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Helpful Info. Hackers - How to prevent them.

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Geoduck

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So in my last thread about my endevours with an Amazon Echo a user by the name Urbanprep wrote 'Technology is the rat fink that will squeal the second it is asked to talk. It is the double agent in your compound, waiting to report back to it's master (of the moment).' and that got me to thinking how could one prevent your computer from being compromised. And there's a few ways.

1. ALWAYS use a VPN - ProtonVPN is my personal choice.
2. Ghostery - It's an addon to your browser that blocks cookies (cookies can be compromised and used to infect your computer with vicous malware or to steal info.
3. Anti-Virus (Obvious of course) - A good, strong, anti-virus is the difference between getting keylogged or not. AVG is my personal choice.
4. Keep a backup - Your computer takes 'snapshots' almost nightly of your HDD so if something happens you only lose a small amount of work. I would recommened saving one weekly, every week, just to be on the safe side so you have a higher chance of avoiding whatever malware has made your PC it's home.
5. Lastly, Instal windows onto a portable HDD (as you would a internal HDD) - THIS is your last fail safe, a completely clean version of windows you can use if all else fails. It's portable and only ever plugged in when *you* need it to be.
 

Urbanprep

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@Geoduck Good solid advice for all. I do use all the mentioned techniques and services, except NordVPN in my VPN provider. One added feature, encryption for your hard drive. With encryption, is it much harder (not impossible) for people (agencies) to read your information.
 

Arcticdude

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So in my last thread about my endevours with an Amazon Echo a user by the name Urbanprep wrote 'Technology is the rat fink that will squeal the second it is asked to talk. It is the double agent in your compound, waiting to report back to it's master (of the moment).' and that got me to thinking how could one prevent your computer from being compromised. And there's a few ways.

1. ALWAYS use a VPN - ProtonVPN is my personal choice.
2. Ghostery - It's an addon to your browser that blocks cookies (cookies can be compromised and used to infect your computer with vicous malware or to steal info.
3. Anti-Virus (Obvious of course) - A good, strong, anti-virus is the difference between getting keylogged or not. AVG is my personal choice.
4. Keep a backup - Your computer takes 'snapshots' almost nightly of your HDD so if something happens you only lose a small amount of work. I would recommened saving one weekly, every week, just to be on the safe side so you have a higher chance of avoiding whatever malware has made your PC it's home.
5. Lastly, Instal windows onto a portable HDD (as you would a internal HDD) - THIS is your last fail safe, a completely clean version of windows you can use if all else fails. It's portable and only ever plugged in when *you* need it to be.
All good information. Due to my location I'm going to have to get satellite internet. Is there any special precautions that I'll need to be aware of with this type of system?
 

Geoduck

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All good information. Due to my location I'm going to have to get satellite internet. Is there any special precautions that I'll need to be aware of with this type of system?
You're more than likely better off with satellite internet. Although it's constantly wireless connection between dishes, if someone was to hack a network, they would go for masses i.e Virgin Media, AT&T or Sky. Run scans maybe slightly more regularly and be wary about websites. There's a lot of tell-tale signs that will show you if you want to be there or not. Basic caution for all will keep you safe online.
 

Maverick

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The USGS and WSU provides the internet, the wife's computer and equipment goes through a VPN for the USGS, they have a tower on the property 1/8 of a mile from the house, it looks like a cell tower with microwave dishes on it, my internet goes through the tower and the end point goes to DSL in town where they have another tower. our computers aren't connected at all to the same network plus we have separate hardware firewalls. I don't really understand how it all works nor care. It works for me!

Ok, the wife clarified it, the tower is a joint effort by AT&T/USGS/USDA (Forrest service)/WSU/State, AT&T provides communication for First Responders interconnect and cell service. I provided a piece of ground for the tower (wife requested) and I guess everyone took advantage of it. All I know is my computer connects to an what the wife calls equipment rack that connects to large green box outside her office that has cables (wife call fiber optics) that goes to a concrete building some distance away from the house thats behind a fence that has wires running to another concrete building that the tower is connected in the same fenced area. Wife got the ball rolling sometime ago on all this, she said she needed it.
 
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Rellgar

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The USGS and WSU provides the internet, the wife's computer and equipment goes through a VPN for the USGS, they have a tower on the property 1/8 of a mile from the house, it looks like a cell tower with microwave dishes on it, my internet goes through the tower and the end point goes to DSL in town where they have another tower. our computers aren't connected at all to the same network plus we have separate hardware firewalls. I don't really understand how it all works nor care. It works for me!

Ok, the wife clarified it, the tower is a joint effort by AT&T/USGS/USDA (Forrest service)/WSU/State, AT&T provides communication for First Responders interconnect and cell service. I provided a piece of ground for the tower (wife requested) and I guess everyone took advantage of it. All I know is my computer connects to an what the wife calls equipment rack that connects to large green box outside her office that has cables (wife call fiber optics) that goes to a concrete building some distance away from the house thats behind a fence that has wires running to another concrete building that the tower is connected in the same fenced area. Wife got the ball rolling sometime ago on all this, she said she needed it.
It seems like one of those concrete buildings has your own DSLAM for your DSL in it. :)
Sorry I should probably say what a DSLAM is (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) which is then likely connected to a backbone such as T1 or T3.
 
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DrHenley

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Here are my two cents on this topic. But I was just an IT Director before I retired, so what do I know? ;)

There are two types of intrusions, active and passive. Most infections are through passive means like trojans, downloaded viruses and malicious web sites. Things you download yourself onto your computer or web sites that you visit that then open a communications channel to a hacker. They initiate the communication from your end, so your precious VPN is useless unless it can filter out malicious traffic. The subject of preventing passive intrusions is by far the most complex because it involves behavior modification on the part of the user :)

With active intrusions all you need is a good hardware firewall - one that makes you invisible to port scanners.
An inexpensive Linux box can be configured using a firewall interface program. Linux comes with the actual firewall built in, but configuring and monitoring it can be daunting unless you have a good interface program. The one I used for a corporate firewall was FireStarter, but it is no longer supported (still works fine though, it's just harder to find and install)

To test your firewall, the best site I know of is ShieldsUP! by Gibson Research. Go to their main page, click on the "Services" button up at the top and select "ShieldsUP!" Click the "Proceed" button" then the "All Service Ports" button.
It will aggressively scan all your ports and tell you the status on each of them. If everything comes up green then you are invisible to hackers, whether it's the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, or the NSA when you are not doing anything.

https://www.grc.com
 
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Geoduck

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@DrHenley - I was really suggesting a VPN just as a way to mask your IP if you got hit with an IP logger, such as something from Blasze IP Logger, it wouldn't give them your actual IP, but the IP from the VPN. It's not a perfect defence by any means but it's one extra step that the hacker in question might not want to take.
 

DrHenley

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Geoduck, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying VPNs are of no benefit. But you just need to be aware that it means nothing in a passive attack. The attack originates on your computer because you have been duped into making the connection to the hacker yourself.
 

Maverick

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It seems like one of those concrete buildings has your own DSLAM for your DSL in it. :)
Sorry I should probably say what a DSLAM is (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) which is then likely connected to a backbone such as T1 or T3.
You lost me and wife lost me too, the wife says she uses VPN but not in the conventional way of using the internet, she uses what is called 'default free zone' and the VPN connects to the intranet at the university and USGS.
 

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