The Norman Transcript

Business

March 17, 2013

Building your computer security onion

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The next layers of your computer security onion deal more with behavior, rather than programs you’ll install. One critical behavior layer is the use of strong passcodes. I’ve decided to stop using the term “password;” I prefer “passcode” or “passphrase” because these security devices we use to access our email, bank and online shopping accounts should never, ever, never in a million years be straight-up “words.”

Most online accounts that end up being hacked become that way because people use crummy, weak passwords. The bad guys can hack “passWORDS” so fast it’s not even a little bit funny. You need to know how they do it, and how you can invent easy-to-use passphrases that will keep the bad guys at bay.

Other layers of your security onion should include things like secure email practices, using safe and updated browsers, recognizing scam messages, avoiding crooked websites, secure file deletion, safe wireless networking and avoiding bogus “fix-em-up” programs. Eventually, your computer security onion will be so smelly the Internet bad guys won’t be able to stand being around you.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops for public and private organizations. He can be reached at 405-919-9901 or www.davemoorecomputers.com.

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