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This chapter covers a wide range of practical topics. Previous chapters have shown that the Internet and computing today is a dangerous place. There are many ways in which a criminal can invade your computer and harm you. The industry has recognized security and cybercrime as a significant danger, but they are also committed to making computing easy and trouble free. However, “easy” and “secure” are often contradictory. The advice here is intended to help you establish your own balance between convenience and safety. Following the advice, you may still be vulnerable, complete safety is impossible, but you can greatly reduce the dangers.
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NIST is revising recommended password guidelines to reflect the need for length. For a good overview of the revision in process, see Jim Fenton, “Toward Better Password Requirements,” www.slideshare.net/jim_fenton/toward-better-password-requirements .Accessed October 2016. Fenton is an independent researcher and consultant to NIST. This PowerPoint is not an official document, but it appears to reveal thinking on its way into the revised guidelines.
But don’t rely on Google absolutely. No Google hits does not guarantee a good password. Your birthday in Roman numerals may not get hits, but it is still weak.
I expect bandwidth theft will increase as the Internet providers put more caps on data downloaded per month. The temptation to filch bandwidth from a neighbor’s poorly secured Wi-Fi will be great.
If a free software program is good and useful to you, don’t be a cheapskate. Pay the developers something for it. Support the good people.
TLS replaced SSL in 1999, but the term SSL is still common. SSL has been declared insecure, but there are still old installations of SSL around, but there is not much an individual user can do about it.
HTTPS Everywhere is available at www.eff.org/https-everywhere . Accessed October 2016.
NoScript can be downloaded from https://noscript.net/ . Accessed October, 2016.
See Brian Krebs “The Lowdown on Freezing Your Kid’s Credit,” KrebsonSecurity, January 20, 2016. https://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/01/the-lowdown-on-freezing-your-kids-credit/ . Accessed October 2016. Krebs provides detail on current regulations. The comments offer some insight into the controversy over the prudence of establishing a child’s credit file.
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