Where do I begin with all of this?
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Thread: Where do I begin with all of this?

  1. #1
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    New and wondering...where

    Hello folks.

    New here and anxious to get started. I'm not that great at computer stuff and would really like to learn more. I'm especially interested in security issues...but remember I don't know much on the technical jargon.

    Can you guys suggest a thread to get started understanding basics like:

    What exactly an IP addy can reveal about me? (Like is it possible to track me down all the way to my front door by an IP with the right technology???)

    How can I be 100% sure there are no trojans installed on my PC, beyond the basic antivirus software stuff?


    How can I better protect my identity online and what can others find out about me when I communicate with them via IM, email, etc...????????





    Anyone who can direct me to links about these kinds of things I'd really appreciate it...if not I'll keep browsing....


    Thanks and be gentle!

    WM
    si vis pacem para bellum

  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    woundman, I moved your thread from Roll Call since people cannot reply there. I've also renamed it to better reflect what you are asking.

    There is a nice search feature here that you can use to find things. Alternatively, (and in worse case if you can't find it) just ask. For the most part we don't bite and I think everyone has had their rabies shots.

    IP Security might be a good place to start. Basically, an IP address can reveal that you exist on the Internet. It might even indicate what city your in and where you have posted (your trail on the internet). Depending on what you've left on that trail that might reveal your name or not. And once the name is revealed... well..

    You can never be 100% sure of being totally virus free. That's reality. Anti-Virus software and trojan detection software (like The Cleaner) are dependent on signature files, ie. the signature or footprint of what they are detecting. Being persistent and cautious can go a long way. Scan attachments received, watch for extensions that don't belong (e.g, .pif, .jpg.exe, etc.), keep your AV/trojan detection software up to date and their respective signature files up-to-date. Never assume anything is clean.

    As for your privacy, well that's entirely up to you. How much information you give out will determine the risks to your identity. Programs like Anonymizer will hide some of your identity but if you go around telling people your name (I assume those are your initials are the bottom... big clue for me if I know your IP -- I'd guess Will, William, Wally.. something like that) well then anything is possible. Keep in mind that there are few laws in the US to protect your privacy so it's up to you to be diligent as to where you go, how much info you give and to read things like the privacy agreement. If a website doesn't have one, be suspicious as to what they are doing with your information.

    I hope this helps and if you have other questions, do not hesitate to ask. (that's what we're here for).
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  3. #3
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    or WoundMan MsMittens? :P

    As for free firewalls I'd suggest ZoneAlarm, although there are many others, do a search on the forum to find some reviews/recommendations. I'd also try out Netscape, or something along those lines, as IE is vulnerable to some nasty exploits, as well as not doing a great job at keeping away pop-ups etc (apart from the new one I think... something about XP only??)

    As MsM said, a lot of privacy is what you give out, for example from your post you might be able to work out that you're fairly well educated (good grammar/spelling), know some spanish or speak it as a 2nd language (or English as a very good 2nd, and espanol as a first), in the age range of about 13 to 40 (not many 40+ use "guys" in formal writing (or am I just being stereotypical?)). When you combine this with other info that someone may have gathered about you, they could build up quite a profile...

    If you want to find out a bit more about how viruses/hackers work try subscribing to bugtraq, or something along those lines. This will give you the latest in loop holes that have been found in computer systems (i.e. Windows).

    If you want to learn more about protecting emails/IM convos, look into PGP (www.pgpi.org) and encryption (a good intro is at http://www.infosyssec.com/infosyssec/intro.html ).

    Apart from that, if there are any terms you don't understand, try www.dictionary.com or www.google.com and if those both fail you ask here!!

    Welcome to AO!
    \"Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.\"
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  4. #4
    New here and anxious to get started. I'm not that great at computer stuff and would really like to learn more. I'm especially interested in security issues...but remember I don't know much on the technical jargon.
    Welcome to AO, dear woundman. I know you will find the people here kind, helpful, and ready to answer any question you can throw at us. As for security issues, you have come to the right place! AO is a mixture people who are pure white hat hackers (in a sense of securing through manual and tutorial means) and grey hat hackers (in a sense of both reading tutorials and manuals, combined with first hand security penetration knowledge). Here we teach it legal, and thus expect maturity out of our uses because of the amount of power such knowledge wields.

    Can you guys suggest a thread to get started understanding basics like:
    Where to begin... how about this. Read each and every thread, little by little. When you don't know what something is, either google it (http://www.google.com) or ask here. You will learn much faster by reading what others ask and their answers, than sitting idle and watching. As a side note, check out the tutorial sections, as they will more than likley help explain the basics on a common pathway. Remember, if you have questions, never ever hesitate to ask.

    What exactly an IP addy can reveal about me? (Like is it possible to track me down all the way to my front door by an IP with the right technology???)
    An IP reveals very little about you, personally. An IP can show:

    1. Who your ISP is
    2. How to contact your ISP (phone, email, admin names)
    3. What state you possibly live in (if the ISP is in the same state as you)
    4. What vunerabilities your comptuer/network has
    5. The computers someone has to go through to eventually end up to you.

    So nothing too personal at all, unless they start social engineering (sweet talking information out of you or others).

    How can I be 100% sure there are no trojans installed on my PC, beyond the basic antivirus software stuff?
    MsMittens is correct, you can never be 100% sure, but you can be 99% sure. Start off with a good, software firewall. I personally recommend zonealarm, as the recent versions have a lot of improvements, easy setup and configuration(with advanced and expert configuration avaliable) and will protect you from almost all evils of the net. As for viruses, I never installed a virus scanner on my computer, ever, so I can't recommend anything. I see no reason to run a continual virus scanner because of two reasons:

    1. If you are a smart admin/computer user, you won't download from suspicious places. You won't accept or run things you don't understand completely, either. This means the chances of you even coming across a virus (as almost ALL are initiated by you the user) are close to null.

    2. Whenever I download anything questionable, I run an online scan at http://housecall.antivirus.com. In all my years of computing it has never failed me. It runs off of ActiveX and Java, and downloads the signature files (up to date on the minute) so that it can run it directly from the site. Top to bottom, zip file to exe scan. And this means no installation hassel, no wasted resources on continually running it in the background, etc.

    However, until you get the hang of things, it may seem smarter to others to run a virus scanner and actually install it. Whatever floats your boat.


    How can I better protect my identity online and what can others find out about me when I communicate with them via IM, email, etc...????????
    Depends. A firewall will end most of this information leakage about your system. An email account program may ask for your name, not just your email address, meaning that name is used in place of the email address in people's address books. Don't use a real name, obviously. Protection online for the most part is simply you giving out information. The less you give out, the less information about you is out there.


    Anyone who can direct me to links about these kinds of things I'd really appreciate it...if not I'll keep browsing....
    Browse browse browse, pm pm pm, question question question.

    Once again, let me welcome you to the forums, my friend. Good to see some newcomers eager to learn instead of h4aX000rr the Gib$0N

  5. #5
    Flash M0nkey
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    I wote a tut a couple of days ago which covers basically everything you asked here -> http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hreadid=253274

    v_Ln

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the advice. Really appreciate your willingness to help and your patience. (No flames so far.)

    PS...the WM is only representative of the user name...but that was an interesting deduction nonetheless.

    Thanks again, and will read you soon.

    WM
    si vis pacem para bellum

  7. #7
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    As MsM said, a lot of privacy is what you give out, for example from your post you might be able to work out that you're fairly well educated (good grammar/spelling), know some spanish or speak it as a 2nd language (or English as a very good 2nd, and espanol as a first), in the age range of about 13 to 40 (not many 40+ use "guys" in formal writing (or am I just being stereotypical?)). When you combine this with other info that someone may have gathered about you, they could build up quite a profile...

    BTW...this is really good. The part about grammar, I appreciate, though I'm really just extra careful so as not to look like too much of an idiot online...LOL. The reference to "guys" is also interesting...I didn't look at it from that perspective. (Although I've noted that some people in the northern part of the US use that kind of phrasing while others in the south may say "yall".)

    Anyway, that shows you pay attention to detail and seem pretty educated yourself. Thanks again and really appreciate the feedback.

    Take care all...see you around the forum.

    WM
    si vis pacem para bellum

  8. #8
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    Woundman, don't worry about looking too much like an idiot. I do it all the time here, and on other forums. You can't learn if you don't ask or read, and everyone started at the beginning. Some of us (speaking for myself) haven't moved very far from the beginning., which I blame on growing up in the age of typewriters. I answer what I can and read about what I don't know. Welcome to AntiOnline.

  9. #9
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    WM,the best way to learn is to read the post's of other people who know what they are talking about.I think i have posted 2 time's but i read at least 2 times a week untill i get information overload.
    RG
    \"what about a robot with a Human brain?\" bart simpson

  10. #10
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    I have posted these links on here before and have found them to be a good read :
    [ There very easy to understand ]

    [1]Home Computer Security
    [2]Home Network Security
    [3]FAQ Firewall Forensics (What am I seeing?)
    [4]Firewalls For Beginners

    These should hopefully get you started.

    Note: Read, read and read some more like some have suggested. Feel free to ask questions whenever you need help or dont seem to quite understand something.
    Operation Cyberslam
    \"I\'ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.\" Author Unknown
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