Secure Use of Internet “Safe Hex” Presentation by Vlad Olchanski, PhD VCU Department of Internal Medicine at the Virginia Heart Institute February 17, 2006 http://www.intmed.vcu.edu/inm/infotech.shtml http://www.medinf.vcu.edu [email protected] (804) 828-5384 Computers & Communications
Computers started as something
and for use of professionals
Now computers are a major means of
communications and information retrieval
of users of Internet is ONE BILLION
a nightmare of 1950-1960s –
All computers are equaleven pigs are equally equal ;-)
“One of the behavioral issues that plague hospitals and especially the infection control team is how to improve handwashing compliance, how to achieve a plateau above the usual threshold of 40% observed in modern ICUs. This is not a new story.”http://stalkingmicrobes.org – read his latest book!
Same with COMPUTERS!
Windows Setup & Update Firewall
Web Browsers Email Programs
Pop-up BlockersSpam Filtering
Control PanelFolder Options
Microsoft Office files
DOC, XLS, PPT are also executables
and may be infected!
Make file extensions visible
so that you may easily detect
EXE, SCR, BAT, VBS, etc.
that may be infected:
Control Panel -> Security Center
Windows Update -> Automatic
Firewall -> On or Firewall of your choice
Virus Protection -> On or Antivirus of your . choice
Do not forget to update virus signatures weekly, do not trust automatic update!
Do not run several real-time virus protectors in the same time.
Websites or email messages may plant on your computer spyware -- programs that are watching and reporting what you are doing on your computer, what websites you visit, what files you have on computer, what music you play.
They even may highjack your commands to the web browser and display for you websites you never intended to visit. This all compromises the confidentiality of information on your computer and slows down its operation.
Install one or more spyware scanners that operate similar to the virus scanners.
- Adaware SE Personal download free from http://www.lavasoft.de
- SpyBot Search and Destroy free from http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html
You read and send email with Email Client
There are so many different Email Client programs --
make your own choice
some of Email Clients
and some of Email USERS
go outside of Internet Standards
- incompatibility of messages
- errors in transmission and reception
POP server delivers all messages to your computer --good when you are on a fast connection
IMAP server delivers only message headers and messages on demand -- good when you are on a dial-upYet you will not have all messages on your computer
Thunderbird, Eudora, TheBat! support multiple email accounts
Webmail allows to use email with your browser --good when you are on the go
For non professional use: Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. --but it is not a true email
1. Never consider email as confidential
2. Email should best be a simple message
3. Do not send messages formatted with HTML --
not all email clients can deal with them in the same way,
opening HTML message confirms a hit for spammers
(impossible in AOL email program )
4. Avoid sending binary attachments
these may come corrupted and can carry viruses
How to avoid binary attachments in Email, see
5. Do not open “strange” messages
Like Wine Dichotomy in Russia
- Vodka, Moonshine, Brandy
- all the rest are
Data Dichotomy in Internet
- Text files: Plain English text: A-Z, a-z, 0-9
- Binary files: all the rest
Only text files can go through Internet Binary files will come corrupted
To send a binary, it must be converted to
a text file (encoded) and on the receiving end
the encoded file must be decoded.
In Email, binary files go as attachments.
Different email programs treat attachments differently, which may lead to confusion and errors
O Bad guys try to obtain info on your
financial data and other confidentials
O Banks and real traders never ask you
about such with emails – NEVER.
O Bad guys create fake websites looking like
real ones, say Amazon and steal your data.
O Always check if your data will be sent to the
right destination by analyzing the links!
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
80% adventures and fiction, 5% pearls