Category Archives: Internet Security

Protecting Your Wireless Connection

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Our home is supposed to be a place where our family feels safe.  Recently I have read about unsuspected victims of internet hackers who prey on those who have not taken the time to properly secure their wireless network in their homes.  You may have thought the same way I used to think before I was informed: “Why in the world would anyone want to hack into my network.  I have nothing from which they could gain.”  Think again.  Is there anything you do online that you would consider private (online banking, purchasing online, or confidential passwords)? These matters can be seen by someone who is maliciously intercepting your internet connection. Do you really want someone to be able to spy on you?

Besides that, there is also the fact that neighbors might be using your internet connection for their own benefit.  The speed of your internet connection will be affected by the number of people who are using your router.  If your neighbors are using your wireless connection then you are not getting the full speed for which you are paying your internet provider.

The main reason for securing your wireless network is because there maybe someone using your network to conduct illegal activity that can be traced back to your address.  What happened to a Buffalo, N.Y., man should serve as a warning to all home Wi-Fi users: Protect your wireless connection! Before things were straightened out, this innocent man was surrounded in his home by federal agents, weapons pointed at him, and accused of being a pedophile. It turns out that a neighbor was using his unprotected Wi-Fi to access child pornography.

Many people simply plug in their wireless router and begin using Wi-Fi with no thought of security.  Here are some ways to protect your unsecure network.  If you do not know how to implement these steps, ask a tech-savvy friend that you trust to put these safeties in place.  Warning: this does not allow you to let your guard up while online.  Hackers are finding new ways every day to get what they are looking for.

1. Change your default Administrator Password and Username. The default name and password are well-known by hackers.

2. Turn on Encryption (WPA is best, but WEP works too if that is what is compatible with your all your computers) This scrambles messages sent over wireless networks so that they cannot be easily read. All your computers on the network must use the same type of encryption.

3. Change the Default SSID (Network name.) Make it unique but not personal.  Hackers that see a default SSID know that the network is poorly configured and is more than likely an easy target to break into.

4. Disable SSID Broadcast. SSID Broadcast allows the wireless access point or router to broadcast the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature is designed for businesses and mobile hotspots which need to let their uses know when they are in range. You do not want to send out a message that your internet connection is available.

5. Do not auto-connect to open Wi-Fi Networks. Connecting to an open Wi-Fi network such as a free wireless hotspot or your neighbor’s router exposes your computer to security risks. Although not normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing these connections to happen automatically without notifying you (the user). This setting should not be enabled except in temporary situations.

6. Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices. Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. This means that the IP Address, (the IP Address is needed to participate on a network.) is typically assigned automatically. A dynamic IP address on an unsecure system can also supply a hacker with an IP Address.

7. Use MAC filtering. Every device on your wireless network has a unique identifier called the MAC address.  Your router keeps track of the MAC addresses of all the devices that connect to it.  Your router may offer an option to key in the MAC addresses of your home equipment, which restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices.

8. Enable Firewalls on each computer and the router. Modern network routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option also exists to disable them. Ensure that your router’s firewall is turned on. For extra protection, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router.

9. Position the router or Access Point safely and reduce your WLAN transmitter power. Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of signal leakage outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach through neighboring homes and into streets, for example. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to minimize leakage.  Not all wireless routers will, but some allow you lower the power of your WLAN transmitter and thus reduce the range of the signal. Although it’s usually impossible to fine-tune a signal so precisely that it won’t leak outside your home or business, with some trial-and-error you can often limit how far outside your premises the signal reaches, minimizing the opportunity for outsiders to access your WLAN.

10. Turn off the network during extended periods of non-use.. The ultimate in wireless security measures, shutting down your network will most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least consider doing so during travel or extended periods offline.

Hopefully this information has helped you in some way.  At Clean Internet our goal is your safety online, first of all through our internet filter.  We also have customer service available that is only a phone call or e-mail away.  Let us help you with any of your internet or computer questions.

info@CleanInternet.com

866-752-5326

More than at School

As we continue to further our technology, we must get more involved as parents and moral citizen to protect ourselves and children from Internet pitfalls.

The Stanwell School in Penarth has linked with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) to educate their pupils of ways to be safe while online. This for example includes things like telling them the dangers of giving out personal information leading to identity fraud. This is a helpful step for the parents of Penarth, but it is up to parents not to drop the ball at home.

While children are young, you have to make their decisions for them. They don’t understand many things in their youth, but with time they will understand the reasons for your decisions. If you let your children online while at home it is your responsibility to be their protector. Ask yourself what you have done to keep them safe, if you don’t know what you can do, then start with an Internet filter. Do research to educate yourself, these are your kids.

The morality in the world today is greatly declining due to things made possible by the Internet. Pornography is at the click of a mouse or it may just pop up on your screen accidentally. Identity fraud is vast due to the personal information required to buy and sell online or transact other business tasks. Do not leave the domain of your time online without walls and a gate that’s guarded. You do have options, so take control and make the preparations needed to follow this through.Windsor Castle

Safety Tips

Let me start off by saying Parents, teachers and Church leaders you need to be active in the area of Internet Safety.

Today I would like to talk about Internet monitoring. There is much to the saying that if some ones watching you your likely to do right. Installing a good monitoring and reporting system on your computer will stop the majority of intentional wrong doing on the computer.

A good reporting program will allow you to see sites that were visited and the time and date they were hit on. This is part of being a keeper to your brother. A good reporting system will also have an option to email reports to an accountability partner.

This tip is just a slice in the pie of Internet safety. Please stay tune for additional tips coming soon.

You are your brother’s keeper


We have heard over and over again that we are only responsible to ourselves. The shrinks and counselors will also tell you “look out for number one” you cannot be your brother’s keeper. I say hogwash we have a responsibility to family, friends and yes foes to be an example and to help in any way we can to better a person and even a country.

One thing that makes America different and unique is the fact that we have always tried to be a big brother to those in need. Some would vehemently disagree with this, saying we should mind our own business, or we have enough troubles of our own. I will agree we have plenty of troubles of our own as individuals as well as a nation.

That is what makes us different, we as Americans as a whole are willing to put our issues to the side to help others. We live in a day were technology changes ever so fast. Computers the size of a notebook were a dream not too long ago. Surfing the Internet was unheard of. We as parents, friends and leaders in our community need to stand up and fight the trash that is pumping into homes, schools and our public libraries via the Internet. This is not censorship, but being responsible.

We must start in our homes, then to our friends and ultimately to our community and the world. The dangers of the Internet need to be taught and taught and taught. It is said in warfare you must know your opponent, well we must teach those using the Internet to know their opponent. Stay tune and I will give you some tips in the area of Internet safety and security.

True Health Care

Wherever you stand on the health care issue, whether you believe the government wants to kill Grandma or not, or the health care reform proposed will greatly help our country. The fact is we are in danger of a greater Health Care issue.

The danger I am talking about is neither the Swine Flu nor the threat of a terrorist attack. The danger I am referring to is the one that is already in the majority of homes in the United States.

The Internet

Now before you dismiss me as a nut listen up the Internet if allowed can destroy you, your family, and your mind and can cause a great heartache in your life. Think about this: would you allow a known sexually predator in your house? Yet a child or adult if not careful could open a door way into your home via the Internet. Would you allow a vile exploitation of men, women and children to be posted on your walls? Yet an unfiltered unmonitored Internet allows that and much more.

More important than the debate on Health care reform is the issue of what are you doing to protect your family from the dangers of the internet. Let me be blunt, I believe you are putting your family at great risk if you do not monitor, filter and teach them the possible dangers of the internet.

My daughter just turned sweet sixteen (not sure about the sweet) she also just received her learners permit to drive. A car is a wonderful and useful object in the day we live in. A car can also be a dangerous tool if not trained on the proper procedure of operating it. The Internet is a place of wonder a place of excitement and yes a place of danger if those who operate  it are not trained. When my daughter jumped in the driver seat for the first time the first instruction I gave her was PUT YOUR SEAT BELT ON why? I want her to be protected. We need protection when we are on the World Wide Web also.

Keep you and your family healthy long after the Health Care debate is over. Do your home work and find the best protection for your needs.

Internet Senior Safety

Internet safety is not just for kids who go online. A growing number of seniors are also starting to surf the World Wide Web. Many are using it for social networking and match making.

“The fastest growing demographic group on Facebook is women over the age of 55,” says Debra Berlyn, who runs the Consumer Privacy Awareness Project.

The same type of protection we stress for our children is just as important to our seniors who are surfing the Internet. Parents today should monitor and filter what their kids are doing online, but parents and grandparents need to realize the Internet is just as dangerous for them.

Remember nothing is personal on the Internet talk to the seniors in your family and warn them not to give out any personal information online. Inform them that once they click that send button it’s gone.

Protect those you love with Internet protection. Instruct and inform your loved ones of the perils of the Internet, and offer them a way to be safe online with a good Internet monitoring and filtering system.

Internet Gaming

A large majority of today’s youth are caught up in the area of playing video games and using gaming systems such as Wii, Nintendo and other like systems. They also have the ability to go online and play games. While this may seem harmless there are a number of potential dangers to these online games.

Today’s games have come a long way from Pac Man, Pong and other similar games of the past. The typical game of today has violence and graphics that are so real Kids actually feel like they are part of the game. We have games where you can steal cars, pick up prostitutes and randomly massacre people. The question is will it have an effect on your kids?

Though the vast majority of kids who indulge themselves in these games will not go out a murder someone, or steal a car, the images and actions will be forever ingrained in their mind. What you allow in your child’s mind will affect them.

Parents would you allow a pimp to come to your door and solicit a prostitute to your child? I would think not, how about a neighborhood thug that’s wants your son or daughter to go out and rob a store and kill the clerk behind the counter. Sounds crazy right? Then why allow your kids to play these games. I believe by doing so we are sending a message to them that this is acceptable.

Parents start off by monitoring what your kids are doing. Do not allow the games that promote violence and crime as an acceptable way of life in your home. You may also want to install some type of parental control or Internet filter on your computer.

Remember what go’s in the eye gate will make an indelible imprint on Their life.

Surf safely to avoid making waves at work

While most would-be surfers take adequate precautions before tackling the big wave, many surf the Internet without discriminating between safe and unsafe destinations.

Safely surfing the Internet requires a protocol somewhat similar to its watersport counterpart- use common sense, be observant, and avoid potentially dangerous areas.

Most websites are legitimate and conduct their business openly. However, a growing number are spreading viruses and malware to unsuspecting visitors. In turn, these problems can spread throughout an organization, causing such issues as slowdowns or complete loss of Internet access, pop-up ads that interfere with normal operation or web browsing, slow PC operation, and repeated system crashes.

Following are some workplace tips to help you avoid being victimized:

1. Be wary of official looking messages. A common ploy used by nefarious website developers is to reproduce Microsoft Windows messages, which may look genuine. If you click on any button besides the “X” in the upper right corner, you may inadvertently download and install software that you do not want or need. By clicking “Next,” “OK,” or even “No” or “Cancel,” you could trigger an event that will allow someone to capture all the characters that you are typing, or launch unwanted pop-up ads. If you are presented with one of these windows, you should always err on the side of caution. If unsure, ask your IT support staff or consultant before you start randomly clicking.

2. Avoid illegitimate websites. It is tempting to visit sites that are funny, or offering too-good-too-be-true items. Be careful when visiting such websites, as these are frequently the source of many Internet related troubles. Generally, steer clear of sites offering free software, jokes, gambling, porn, or music/movie-sharing.

3. Monitor software downloads. Downloaded software can help increase your productivity, but it also can cause problems. Make sure to:

a. Consider the source. Is it from a reputable company? Is the website address spelled properly in your web browser (e.g., http://www.Microsoft.com, not https://www.Micorsoft.net)? Do a Google search and see what else you find regarding the software. For example, check to see if industry trade sites have written favorable articles about the software;

b. Run up-to-date anti-virus software. As you download the program, your first (but not your only) line of defense is your anti-virus program;

c. Uninstall the application once you no longer need the program (go to the Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs module and uninstall the application).

4. Avoid fake spyware/malware removal tools. Many websites claim to have the best tools for removing spyware and malware. Often, these are used as a payload to launch spyware and malware. Never install or run these programs unless your IT staff/consulting firm has specifically recommended them. If you lack a support team, check such credible sources as PC Magazine or C|Net to see if the program is legitimate and favorably reviewed. Do not pay for any software unless you are sure it is a good program from a legitimate source.

5. Avoid peer-to-peer (P2P) software in the workplace. Peer-to-peer software allows users to share files, such as music, movies, videos and software. Files stored on your computer are accessible to other users of the service to download directly for themselves. Then, they become an additional download point for other web surfers to find that same file (e.g., a Dave Matthews song, or the latest movie with Reese Witherspoon). Napster, LimeWire, and KaZaa are examples of P2P services. Warnings:

a. Never use P2P on an office computer, as it will compromise files on your corporate network;

b. This software usually comes preinstalled with other malicious pieces of software;

c. Downloading big files can take up a large portion of your Internet bandwidth, affecting all staff;

d. You run the risk of breaking copyright laws which could expose you and your company to prosecution.

6. Protect Internet banking security. Never get complacent about the security of financially-critical sites. As such services as online banking and billpaying have become more commonplace, users tend to become too lax about the processes. Stay vigilant:

a. Create long complicated passwords (if possible more than 10 characters). Mix upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols. Do not write this password down – once someone finds it, your account may be cleaned out within minutes;

b. Do not trust emails or phone calls that supposedly come from your bank. If you receive a call, tell them that you will call right back – and call a number you know is legitimate. If you receive an email about your account, don’t click on any links in the email. Instead, start a new web browsing session and click on the bookmark or known address for your bank. Then, check the details of the email independently;

c. Understand your liability when using Online Banking and Bill Pay services;

d. Never use a public computer if you can help it. If you must, then change your password as soon as you get to a private computer. You have no idea where that computer has been, who has been on it, or what is running;

e. Click on the Logout, Logoff, or Close icon provided by the bank—ensuring that someone doesn’t come in behind you and access your account.

7. Exercise care when shopping online. Without a brick-and-mortar presence, online stores can be tricky. Before handing over your money and confidential information, be sure you’re dealing with a reputable company:

a. If you are considering a new store, search for it on Google to make sure it has a presence;

b. Get recommendations from friends and colleagues;

c. Avoid deals that appear too good to be true;

d. Use a credit card rather than a debit card – you are covered with better protection;

e. Understand your liability in such areas as recurring charges, refund/exchange policies, and restocking fees—because an ounce of prevention here can be worth a pound of cure.

Before surfing in unfamiliar or potentially unsafe Internet waters, check them out. Your workforce and corporate productivity will thank you.

Protecting Your Kids is Not Just About Technology

Ask the majority of children from the age of 4 what the internet is and they will not only tell you, but they will demonstrate to you on how to use it. Because of this, the issue of Internet safety and security is on the forefront of parents minds.

The internet is a wonderful place, yet it can also be a dangerous place. Internet safety is a concern that every parent should be aware of and be thinking of some form of internet protection implemented. This will be one of the most important decisions made in their own house holds.

Internet safety is for all ages. Whether you are a child just learning to move a mouse and type on a keyboard, a teenager who knows there way around the internet, or the adult that is responsible for all the minds in their homes.

Safety on the internet is extremely important. It is all about the things you can see, the people you can meet, yet not know who they really might be. The internet can take you places of wonder, yet it is of utmost importance that children are informed and guided in the dangers that they may face while surfing the web.

There has been many a young person who has been violated while they were innocently roaming the internet. There are an increasing number of predators that will gain access to your computer to steal personal information, bully you and introduce you to filth that ought not to be seen.

Would you allow your child to surf in waters that are known to be shark filled? I dare to say you would not. Then why allow a child to surf the internet without protection from the sharks online that seek to destroy their young minds?

What do you do? You invest in a “shark cage”. Having your own shark cage is not a luxury, but a necessity in today’s world. There are different types of “shark cages” available online. Some are a type of monitoring system. Is this right for you? This type of software is considered to be the “Oops! Too late now.” It is comparable to turning on the 6:00 news and hearing about your child getting mauled by a shark and you would be too late to do anything about it.

A good internet filter is a better solution. This would be more like a shark cage that can withstand the likes of a great white shark. In this computer day and age, children are smart. The shark cannot get in, but what will stop the child from getting out?

The use of an internet filter coupled with a monitoring system is the most effective way to control your internet usage. This type of system will stop accidental misspellings that will take you to a dangerous site and the intentional attempts to get around the filter. You can avoid most of the dangers of the internet with a product like this.

There should also be communication with all who use the internet, the fact that the computer is being filtered and monitored should be known to all who use it. It is a great help knowing you are being watched. This will guide and direct you in not trying to get by with something accidentally or intentionally. This is a way to instill good behavior and not catch someone after the fact. The use of a good filter will aid in the turning away from temptation, and increase the safety guidelines set out by you. Internet safety and security is a growing concern for all that use the internet.

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Home Invasion: The Need for a Multi-level Internet Filtering System

It doesn’t matter how many precautions you take to protect your home, you are still in danger of a home invasion. You could have the best trained guard dog. You could have armed security on the premises.
You could purchase an anti-intruder security system more sophisticated than the one that protects the C. I. A. headquarters in Langley, Virginia and you would still be in danger of a home invasion.

The home invasion I am talking about will not be perpetrated by a burglar while you are at work or on vacation. I am not referring to someone who forces his way into your house, ties you up, and takes your property while you are watching. As traumatic as these events would be, I am talking about something that could have even farther reaching consequences and that could wreck havoc on you, your family, and everyone you care about for years to come.

In some cases, the consequences could reverberate for a lifetime. I am talking about a home invasion through the Internet. The only truly effective way to protect your home from Internet invasion is through a multi-level Internet filtering system.

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