Recently my computer was hacked  and the lessons I learnt that day I share here. I learnt how to go online and still be safe.First ,the background,Most families share computers and it’s risky when you have kids getting online. A smart kid is no match for these tech savy crooks.  Last weeek, I had a visitor on my site on blogspot ,who managed to get to my local  C drive and cause damage.I was checking the stats on sitemeter ,when I noticed this visitor left via my documents and files.How odd! I checked with site meter as soon as I could.Most of us have stat counters and don’t realise what a wealth of information those counters hold. The folks at site meter were superb! Very prompt in helping and They felt my files maybe open for others to read.Open files?I had fire wall turned on…how could this be? A quick check and I could see that the fire wall wasn’t set up well,leaving my files vulnerable to attack.So I reset it & did a virus scan.It’s safe now but some problems linger on. So here’s what you need to do to stay safe…
1.Before going online make sure your files are safe,you can do that by installing firewall. This prevents others from laying their hands on your hard drive.By default it is turned on but you need to go set it up as per your requirement.
2.Use the exceptions tab wisely,the more you tick off the more open your system is for others to access-as I realised..Always tick the “do not allow exceptions” box in fire wall settings when your on the bus/train or any public place,to avoid folks near by accessing your data.
3.Oh! yes.Install anti-virus scan and do a scan,yes! even for a new computer.If your using genuine Microsoft software then you’ll get  some freebies  and  their support page is very informative. 
4.Encrypt your data so only you can access it.You can always decrypt if you want later, only note the key.
5.Set security log,this way you’ll get a report of who is trying to access your computer should some one try.

6.You may not think much of your data but remember stuff like passwords,credit card details are stored automatically there, even family photos live there and you don’t want  crooks getting to it.Always back up your data with an external hard drive.
7.If   you have a blog back it up and be safe,you can’t afford to lose that.
8.If your kids use social networking sites and play games beware,some gaming programs need you to allow some exceptions in firewall  settings thus leaving you open to virus/malware.And kids that won’t listen ?how about informing the social network site? and  closing  their accounts.
My computer was infected with some virus and icons I never saw before appeared on the bar below,programs would open when I turned the computer on….still happening.I had done a post awhile ago on bangles and customs on my blogspot blog and this  visitor  spoted it on Google search  and arrived on my site- seemed very interested in it and now that file is missing from my computer.

my favorites
By Referrals > Visit Detail
Visit 1,067
Domain Name    
IP Address    
Continent  :   
Country  :   
State/Region  :   
City  :   
Lat/Long  :   
Language   English (U.S.)
Operating System    
Time of Visit   Nov 3 2009 9:13:56 pm
Last Page View   Nov 3 2009 9:24:40 pm
Visit Length   10 minutes 44 seconds
Page Views   3
Referring URL    
Search Engine    
Search Words    
Visit Entry Page    
Visit Exit Page    
Out Click    
Time Zone    
Visitor’s Time    
Visit Number    

Because of site meter I have a record of this visitor,,I’ve only put a few details here to show you how much detail stats can give.So ,the next time you check your stats,keep your eyes peeled.
PS.I ‘ve done a bit of edit to the original post …Any tech guys out there with something to add?I’d like to have your take on this.Just leave me a comment.Thanks.

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 1:03 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. If you have something to share do it here.Thanks.

  2. I just don’t understand hackers. I don’t understand people wanting to hurt others or damage their property. I try to be careful with my computer use. I am careful as to what programs can run through my firewall. I don’t play games online and don’t allow all the aps on my facebook, etc. I can only do so much. I hope they don’t get me.

    I had to start previewing my comments on my blog because of people posting stupid ads and porn stuff in my comment sections. There seems to be no shortage of people trying to ruin a good thing…

  3. Our home PCs are firewall protected with regular manual scans in addition to the automatic ones. We have a laptop for travel but since we use it on public wifi we only sign in to a small number of sites, I don’t even sign into blogger when I use the public wifi.

    I just upgraded my virus protection not long ago after a virus attack. Luckily I knew how to get rid of the virus and do a modified reload and didn’t lose any files. But I do have an external hard drive for backup. Pretty much anyone who goes online these days has to have a wall around themselves for protection.

  4. @Lily, These guys are up to no good and PREVENTION is the best.
    @Squirrelqueen,Your very wise with using public wifi,infact money transfers & banking at public computers shouldn’t be done.Yes,fire wall protection is a must these days.Thanks for stopping by my site.

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