Here’s the big picture on computer and network security

There are lots of tools and techniques that help you protect your valuable files and other computer-based resources from outside (or inside) hackers.

Here are what I believe to be the most important ones:

  1. Changing a file’s attribute, characteristic or “flag”

    Fact is, file-attribute security is a very strong form of security — some would say the strongest. This is because any user having the “write” permission must also have the “modify” permission to change the attribute before they can actually write to the file.

    For example, if you changed a file’s attribute so that it was “read-only,” (making it impossible to make changes to that file) it would not matter if I had permission to write to it. The attribute, or “flag” on the file says “read-only” and that trumps everything else. I would first need the “modify” permission to change the “read-only” attribute to “read-write.” Then, and only then, would I be able to write to the file.

  2. Changing users’ permissions
    The next level of security involves giving (or taking away) of permissions to (or from) a user. These permissions are always granted in relation to a specific file, folder, printer, or other shareable network resource.

    Think of each shareable resource having an “access control list.” On this list are all the users that have been granted permission to access the resource. Some users on the list get lots of access and other users get very little access. And not only that — some users might specifically be denied access to the resource. The thing to remember is that these access controls (”permissions”) are specific to the resource.

    [ Note: We’ll talk about inheritance another time! ]

  3. Login security
    Before anyone gets anywhere near your network resources, they have to be able to log in. This means they have to have a user account and password. You, as a network administrator, have the ability to configure login security so that you can control who gets an account, how strong their password should be, when they can log in, where they can login from, how many different places they can be logged in from simultaneously, and so forth.

  4. Firewalls
    If login security is like deciding who can check into your hotel, firewall security is like building a wall around the hotel so that no intruder can even get close to the building.

    In brief, a firewall is a specialized piece of hardware or software that is designed to secure a computer or an entire network from unauthorized access. Before someone can even begin to think about logging on, they first have to get past the firewall. Firewalls can be configured to filter in-bound traffic in lots and lots of different ways.

  5. Anti-spyware software
    Specialized software designed to find and remove programs that are secretly installed on a users computer and that monitors use of the computer in some way without the users’ knowledge or consent.

  6. Anti-virus software
    Specialized software that removes viruses, worms, and other executable files that duplicate and run themselves in an unsolicited (and destructive) manner.
Here's A Few More Related Posts:
  1. It’s Easy: Setting up a wireless network
  2. (Video) Here’s what it looks like when a computer gets infected
  3. 5 Easy Steps To Sharing Files and Folders On Your Network
  4. Here’s how to set up a workgroup

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