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the author and publisher have taken care in the preparation of this book but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions no liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of the use of the information or programs contained herein all trademarks are the property of their respective owners publisher linda mccarthy editor in chief denise weldon-siviy managing editor linda mccarthy cover designer alan clements cover artist nina matsumoto interior artist heather dixon web design eric tindall and ngenworks indexer joy dean lee interior design and composition kim scott bumpy design content distribution keith watson the publisher offers printed discounts on this book when ordered in quantity for bulk purchases or special sales which may include electronic versions and/or custom covers and content particular to your business training goals marketing focus and branding interests for more information please contact u.s corporate and education sales 510 220-8865 except where otherwise noted content in this publication is licensed under the creative commons attribution-noncommercial-no derivative works 3.0 united states license available at http creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/legalcode isbn 978-0-615-37366-9 library of congress cataloging-in-publication data mccarthy linda own your space keep yourself and your stuff safe online linda mccarthy isbn 978-0-615-37366-9 electronic 1 computer security 2 computers and children 3 internet and teenagers 4 computer networks-security measures i title visit us on the web www.100 pagepress.com download free electronic versions of the book from myspace http www.myspace.com/ownyourspace and facebook http www.facebook.com/ownyourspace.net and from own your space http www.ownyourspace.net rev 2.0
chapter 1 protect your turf braden is a typical 14-year-old over the past 6 months he s grown three inches gained four shoe sizes and eaten his way through nearly a ton of pizza he s also unintentionally trashed his family s computer no less than 12 times first he downloaded some cool emoticons to use with his im messages those smiley faces came with embedded adware that overwhelmed him with pop-up ads and slowed down the speed of virtually everything then braden installed a free video game that contained a trojan program that let spammers in russia take over his computer and use it to forward junk email a few weeks later braden responded to what looked like a legitimate email asking him to confirm his facebook login information that phisher then used braden s login to post links to adware to braden s facebook friends not long after that braden clicked yes to install security software when a pop-up announced that his computer was infected with adware as you ve probably guessed that software installed more adware braden s mom has spent so much time and money having the family computer fixed that she s beginning to wonder if the internet is really worth the aggravation what she is sure of is that internet security has become a lot more complicated than it used to be except where otherwise noted content in this publication is licensed under the creative commons attribution-noncommercial-no derivative works 3.0 united states license available at http creative commons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/legalcode isbn 978-0-615-37366-9
2 chapter 1 since the internet s inception in the late 1970s the number of people who use the net has doubled every 9 to 14 months do the math and you ll see a phenomenal growth chart from 281 computers on the internet in 1981 to a dazzling 400 million in 2000 by 2009 worldwide usage passed 1.5 billion netizens internet usage in the u.s is nearing saturation levels netizen a citizen of cyberspace i.e the internet a netizen is any person using the internet to participate in online social communities when you confirm a new friend on facebook you are expanding your online social group you are being a good netizen while internet usage among adults has risen steadily internet usage among teenagers has soared as of june 2009 90 of american teens lived in homes with internet connections if you re part of that 90 it is especially important for you to understand how to protect your computer from nasty code as you ll learn later your computer is at special risk adware sites target teenagers just like you by focusing their efforts on websites you and your peers tend to visit online forums are targeted by pedophiles posing as teens even identify theft another potential consequence of nasty code can be especially nasty for teenagers still in the process of defining their financial and business identities if you use your parents computers you may also put their financial and personal information at risk for now just keep in mind that there s a lot more to internet security than running antivirus software and it s a lot more important than you probably realize over the next few chapters we ll talk about what you need to know and do to help keep yourself your computer and maybe even your parents safer when using the internet 1.1 a survey of malware malware is a generic term for a piece of malicious code that is programming code specifically developed to harm a computer or its data if you ve studied spanish or latin for that matter you ll know that mal means bad like malcontent an un-contented unhappy person or darth maul in star wars episode i the
protect your turf 3 obvious bad guy dressed in red and sporting horns nothing good ever starts with mal malware is quite literally bad software malware programming code designed to harm a computer or its data since malicious code and malware mean the same thing for simplicity s sake we use the term malware throughout this book in the world of malware there are several standard types of villains we ll be covering all of these villains throughout the book but the main categories are · viruses · worms · trojans · bot armies · keystroke loggers · spyware · adware · scareware · ransomware you re probably already familiar with some of these categories for instance computer viruses are now so well-known in the popular culture that they provided the grand finale to the 1996 sci-fi thriller independence day if you ll recall will smith saved the day by helping jeff goldblum better known as ian malcolm of jurassic park to upload a computer virus to the mother ship disabling the alien space crafts force fields in real life viruses and worms have taken out entire unprotected networks in august 2009 attackers shut down twitter for nearly three hours leaving 44 million tweeters worldwide out of touch if that doesn t sound like a big deal imagine cnn or fox news being driven off the air for an afternoon.
4 chapter 1 you are no doubt also familiar with antivirus software most but not all new computers now arrive fresh from the factory already preloaded with at least a trial version of one of the major antivirus packages usually that s norton antivirus trend micro mcafee or webroot for virus protection they are all excellent products you may not be aware however that antivirus software can t protect you against all types of attacks many people think as long as they have antivirus software installed that they are protected that s not true because several layers of security are needed to protect you antivirus software is only one of those layers before we take a look at the other layers of security it is important to understand what antivirus software can and cannot do think of your antivirus software as a series of vaccinations having a polio vaccination won t keep you from getting hepatitis likewise having antivirus software won t necessarily protect your computer from spyware or adware in fact if you don t routinely update your antivirus software it may not even protect you from viruses like their biological cousins computer viruses mutate just as you may need a new flu shot each winter to protect against new viral strains you also need to update your antivirus software continuously for other types of malware you may need other types of protection we ll explain these as we discuss the specific types of malware 1.2 protect your turf then surf when you buy a computer it is not secure you should never pull a computer out of the box and connect it to the internet unless you take steps to protect it think of your pc as a world traveler who needs vaccinations to avoid diseases in its travels in fact your new computer most likely is plagued with numerous security holes which are flaws in the way your computer s programs have been written that would make your computer vulnerable to attack just how serious the flaws in the code are determines how much access an attacker or that attacker s malware can gain warning uneducated programmers programming mistakes security holes!
protect your turf 5 if you re wondering why your computer has holes before you use it the answer is that computer systems run on programs literally tens of millions of lines of code that tell the computer how to interpret what you the user want to do all those lines of code are written by human programmers those programmers can make mistakes that can be leveraged by hackers to gain unauthorized access to your computer this probably sounds strange but most programmers were never taught how to write secure code to take it one step further programmers don t think like criminals we don t use that term very often but that s what someone who deliberately steals or damages someone else s data is a criminal your average programmer hasn t always thought gee i could use these lines of code to break into someone s computer because the programmer doesn t actually want to break into anyone s computer security hole any flaw in the way a computer program is written or used that makes your computer vulnerable to attack security experts also call this a security vulnerability the lack of focus on security as part of the design process is starting to change more programmers are beginning to audit double-check their code with special tools that look for programming errors that can lead to unauthorized access to the system or data it will take a long time for the programming community to catch up however think of the millions of lines of code already out there that have been developed by programmers with good intent but poor security-programming skills since all computer systems have security holes you must protect yourself and patch those holes before you start surfing the internet downloading music or gaming warning once connected to the internet an unprotected pc can fall victim to an attack in as little as 15 seconds protect your pc before you surf why so fast once you re online it can take as little as 15 seconds for someone to attack your machine if you don t install security first that first attacker may gain access to your computer without you even knowing about it at worst the attacker
6 chapter 1 could make off with enough personal data to steal your identity if you use financial software to track the bank account you opened for college savings when you picked up that after school job keep in mind that your data isn t just information it could be cash as well and just to add another twist a hacker could even use your computer to launch an attack on other computers for these reasons and many more we ll get to later don t ever surf the internet without security patches antivirus software and a firewall installed when you bought your computer you probably started with a list of requirements how much memory how much disk space what kind of graphics you d need for your favorite games whether you want to burn dvds internet security list as well as view them before you go online you also anti-virus need a computer security shopping list this list is a baanti-spyware sic list you should not leave any one of these items off personal firewall security patches your list virus protection must be on that list you have to install it and configure it to update your computer automatically you also need to install any security patches that have been issued for the operating system and the software you plan to use security patch a fix to a program to close a known security hole patches are routinely issued for operating systems like windows 7 and internet browsers like internet explorer and firefox as well as other software applications the internet is an infinitely cool place but so is the vampire royal court in volterra we think it would be great to actually visit such a place but only if we understood the volturi laws knew about aro and jane s gifts in advance and also brought our own immortals the internet is exactly like that there are wonderful new and exciting things going on there but you really shouldn t show up without knowing the risks understanding how to defend yourself and arming yourself with the right protection.
a collaborative project to provide free security learning to teens and families online made available under the creative commons licensing and made possible by the support of individual and corporate sponsors every day millions of american school children log on or log in and make decisions that can compromise their safety security and privacy we ve all heard the horror stories of stolen identities cyber stalking and perverts on the internet kids need to know how to stay safe online and how to use the internet in ways that won t jeopardize their privacy or damage their reputations for years to come learn how to nnnnnn kill viruses worms trojans and spyware deal with cyberbullies give spam the curb and smash web bugs understand just how public your private blogs are keep wireless freeloaders off your network prevent sexting from ruining your life about the team linda mccarthy the former senior director of internet safety at symantec wrote the first edition of own your space with 20 years experience in the industry linda has been hired to test security on corporate networks around the world for the 2010 edition linda s expertise is backed up by a full team to provide the best security experience possible for teens and families online that team includes security experts design experts anime artists and parent reviewers as well as a dedicated group of teen reviewers web designers and test readers general computing cover design alan clements cover artist nina matsumoto cover illustration © 100pagepress page press smart books for smart people® $19.99 us $24.99 can www.100pagepress.com