Notes from a SNUG lecture by Dave Palmer, 11/8/2013


 – Keep your operating system updated

– Keep your browser updated

– Keep all programs & applications updated
  Use Secunia PSI or similar program to notify you of out-
  of-date programs. (

– Use multiple layers of security – i.e. hardware firewall, software firewall, anti-virus (AV), anti-malware. While you may use multiple anti-virus programs, only 1 can be running in the background at any one time. You may have to turn off the application running to scan with a second AV program.

 – Scan your system on a regular basis with your security

– When your system is clean, backup your data, then backup the backup. One copy should be held off-site. If you can, make an ‘image of your entire system. Then create a backup, again held off-site.

 – Never open attachments from unexpected e-mail.

 – Never click on links in an e-mail. Instead, go to the website or webpage yourself.

 – Use strong passwords sites where you shop or bank. Strong passwords are random combinations of at least 15 characters. To be strong, passwords must use upper & lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

 – Never reuse passwords on multiple websites.

 – Never let your browser ‘remember’ your passwords.

 – Use a password manager for the best security.

 A free tool that can improve security is NoScript, a browser plugin that prevents ‘scripts’ (small programs) from running when you visit websites. (

 Another useful, and free, tool is Sandboxie, a tool that creates a safe zone or ‘sandbox’ around your browser. Any changes to your computer made by malware are limited to the sandbox, which can be deleted. (

 There is always a tradeoff between convenience and security. More security is always less convenient. More convenience is always less secure. Find a balance that works for you.

 The more of these security measures you use, the more secure you will be.