Computer And Internet Privacy Basics

The Computer Privacy protection is a very serious issue to be ignored these days.”Everything you do online and offline is monitored by someone.”, say many people out there and they are right not because of their paranoia but because the Private Information is too valued for its owner. But is it possible to protect our Computer Privacy without plugging the cable?

See how somebody could steal your Private Information. Reveal what is the difference between Computer Privacy and Internet Privacy. Read how to generate Secure Passwords that hackers can not break.

1. What is Computer Privacy?

This is the power to control what computer information you reveal about yourself and to control who can access this personal information.

2. What is Internet Privacy?

It is a part of the computer privacy. It is the power to control what information you reveal about yourself in Internet, the power to control which web sites, remote scripts and web applications can access this personal information, and the power to know if these web sites, scripts, and web applications are enough trustworthy.

3. What is Private Information?

No doubt, your computer keeps tons of information about:

* all web sites you have visited
* all documents, folders, pictures, videos, files you have opened and created
* all e-mail, forum names and passwords you have
* all bank and credit card information you have saved
* all Skype-to-Skype calls and ICQ chats you have made
* all technology, writing or art you have invented
* your online shopping activities: when you visit the online store order page of some web site
* your shared photos, videos, age/sex data, hobbies, preferences, even thoughts with everyone out there
* generally all your computer habits and things-to-do

All computer and web data you consider to private is your private information.

4. How to Generate Secure Passwords that Hackers can not break?

We use passwords every day to access our computer accounts, e-mail accounts, bank accounts, Facebook and Twitter accounts and hundreds of other services. There is great temptation to use one password for all accounts and to make it short and easy to remember. However, this has devastating effect on our security and privacy. If you think that you have nothing to hide, think again.

In most cases the passwords are hacked to use your computer as spam bot, to steal your money and private information, to infect your computer with computer viruses and spyware and so on.

Learn to avoid the following weak and easy to crack passwords:

* Generic passwords and default passwords. Examples: admin, administrator, user, guest, pass, password, iloveyou, 2010, etc. These are the first passwords that are tried by the password cracking software.

* Meaningful words or names. Examples: sandbox, NY, lion, john, mary, USA, love, myspouse, dragon, etc. Easily cracked by the dictionary-assisted cracking tools.

* Words or names with added numbers. Examples: john123, pass123, 123456, number1, abc123, 654321, etc. Easily cracked by the automated cracking tools.

* Personal names, birthdates or similar information. These are used a lot as passwords and are very easily cracked. For example, if the password is a birthday, there are only hundreds or few thousands (if the year is included) possible combinations, which is very weak for a password.

Learn to generate strong random passwords through these rules:

* Choosing “randomly” letters and numbers. It appears random but only at first sight. Numerous research studies have proven that humans are not very good at random picks – they always try to spread the things too evenly, which is not random behavior.

* “Random” typing on the keyboard with closed eyes. This is slightly better than random choosing but still nowhere random enough.

* Online random password generators. Much better than the previous two alternatives but have 2 major drawbacks. The first is the possibility that the generated password may be saved on the website with malicious purposes or someone may eavesdrop on your connection and intercept the generated passwords. The second major problem is the quality of the random number generators, which very often is not up to the task. Many of them are naively implemented and provide a lot fewer combinations than theoretically possible (no more that tens or hundreds of millions, which is not strong password by any means – see the table in the previous chapter).

* Specialized random password generator programs. The best option as long as they are implemented properly and come from trusted source.