network that doesn't support encryption (such as AES, WPA, or the obsolete WEP), you expose your passwords, logins, chats, and web browsing to any eavesdropper within radio range.
  • Use encryption when accessing e-mail.
    Some providers support encryption for SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 connections (sometimes and variously called SMTPS, IMAPS, POP3S, SIMAP, and more), which is mostly relevant when using an e-mail client such as Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Agendus, or Eudora. When accessing webmail, choose the SSL or TLS option (https:// rather than http://). Taking these methods helps to avoid eavesdropping by others on your network, others using your ISP, others within Wi-Fi range, and even others on networks between your computer and your e-mail provider's systems.
  • Use encryption when logging into websites.
    Whenever the option is available, choose "secure login" or "SSL Login" to enter your username and password through an https:// web address rather than an http:// web address.
  • Turn off bluetooth when not in use. Some systems can be compromised through Bluetooth, often through a buggy implementation.

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