Opera has been around since 1994 and has yet to really grab a large user base. It has always been a relatively solid choice of a web browser but is overshadowed by Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. Opera and Internet Explorer 9 have a similar feature which is that they will try and navigate you away from harmful websites and content. Opera also sports extended validation. Extended validation is a type of certificate which is issued only after strict criteria has been met. Extended validation makes sure a website is who they say they are. Opera also has top of the line 256-bit encryption to help guarantee security. Opera is a valid alternative to the other major browsers, but to be quite honest I would just stay with Chrome or Firefox.
Soures: http://www.opera.com/security/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers
Bots have been around for awhile and have be an ever increasing concern. How do you know if an account was created by/for a bot or by a genuine user? There different ways to confirm somones humanity, but a great solution is to use CAPTCHA. It asks the user to look at the image and input the letters presented. A human should have little to no trouble copying the letters, however a bot will more often then not be completely dumbfounded. CAPTCHA’s distort the text of the image making it even harder for bots to answer it correctly.
While storing data on the cloud is extremely handy and useful, centralizing all of your data into one single location may be a vital mistake. Since all of your data is centralized away from your computer it is easy to access regardless of what computer your on, under any operating system.
The big flaw in doing this is that if some unintended party were to gain access to this data it had now all been centralized for them. In doing so if any security of this were to be comprimised to corrupted this means all of the data for millions of users would have been stolen/corrupted simultaneously prvoding a huge security threat.
There are several key features which sets Comodo Firewall apart from any other firewall on the market today. Comodo combines the cusomizability and large amount of configuration options with a very an extremely intuitive and easy to use interface and knowledgebase. By doing this Comodo is now perfect for both the amateur user who is new to firewalls, and the techy who wants to customize every possible option.
Comodo monitors every piece of network activity occuring with your computer and always gives you control over what to allow and what to disallow along with always remembering your decisions. Comodo quickly learns your user behavior to deliver you personalized protection with its very attractive GUI while its DDP-based (default deny protection) security keeps you informed and your computer as safe as possible. With its exensive databases and information about over 2 million applications if in doubt to whether to allow an application to access your computer Comodo will already have prepared a detailed report of its analysis and recomendations.
Peerblock is a software application which ‘knows bad’ computers and prevents them from accessing your computer. Peerblock does this by having a list of different computers, associations, governments, corporations, machines flagged for anti-p2p activities, and countries. From these lists you can select which of them you would like to block form accessing your computer.
The IP filtering abilities of Peerblock are second to none, and allow you to even block lists of hosts known for Ads. Peerblock will let you know every IP that is being blocked for you and log it along with its details. Of course, if need be you can always allow a computer to connect for 15 minutes, 1 hour, or permanently. If you wish to protect yourself from unknown entities accessing your computer Peerblock is for you.
Internet Explorer has received a lot of flack in past years being that it had so many security flaws. It’s often treated like the red-haired step child of internet browsers. However, in recent years Microsoft has stepped up their game and produced a legitimate alternative to using Chrome or Firefox. Unlike past versions of IE, Internet Explorer 9 was actually made ground up with a security mindset.
Anytime you try to do something that could harm your computer Internet Explorer 9 warns you. For instance, when navigating to or downloading from a known harmful website it will suggest you navigate away. When downloading files it will scan it to make sure it is safe. Now that is not new to internet browsers but IE9 is able to detect “99% of the malware it encountered,” according to the NSS. Considering IE9′s origins this is a huge step forward for Microsoft.
Google chrome supports a blacklist of sites which are known for hosting malware or being used as phishing sites. A phising attack is where the attacker attempts to trick the user into entering their sensitive information into a fake website. Google Chrome eliminates that threat. Whenever you attempt to visit a site on this blacklist a warning will appear letting you know that this site is known for suspicious and potentially dangerous activity. Of course, you may proceed to the site at your own risk.
To further increase security Google Chrome sandboxes their tabs. This means that each tab in the browser is treated as a separate process. By doing this each of the tabs cannot see any information or data associated with any other tab. If you were entering your bank information on your valid banking site, and happened to have a malicious site open in another tab, the malicious site would be able to steal your bank information. With sandboxing that malicious site would not have access to any of the information in any of the other tabs and your bank information would remain safe and sound. This is also true for saved passwords, since your passwords are saved in your preferences, they are not associated with any tab and thus any malicious site would not be able to attain your password information.
URL shorteners were made to make sharing website links a whole lot easier. URL shorteners are very convenient but come with a risk. When clicking a shortened link, you have no idea where it can send you. From a security perspective this is unacceptable, the risk is too great.
Instead of blindly clicking a shortened URL and hoping for the best use
. Unshorten It removes the risk of the unknown and guarantees your security. Just drop a shorten URL into the bar and Unshorten It handles the rest.
Here is an exmaple of how indepth Unshorten It is. Here’s the shortened URL I entered in
(unshorted it is
) and it shows you this:
When cruising through the darkest corners of the internet it’s always a good idea to be safe. In class we’ve talked about different extensions for Firefox (most are also work with Chrome) that increase one’s security, so I thought I’d make a quick list of extensions that really get it done.
Dr. Web: Have you ever thought to yourself, “man this link looks sketchy, well time to roll the bones.” Dr Web eliminates the whole guessing game of “is this a safe link?”. Just right click on link and click scan. A window then pops up detailing the positive or negate results.
Adblock Plus: This is by far the best extension. AdBlock Plus removes all adds and pop-ups from websites. Barring security for a moment, removing those inconveniences is worth the download alone. Getting back into the security mindset, removing all ads and pop-ups does make your computer safer. Some ads and pop-ups are made with the sole purpose of tricking people into clicking and then installing unwanted, behind-the-scenes programs.
Web of Trust (WOT): This extension lets you see if a website is safe. When searching on Google a green circle appears next to each link. Click on that and a new page pops up detailing the websites trustworthy ratings.
No Script: No script disables java script from running without your permission. This prevents any malicious script attacks. Although it may a little annoying it does keep you safe.
Most people already know that connecting and using an unsecured network is a bit risky. With programs like Wireshark, and other packet sniffing programs, connecting to an unsecured network is more than a little risky, it’s extremely risky. And now Firesheep is going to make using a public hotspot a death sentence. Firesheep is an add-on for Firefox that can grab a person’s browser’s cookies. Every time you log on facebook or twitter your computer sends your login data to their severs which respond back to you with a cookie. That cookie is used to authenticate who you are. Firesheep steals that cookie, allowing for the attacker to essentially be you. Unlike Wireshark, Firesheep is incredibly easy to use. Once installed all a person has to do is connect to an unsecured network with other users actively browsing the internet and click “Start Capturing”. From there it’s all over.