[Article] - How not To get Hacked

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oDx

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Its pretty much easy if you keep a few things in mind while using computers. Ok let me say, these few things are just the beginning. A full proof technique for not getting hacked, is to be a hacker itself. And guess what thats not an easy task.

Anyway here i will try my level best to give guidelines and tips for computer safety.

So let me start with some points first (I'll explain each of them):

1. Do not download any executable files from websites which you dont know.
2.Do not install any unrequired toolbars for your browser.
3. Do not download pirated software of software patches.
4.Do not download pirated audio or video.
5.Always keep all your softwares updated.
6.Type in using virtual keyboards if you can; especially if you are logging in to banking websites.
7.Do not log in to any websites just by going through a link, just type the website name in the address bar and then login.
8.Dont give out too much info about you in any Social communities.
9.Always include atleast one special symbol in passwords.
10.Use noScript Addon with Firefox for a safer Browsing.
So now let me explain each one them:

1. Do not download any executable files from websites which you dont know.

Executable means any files with extension with ".exe". These types of files can change almost anything in your computer. and most of the viruses and other malwares will have this extension. By default in windows we cannot see the extension. So some viruses and worms are making use of this.

For example most of the autorun worm(which are most common which can be traversed by the help of USB drives, will have icon of the folder. But since the extension will not be displayed most users will double click on that to see whats inside. Thats the end of a uninfected system. With in a few hours the whole system will be badly infected.

So for your safety enable it. You can enable it by going to "folder options" in Control Panel. Then goto View tab n Remove check mark from Hide extensions for Known filetypes.

You can use the McAfee site advisor to know whether the site is a malware supplier. But still we cannot just rely on this. Also if you are so keen on downloading files from an unknown website, then after downloading you may consider uploading the file to VIRUSTOTAL.COM for checking whether the file sis infected or not. This services scans the file using around 40 uptodate antiviruses.

Autorun worm being a major n higly risky threat i have included one solution for this also.

See this video to know how to protect your USB Drives from Autorun Worms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAG7NxoqJC8&feature=player_embedded


2.Do not install any unrequired toolbars for your browser.

Toolbars can never be trusted. Its ok to install them if you trust the provider. But still its risky. They can get all the information your doing using a browser if a tool bar is installed. the risk of using this out shines all other advantages. theres been reports that even one of the major supplier of Operating system spies us.

3. Do not download pirated software of software patches.

Dont think that all of the crackers and hackers are making the Cracked versions n Patches for the softwwares, just for fun. Its not like that in 99% cases. They are making money using this. And how? They are using these cracks or patches for this. Some include undetectable keyloggers, ircBots, etc etc, in ther releases. So theres chances like you will lose more money than that will cost you if you just bought the software. So never download cracks or Patches. I'm not saying that all of them will be infected. But chances are there.

4.Do not download pirated audio or video.

Just like the executables never ever trust the videos or audios that your are downloading. I will explain why i'm telling this. One of my friend downloaded a mp3 song from a major file sharing network. Yeah he checked the extension, n it was .mp3. And then he doubleclicked on the file, it opened Windows Media Player, upto now everything worked normal, But after this itb asked him to download another codec, which is needed to play this file. So as he never installed any codecs in his system, he downloaded and installed the codec. afetr the installation the Antivirus told him that one of his system file is infected and cannot be desinfected. And guess what he had to reinstall the OS. So this explains everything right. This can happen even if you are viewing a video online. Thats why I said never download anything from untrusted sites.

5.Always keep all your softwares updated.

Aah this also I will explain suing an example event. ;-). Ok, my friend was seraching for some tutorial about some hacking procedure. So he got one website which showed that they have this file but in PDF format. so he didnt double checked it as he had Adobe Reader installed in his system. So he downloaded it and opened it. first the file didnt open . So he tried agian , after some time it opened. But it was having some random texts which had no relation to what he was looking for. But then he noticed another thing, his computer became quite slow. then he opened up his process explorer n found that some files are being run which he didnt recognize. He took a copy of the file and tried uploading to the virustotal.com and found that the file is infected.

So even pdf files can download malwares and execute them without much further user interaction. But as a matter of fact if you are updated with the latest updates provided by these software vendors, this might not happen. As they will release security bulletins for protecting users from these kind exploits.

So be updated with the softwares you are using. And btw you will not get updates in almost all cases if you are using pirated versions.

6.Type in using virtual keyboards if you can; especially if you are logging in to banking websites.

You never know what will be in there in the system you are using. Keyloggers,bots, Remote Admin tools, etc etc. So if you are logging into some serious websites(by serious i meant which can play crucial role in your life, (of course banking websites are included in this :D) use virtual Keyboards. In windows Systems Its there in start-> all Programs->Accessories->accesibility->onscreen Keyboard.

The advantage of this is, most of the keyloggers can only detect the key pressed if the hardware keyboard is used. They cannot detect the keys being pressed in virtual Keyboard. But i'm not saying that the other is not possible. But still its safer to use this.

7.Do not log in to any websites just by going through a link, just type the website name in the address bar and then login.

The most simple way of hacking to get username and password is PHISHING. Its so simple that if you have the correct tools for this or , a little bit knowledge in PHP you can make a phishing page. But the real thing int his hacking procedure it to make the users click on their link on which they have uploaded their phishing page.

So they will their social engg skills for this. One example for this is, sending an email telling, your account is about to be deleted because of inactivity. If you ahve any doubts regarding this please login in the following link and post a query about this. <the link to their PHishing Page>

So if you click and login there you username and password is sent to the owner of the particular phishing page. IF you are getting any mails asking you to login jsut type in the web address in the browser, then use the search function to check if the mail you got is legitimate . If not so please report to the original website admin about thias so that they can take actions on this Phisher.

Also never ever share the password and user accounts with 2 different domains unless you have enough info about both the websites. For example You have the facebook profile. And while browsing through someones profile you are seeing like Login here to See FaceBook Especially for Guys interested in Girls. So it may not what you might be thinking. Those will be a links to other phishing pages.

8.Dont give out too much info about you in any Social communities.

Hackers have social engineering Skills. More often they will have better social engineering skills. So if you are unsure about a guys or never have seen him/her in real life, never give away too much information about yourself. This can help them to figure out your password, Security Question, etc etc. So keep this in mind always.

9.Always include atleast one special symbol in passwords.

Nowadays its becoming more n more difficult for the hackers. Since almost all of the websites have captcha installed @ the login page the brute Force attack and Dictionary attack have become almost impossible to do. But still its a good idea to include a special Symbol in your password.(spl symbols like !,@,#,$,%,^,&,*,(,),_,+). Doing so will greatly enhance the security of your password. Dictionary will not be feasible if you have included these symbols. And Brute Force Attacking will be the dumbest thing if you have included this spl symbol. And also try to increase the length of your password as much as you can.

10.Use noScript Addon with Firefox for a safer Browsing.

Using Javascript attacker can redirect you from legitimate websites to the website they want you to go, or make you download something which will require no user interaction.

So using this Addon will disable javascript. You can simply install this and enable if you are unsure about a website. :D

Download it here

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So thats it. I hope you enjoyed reading this and will keep all these thing while you are on computer. Also if you liked this please pass it on. Let your friends also feel safe.. ;-)

Thank You

- oDx

Awesome Techs - A blog About Everything.
 
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