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Encryption | SANS Security Awareness

What Is Encryption?

You may hear people use the term encryption and how you should use it to protect yourself and your information. However, encryption can be confusing and you should understand its limitations. In this newsletter, we explain in simple terms what encryption is, how it protects you, and how to implement it properly.

You have a tremendous amount of sensitive information on your devices, such as personal documents, pictures, and emails. If you were to have one of your devices lost or stolen, all of your sensitive information could be accessed by whoever possesses it. In addition, you may conduct sensitive transactions online, such as banking or shopping. If anyone were to monitor these activities, they could steal your information, such as your financial account or credit card numbers. Encryption protects you in these situations by helping ensure unauthorized people cannot access or modify your information.

Encryption has been around for thousands of years. Today, encryption is far more sophisticated, but it serves the same purpose — to pass a secret message from one place to another by ensuring only those authorized to read the message can access it. When information is not encrypted, it is called plain-text. This means anyone can easily read or access it. Encryption converts this information into a non-readable format called cipher-text. Todays encryption works by using complex mathematical operations and a unique key to convert your information into cipher-text. The key is what locks or unlocks your information. In most cases, your key is a password or passcode.

In general, there are two types of data to encrypt: data at rest (such as the data stored on your mobile device) and data in motion (such as retrieving email or messaging a friend).

Encrypting data at rest is vital to protect information in case your computer or mobile device is lost or stolen. Todays devices are extremely powerful and hold a tremendous amount of information, but are also very easy to lose. In addition, other types of mobile media can hold sensitive information, such as USB flash drives or external hard drives. Full Disk Encryption (FDE) is a widely used encryption technique that encrypts the entire drive in your system. This means that everything on the system is automatically encrypted for you; you do not have to decide what or what not to encrypt. Today, most computers come with FDE, but you may have to manually turn it on or enable it. It is called FileVault on Mac computers, while on Windows computers, depending on the version you have, you can use Bitlocker or Device Encryption. Most mobile devices also support FDE. iOS on iPhones and iPads automatically enable FDE once a passcode has been set. Starting with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), Google is requiring FDE be enabled by default, provided the hardware meets certain minimum standards.

Information is also vulnerable when it is in transit. If the data is not encrypted, it can be monitored, modified, and captured online. This is why you want to ensure that any sensitive online transactions and communications are encrypted. A common type of online encryption is HTTPS. This means all traffic between your browser and a website is encrypted. Look for https:// in the URL, a lock icon on your browser, or your URL bar turning green. Another example is when you send or receive email. Most email clients provide encrypted capabilities, which you may have to enable. A third example of encrypting data in transit is between two users chatting with each other, such as with iMessage, Wickr, Signal, WhatsApp, or Telegram. Apps like these use end-to-end encryption, which prevents third parties from accessing data while its transferred from one end system or device to another. This means only you and the person youre communicating with can read what is sent.

To be sure you are protected when using encryption, it is paramount that you use it correctly:

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Avast Internet Security Review 2018 – We Hate Malware

These days you cant be too careful with your computer security setup. With more and more of our daily transactions happening online, its very important to ensure that your computer is protected from the wide array of threats that are circulating on the internet.

In thisAvast Internet Securityreview we cover one of the more popular software programs designed to protect your computer. We get a lot of emails from people asking whether or not this software is worth the cost, so we figured an in-depth review was in order.

A quick note about versions: this review covers Avast Internet Security, which is a step above Avast Free Antivirus. There are also upgraded versions called Avast Premier and Avast Ultimate, which have more features included.

Editors note: We bought this software with our own money and have not been asked by Avast to write this review.

I want to lead with my overall impressions of Avast Internet Security for those who dont want to read a long article then you can drill down and read about all the features in the rest of the review below if you so desire.

Overall I wasnt expecting to be thrilled with Avast Internet Security due to a botched installation when I first installed the software, but my opinion drastically changed once I reinstalled it and found it was working swimmingly.

I actually had more fun than I usually do when reviewing these security software suites because Avast is easy to use, intuitive, and has quite a few bells and whistles that you wont find in other security solutions. I also found their whimsical online and in-program help documentation to be refreshing.

Avast Internet Security is the basic version, a step up from the Avast Free Antivirus. However even this basic level software packs a lot of utilities.

Avasts support was responsive and helpful when I had an issue connecting my online account with my software, and the help and documentation on the website is very well laid out and clear.



I highly recommend this software as a virus and malware solution. Theres a lot of debate on the internet over which security suite is better, however Avast continues to be highly recommended by many computer professionals. No software will be 100% perfect, so if Avast has the features that you want its a great lightweight solution for protecting your data.

Get Avast Internet Security

Avast was a quick download and install on my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10. The installation was a touch slower than other security apps Ive used, but that could be due to a slightly slower speed of internet as I was working remotely at the time.

After installation I ran the Smart Scan, and the program finished in about 6-7 minutes. The results were interesting as the software scans more than just for malware and viruses. It also found three software programs that needed updates (and allowed me to update them right from the dashboard), and pointed out that the coffee shops WiFi password was weak.

The scan is pretty typical of most security software suites. You can customize the scan in the settings to scan for only the things you want it to for example, you can disable scanning for software updates if you so desire.

Its important to know if your antimalware and antivirus software tools are up to snuff. The good news is that Avast consistently gets top scores in the AV Comparatives monthly score tallies. AV Comparatives is an independent group that tests the top computer security software tools.

You can check out their results here.

Avast Internet Security and all of the other software tools in their library of programs are very intuitive and easy to use. Each setting has a large icon-centric button, and each feature has a small i that you can click that explains the features functionality and uses. This is helpful because even the basic Internet Security program comes with a lot of bells and whistles to play with.

Most computer users will find using Avast to be easy to use and almost fun in fact its the most fun security suite Ive tested. I cant quite put my finger on why, I think its the simplicity and intuitive way everything is laid out.

The black on black color scheme is also a nice touch, making the software feel very updated and modern.

Avast notified me that I had 13 passwords stored in my internet browser, and it asked me to start using Avast Passwords, a password keeping system. I actually use LastPass for that right now, but it seems like a good option for someone who doesnt have a password solution yet. For those who dont know, these password solutions are a great way to enable yourself to use unique and difficult passwords for all of your sites so you dont get caught with your pants down by using the same password for all your sites (something I used to do and I had a minor panic attack when someone hacked my Facebook account and got that password and my email).

You also have the option of storing credit card numbers as well with the ability to auto-fill them when online shopping.

Avast Passwords also has a cool feature called Secure Notes where you can safely store small secure things. Need a place to store your security key for your 2 Factor Authentication app? This could be a good place, instead of a notepad file somewhere on your computer or even writing it down on a paper that could get lost. Lets face it, every once in a while we need to keep a secure number on hand.

After taking my Surface Pro to the coffee shop to do some additional work and continue testing Avast, the software popped up notifying me that I had connected to a new WiFi network. It then gave me the option to scan the network, which scanned the router, and all the devices connected to it meaning ALL the various laptops and phones that were on the network. I dont suspect this coffee shop to be a hotbed of hacker activity, so it was not surprising to find that all the devices came up clean.

This feature is useful for detecting problematic devices that might be on a public network scanning it for activity. Im not usually that paranoid but you can never be too careful. This is useful, however, if you want to do some banking or personal transactions on a public network and want to scan it before using it.

Avast Internet Security has quite a thorough settings menu, where you can tinker with excluded software, customize the Smart Scan, and do so much more. There is really too much to list for this basic review of the software but suffice it to say that if theres something you want to turn on or off or customize, theres a 90% chance youll be able to do it within the settings.

You can even customize the scan parameters in the virus scan portion of the Smart Scan. Most computer users probably wont touch this or need to stray from the default settings, but advanced users will be thrilled with this.

Avast is available for PC, Mac, Android, iPhones and iPads, and even networked smart devices in your home. That makes Avast one of the most compatible software programs out there it covers most devices while many companies stop at just PC and Mac.

Each of these devices needs its own separate version of Avast, however, so unfortunately you cant just buy it once to cover all of your devices. However, youll only need to deal with and learn how to use one program if you want to get Avast security on all devices which is a time saver. Not many people want to learn how to use a bunch of different security software solutions.

Get Avast Internet Security

Avast Internet Security has two higher levels to choose from that will get you a few more bells and whistles. I recommend all the levels, as I think all their tools are useful. However, just ensure that you need the additional tools they offer and you dont already have something similar.

Check this link for Avasts comparison web page.

For Avast Premier, you get webcam spying protection, a file shredder (completely delete a file), and the ability to automatically update apps and software.

With Avast Ultimate you get everything from Premier plus a few other Avast software tools: Avast Cleanup Premium which helps clean up file clutter on your computer, Avast Secureline VPN which shields your location and provides an extra layer of security to your internet browsing, and Avast Passwords Premium which allows you to store your passwords and also warns you of password leaks.

In my opinion, Avast Ultimate is worth it just for the easy to use Secureline VPN, which is very useful. Personally, if you were thinking of upgrading from the basic level I would probably skip Premier and just get Ultimate and get everything.

We used Ultimate for this review so we could be sure to test all the features and be able to write them up. I will say that the SecureLine VPN service works very well and its worth the price. SecureLine VPN is available as a standalone product as well.

No matter what level you are interested in, Avasts line of security software comes highly recommended from me. I had a lot of fun reviewing this software and found it to be refreshing from the rest of the security software thats out there. No program will always protect you 100%, but picking one of the top line programs will give you the best shot at staying safe on the net, and Avast is up to that challenge.

We recommend going with Avast Internet Security or going all the way up to Avast Ultimate.

Get Avast Internet Security

Get Avast Ultimate

These days you can’t be too careful with your computer security setup. With more and more of our daily transactions happening online, it’s very important to ensure that your computer is protected from the wide array of threats that are circulating on the internet. In thisAvast Internet Securityreview we cover one of the more popular software programs designed to protect your computer. We get a lot of emails from people asking whether or not this software is worth the cost, so we figured an in-depth review was in order. A quick note about versions: this review covers Avast Internet Security,

Avast Internet Security Review 2018

Avast Internet Security Review 2018


Bill Gordon

Ease Of Use


Interface / Design


Customer Support



Avast Internet Security is an easy to use and powerful software suite that enables you to stay one step ahead of internet criminals as well as viruses and malware. For PC, Mac, Android, and iOS

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Antivirus vs Internet Security [Security Software Comparison]

Threats on the Internet are getting better at penetrating computer systems. Hackers and cybercriminals are developing malicious software that can damage anything from personal computers to mainframes running an entire company. That is why it is necessary to put security layers in place. However, there are several types of security applications. It can be quite confusing for anyone unfamiliar with such programs. Specifically, many experts recommended installing an antivirus program and Internet security.

But, what’s the difference between the two? Aren’t they the same?

A heuristic is a method of monitoring and evaluation the activities of an application. The antivirus will then decide if it behaves like a virus or not. It will notify the user of any suspicious activities on the computer along with suggested actions. While it is not 100% accurate, this method allows security experts and developers to keep up with the rapidly increasing number of virus online.

Antivirus applications provide a specific security function: protect your computer from virus. Because of this, it can run in the background without any significant effect on the computer’s performance. It uses a small amount of memory and CPU. Most of the time, users set their antivirus programs to run immediately during boot. Scheduled scans and updates are also recommended to make sure that your antivirus has the latest virus signatures.

What is an Internet Security?

The firewall protects real-time attacks by filtering any suspicious threats from the Internet and network. The anti-malware and anti-spyware aim to protect the computer against threats which are entirely different from a virus. Malware and spyware are programs which can damage the computer, steal sensitive information, and even hold your system hostage for a ransom.

Internet security suites make it easy to track and monitor your computer’s security health. Some even aim to become total computer solutions by including tools such as defragmenting tools, memory cleanup apps, uninstaller, and network monitoring tools, which makes it easy to maintain your computer’s health in one place.

However, running an internet security suite takes more computing power than antivirus programs. It still depends on your system. But, older computers may find it challenging to keep Internet security suites running in the background. It demands more memory which slows down some applications and computer functions significantly.

Antivirus Vs Internet Security

Where does anti-malware fit in all of these? As mentioned above, most Internet security come with anti-malware programs as its core function. However, anti-malware programs can also offer multiple services. An excellent example is MalwareFox. It includes features which strengthen your computer security, Aside from scanning for malware, it also has ransomware protection. It protects your system from dangerous ransomware that aims to extort money from you.

MalwareFox also cleans your browser which provides better and faster browsing performance. It also protects your system by analyzing suspicious files and promptly blocks them. The Zero-Day Attack Protection ensures that your system is protected even from the unknown threats. More importantly, unlike Internet security suites, it is light enough to run in the background without affecting your system. MalwareFox can also scan your system in less than five minutes using its Smart Scan Mode.

Anti-malware is a perfect tool for those wanting to have additional protection to run alongside antivirus programs. It is also lighter than total security suites so that you can run it in the background. Most come with features that you will regularly use as your main security functions.

Experts suggest downloading a primary antivirus program. Then, download a secondary solution which can handle most of your security needs. It depends on your needs and what you do online. Anti-malware is appropriate for basic users. Advanced users who download files often, visit various websites and receive a lot of emails may consider Internet security suites at those offer more layers of protection.

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Security Packages | High-Speed Internet | Windstream

Shield Lite

Security Suite provides protection against the latest threats 24/7, requiring no action on your part. Our software continually updates itself with new enhancements and upgrades delivered behind-the-scenes. Backed by renowned McAfee products, updates of any kind download faster. Our simple user interface is designed for ease of use.

Identity Theft Protection provides you with 24/7 credit monitoring and instant access to your credit report and credit score. It also provides you with SSN monitoring that alerts you when activities or changes take place using your Social Security Number. Our Identity Theft Protection also includes CyberGuard, which monitors known criminal websites for illegal trading of personal information. Other features include: change of address monitoring, non-credit loans monitoring, restoration services, and one million dollar insurance.

Online Data Backup keeps a copy of all of your most important files so you never lose them. It also allows you to share files with your family and friends and access and organize your files from anywhere.

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Internet Security Lectures by Prabhaker Mateti

Internet Security Lectures by Prabhaker MatetiPrabhaker Mateti

Abstract:Data integrity and privacy on the Internet primarily rests on usingcryptography well. Unfortunately, it is easily compromised by errorsin (operating) system configuration. This lecture is a quick overviewof cryptography as relevant in Internet security and passwords.

Data integrity and privacy on the Internet primarily rests on usingcryptography well. The design and implementation of cryptographyrequires deep understanding of discrete mathematics and number theory.Unfortunately, when cryptography is deployed carelessly, it is easilycompromised by errors in (operating) system configuration. Thislecture is a quick overview of cryptography as relevant in Internetsecurity and passwords.

A cryptographic encryption algorithm, also known as cipher,transforms a “plain text” (e.g., humanreadable) pt and outputs cipher textct as the output,

so that it is possible to re-generate the pt fromthe ct through a companion decryption algorithm. Notethat we said “for example, human readable” and not”that is, human readable” as an explanation for the phrase”plain text”. Often, the so-called “plain text”is human un-readable binary data that is ready-to-be-used by acomputer.

Ciphers use keys together with plain text as the input to produce cipher text. It is in the key that the security of a modern cipher lies, not in the details of the algorithm.

Roughly speaking, computationally infeasible means that a certaincomputation that we are talking about takes way too long (hundreds ofyears) to compute using the fastest of (super)computers.

Suppose our key is a 128-bit number. There are


128-bit numbers starting from zero (i.e., 128 bits of 0). Torecover a particular key by brute force, one must, on average, searchhalf the key space:


If we use 1,000,000,000 machines that could try 1,000,000,000keys/sec, it would take all these machines longer than the universe aswe know it has existed to find the key.

This is not the same thing as saying that computationalinfeasibility is the same idea as Turing-incomputable. Nor is it thesame thing as saying that you cannot make a lucky guess, orheuristically arrive at a possible answer, and then systematicallyverify that the guessed answer is indeed the correct answer, all donewithin a matter of seconds on a lowly PC. Here is an example:Microsoft Windows NT uses the DES encryption algorithm in storing thepasswords. Brute-forcing such a scrambled password to compute theplain text password can take, according to Microsoft, “about abillion years.” But the L0pht team( claims thatL0phtCrack breaks Windows passwords in about one week, running in thebackground on an old Pentium PC.

In the context of cryptography, the factorization of an arbitrarilylarge number N, into its constituent primes, determining the powersn2, n3, n5, n7, etc. of the primes, is computationally infeasible –as far as we know.

N = 2n2 * 3 n3* 5 n5 * 7 n7* …

Based on this, the decryption is computationally infeasible. Note thatthis is assuming that we are using known methods, including brute force.

Is it possible that some one or some country has actuallydiscovered fast algorithms, but chose to keep them secret, for these tasksthat we believe to be computationally infeasible?

A hash function maps input sequences of bytes into a fixed-lengthsequence. The fixed length is considerably shorter than thetypical length (thousands of bytes) of the input, and hence thefunction is a hash function.

The nature of all hash functions is that there must exist multipleinput sequences that map to the same hash. The inverse is amathematical relation, not a mathematical function. But, good hashfunctions have the following properties: It is hard to find twostrings, from the expected set of typically used strings, that wouldproduce the same hash value. A slight change in an input stringcauses the hash value to change drastically.

A “one way” hash function is designed to be computationallyinfeasible to reverse the process, that is, to algorithmicallydiscover a string that hashes to a given value.

One-way hashfunctions are also known as message digests (MD), fingerprints, orcompression functions. The most popular one-way hash algorithms areMD4 and MD5 (both producing a 128-bit hash value), and SHA, also knownas SHA1 (producing a 160-bit hash value).

As of 2006, both MD5 and SHA1 are considered separately broken. Thatis, given plain text p, it is possible to modify p to a desired p’ sothat md5(p) == md5(p’); similarly, for SHA1. What is not known is ifwe can modify p to a p’ so that md5(p) == md5(p’) and sha1(p)== sha1(p’).

Symmetric-key cryptography is an encryption system in which thesender and receiver of a message share a single, common key to encryptand decrypt the message. Symmetric-key systems are simpler andfaster, but their main drawback is that the two parties must somehowexchange the key in a secure way. Symmetric-key cryptography issometimes also called secret-key cryptography.

If ct = encryption (pt, key), then pt = decryption (ct, key).

The most popular symmetric-key system is the DES, short for DataEncryption Standard. DES was developed in 1975 andstandardized by ANSI in 1981 as ANSI X.3.92. DES encrypts data in64-bit blocks using a 56-bit key. The algorithm transforms theinput in a series of steps into a 64-bit output.

IDEA (International Data Encryption Algorithm) is a block cipherwhich uses a 128-bit length key to encrypt successive 64-bit blocks ofplain text. The procedure is quite complicated using subkeys generatedfrom the key to carry out a series of modular arithmetic and XORoperations on segments of the 64-bit plaintext block. The encryptionscheme uses a total of fifty-two 16-bit subkeys.

Blowfish is a symmetric block cipher that can be used as a drop-inreplacement for DES or IDEA. It takes a variable-length key, from 32bits to 448 bits, making it ideal for both domestic and exportableuse. Blowfish is unpatented and license-free, and is availablefree for all uses.

Public key cryptography uses two keys — a public key knownto everyone, and a private or secret key that is safeguarded. Public key cryptography was invented in 1976 by WhitfieldDiffie and Martin Hellman. For this reason, it is sometimes alsocalled Diffie-Hellman encryption. It is also calledasymmetric encryption because it uses two keys instead of one key. The two keys are mathematically related, yet it is computationally infeasible to deduce one from the other.

Unfortunately, public-key cryptography is about 1000 times slowerthan symmetric key cryptography.

The most well-known of the public-key encryption algorithms is RSA, named after its designers Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman. The un-breakability of the algorithm is based on the fact that there is no efficient way to factor very large numbers into their primes.

An example of the above numbers: rsa.txt. Look up the man page: openssl(1).

The e and d are symmetric in that using either ((n,e) or (n,d)) as the encryption key, the other can be used as the decryption key.

The only way known to find d is to know p and q. If the number n is small, p and q are easy todiscover by prime factorization. Thus, p and q are chosen to be as large as possible,say, a few hundred digits long. Obviously, p and qshould never be revealed, preferably destroyed.

Encryption isdone as follows. Consider the entire message to be encrypted asa sequence of bits. Suppose the length of n in bits is b. Split the message into blocks of length b or b-1. A block viewedas a b-bit number should be less than n; if it is not, choose it to beb-1 bits long. Each block is separately encrypted, and theencryption of the entire message is the catenation of the encryptionof the blocks. Let m stand for a block viewed as a number. Multiply m with itself e times, and take the modulo n result as c,which is the encryption of m. That is, c = m^emod n.

Decryption is the “inverse” operation: m = c^dmod n.

The Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) is a United States Federal Government standard for digital signatures.

An example of the above numbers: dsa.txt.Look up the man page: openssl(1).

Public-key systems, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), are popular for transmitting information via the Internet. They are extremely secure and relatively simple to use. You need to retrieve the recipient’s public key from one of several world-wide registries of public keys that now exist to encrypt a message.

When John wants to send a secure message to Jane, he uses Jane’s public key to encrypt the message. Jane then uses her private key to decrypt it.

In real-world implementations, public keys are rarely used to encrypt actual messages because public-key cryptography is slow. Instead, public-key cryptography is used to distribute symmetric keys, which are then used to encrypt and decrypt actual messages, as follows:

A digital signature is a way to authenticate to a recipient that a received object is indeed that of the sender.

The public key-based communication between Alice and Bob described above is vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack.

Let us assume that Mallory, a cracker, not only can listen to thetraffic between Alice and Bob, but also can modify, delete, andsubstitute Alice’s and Bob’s messages, as well as introduce newones. Mallory can impersonate Alice when talking to Bob andimpersonate Bob when talking to Alice. Here is how the attackworks.

A man-in-the-middle attack works because Alice and Bob have no wayto verify they are talking to each other. An independent third partythat everyone trusts is needed to foil the attack. This third partycould bundle the name “Bob” with Bob’s public key and signthe package with its own private key. When Alice receives the signedpublic key from Bob, she can verify the third party’s signature. Thisway she knows that the public key really belongs to Bob, and notMallory.

A package containing a person’s name (and possibly some otherinformation such as an E-mail address and company name) and his publickey and signed by a trusted third party is called a digital certificate (ordigital ID). An independent third party that everyone trusts, whoseresponsibility is to issue certificates, is called a CertificationAuthority (CA). A digital certificate serves two purposes. First, itprovides a cryptographic key that allows another party to encryptinformation for the certificate’s owner. Second, it provides a measureof proof that the holder of the certificate is who they claim to be -because otherwise, they will not be able to decrypt any informationthat was encrypted using the key in the certificate.

The recipient of an encrypted message uses the CA’s public key todecode the digital certificate attached to the message, verifies it asissued by the CA and then obtains the sender’s public key andidentification information held within the certificate. With thisinformation, the recipient can send an encrypted reply.

The most widely used standard for digital certificates is X.509,which defines the following structure for public-key certificates:

You can obtain a personal certificate from companies or

The Web.

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Vipre Internet Security 2016 Free Download – Softlay

Vipre internet security 2016 free download latest version for windows xp/7/8/10. Get offline standalone setup of Vipre internet security 2016 for windows 32-64 bit PC. Award wining Vipre combines with antivirus and anti spyware technologies, and other advanced features protect, & wont let slow down your computer.

Protect yourself from all kind of potential threats such as Trojans, malware, Spam, Spyware & cyber-crime. Vipre internet security software 2016 is handy tool which protects your PC against threats. Its antivirus and firewall software for PC users. The installation process is easy it has intuitive user interface. Virpe consumes less system resources while scanning for threats and viruses on your computer, keeping your PC fast for routine tasks.

Real time protection feature of Vipre watches for threats. It also safeguard you while browsing online, checking for the link that may harm your computer. It also block all malicious websites on your computer. You can also scans removable drives from vipre internet security 2016 before connecting to your PC. Social watch feature scan for all bad links on your Facebook account that could harm your PC with malware, spyware, Trojans etc. Protecting yourself from email threats, it scans internet security threats in Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and any email program using POP3 and SMTP.

Below are the key features of Vipre 2016 internet security software.

Below are the minimum system requirements for Internet security software 2016.

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What is cloud computing? – LinkedIn

Course Transcript

– [Instructor] Before we can begin to explore the cloud including strategies for migrating to the cloud, and cloud tools to consider, we should understand what the cloud really is, so let’s begin with a quick overview of the cloud, then what cloud computing means. The label cloud computing is really a metaphor for the internet. If you’ve ever looked at a network diagram, the internet portion of that network is typically represented by a cloud graphic. Also important to consider, the cloud in a diagram like this will typically represent the part of the solution that is someone else’s concern, and that is what cloud computing’s all about. By leaving a good chunk of the networking solution in someone else’s hands, a person or a business can cut operational costs dramatically while allowing them or their IT departments to concentrate on strategy as opposed to maintaining the data center. But these days it would be overly simplistic to equate cloud computing to the internet. A person or a business might choose to access applications that reside at a location other than their own computers or servers. Think Microsoft Office for example. This would eliminate the need to install applications locally on every computer at home or at the office, and when an update or even upgrade becomes available, there’s no work to be done at your end, because someone else is hosting those applications and the updates are completed by them, not you. They handle it all including the cost of the servers that host those applications. Of course data storage has become a big piece in the cloud computing puzzle as well. With some or all of your data stored in the cloud, you can cut capital expenditures since you won’t need to buy the equipment needed to store everything. Think of all those photos on your tablet as a personal example. And, one of the biggest advantages to the cloud is the ability to access your applications, and your data from anywhere, on any device that connects to the internet. Users simply login from wherever they are to use their applications, and access their data. No more copying files and transferring them to multiple devices. This is great for sharing and collaborating on files too. Of course with anything IT-related, there are also going to be cons and that goes for cloud computing too, and internet outage can be an issue in cloud computing, cutting off access to your applications and data, preventing you from getting your work done. Sometimes the problem can be with the site you’re accessing. If they’re having issues, and it does happen, you’re once again out of luck trying to get at your applications and your data. Might be rare, but it’s a real possibility to consider, and in some scenarios if your company deals with sensitive or proprietary data, it may be necessary to store that data or run that application locally or internally, and not on someone else’s machines. Healthcare organizations come to mind, in the sense of the patient data they deal with. So that’s a high-level look at cloud computing, including some of the pros and cons. In most business scenarios, you will see cloud computing as an important piece of an overall networking strategy, and not the only solution.

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Types of Encryption | Office of Information Technology

Whole disk

Whole disk encryption, as the name implies, refers to the encryption of an entire physical or logical disk. While this is currently done mostly with software, hardware based disk encryption is a growing technology which is expected to surpass software products for whole disk encryption over the next few years. This form of encryption generally encrypts the entire contents of a disk or volume and decrypts/encrypts it during use after a key has been given. This means the data is protected from situations like laptop/disk loss or theft where the data would be encrypted and require a key to decrypt. It would not protect from situations like sending information over the network (e-mail, websites, etc) or from situations where the decryption key was already entered such as the user walking away from their logged-in computer.

When an individual wishes to encrypt a single file or group of files there are several options. Most encryption software has the ability to encrypt files individually using a password or other key. Many encryption programs have the ability to create an encrypted “virtual drive”. This is an encrypted file that, when opened with the key, looks like another drive attached to the computer allowing the user to easily open and save files into an encrypted area. Some other applications, like MS Office and OpenOffice, have built-in, single-file encryption features.

This approach can protect against data disclosure on a lost or stolen computer, but only if all of the private information was encrypted. Individual file/folder encryption relies on user education and good practices to ensure that all appropriate information is encrypted.

Depending on how the encryption software is used, this approach can provide protection from data disclosure when transferring information over the network. E.g. an individual file can be encrypted and then sent as an email attachment, assuming the recipient has the ability to decrypt it.

Allowing multiple users to simultaneously access encrypted information is more complicated than a single user. The encryption software must allow the use of either multiple keys (i.e. one for each user) or a shared key (e.g. a shared password). Additionally, the software must deal with multi-user file locking issues (this is usually a problem with the virtual drive approach mentioned in the last section).

This approach can provide an additional layer of protection against the disclosure of highly confidential data on file servers in the event they are compromised. It can also help protect against disclosure on backup media as the files would remain encrypted when backed up.

This approach can get complicated if not all users have the encryption software installed, or they are not configured consistently. This could lead users being unable to access encrypted information or incorrectly believing they have encrypted information when they have not. For these reasons, special attention should be paid to how encryption software behaves and users should be educated to recognize the encryption status of files.

Encrypting information in a database can be done at a couple of levels. The application accessing the database can encrypt information before putting it into the database. This requires intelligence at the application level, but no additional database features. Many databases have built-in encryption functions which applications can use to encrypt data as it is written. This usually requires features at both the application and database level. An encryption application can sit between the application and database, encrypting/decrypting information as it is written and read. This requires buying and installing additional software, but may not require modifications to the application or database.

As mentioned earlier, some applications that arent specifically designed for encryption do have basic encryption functions. Most notably, common productivity suites like Microsoft Office and OpenOffice contain file encryption features. Be cautious of the quality of the built-in encryption features, even within the Microsoft Office product line, some versions (like Office 2007) have a good mechanism, others have poor ones (like Office 2000 and earlier) and still others require proper configuration to provide good protection (like Office 2003). These features can be very handy because they dont require additional licenses, require less training and can be effective for both in transit and at rest encryption. Additionally, they can work well for file exchange since the recipient is more likely to have the ability to decrypt the file. In short, built-in encryption functions can be convenient options, but you should research their effectiveness before using them.

There are a couple of different levels to encryption with email, first is encrypting just an attached file and second is encrypting an entire message. Encrypting an attached file can be accomplished using any single-file encryption process that “sticks” to the file. Naturally, the recipient must have a way of decrypting the file. There are only a couple of commonly used email message encryption technologies, most notably S/MIME and PGP. While S/MIME support is integrated into many email clients, it requires users to have trusted certificates which can be complicated to properly deploy. Using PGP to encrypt email requires installing software, but there are both free and commercial options.

Both of these technologies also allow for digital “signing” of email without encrypting it. This signing process allows the recipient to be certain a message was not altered in transit, but does not protect the content from prying eyes.

Encrypting information while in transit on a network is one of the most common, and important, uses of encryption. One of the most popular forms of this encryption is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS), commonly used to encrypt web traffic in transit. Any web application that transmits or collects sensitive information should encrypt the information using SSL/TLS. There are a number of other uses for SSL/TLS encryption, including securing authentication for email communication between clients and servers. SSL/TLS can also be used for “tunneling” to encrypt other forms of network transmission that dont have their own encryption features.

Another common network encryption technology is Secure Shell (SSH) which is largely used for encrypted terminal connections (replacing telnet) and encrypted file transfers (SFTP replacing FTP). Like SSL/TLS, SSH can also be used for tunneling.

A more general form of network traffic encryption is IP Security (IPSec), which operates at a more basic layer than SSL or SSH and can be applied to any network traffic. However, using IPSec requires common configuration between the two computers communicating, so it is generally used within a company/department rather than across the internet.

For wireless networks there are other encryption options that only encrypt information between the computer and the wireless access point. For this reason, they only protect from snooping on wireless and not after the information leaves the access point onto a wired network. The two most common forms are called Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and WiFI Protected Access (WPA). WEP is no longer considered a secure protocol. WPA is much stronger, but has shortcomings and an updated WPA2 standard has been released which improves its security.

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Types of Encryption | Office of Information Technology

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Internet security software Reviews 2018 – Compared & Reviewed

Internet security software combines a number of important security functions into a single package. It will monitor for problems and threats as you use the internet, blocking or warning you of suspect links and watching your computer for unexpected or unauthorized changes.

A good internet security software package will include these security components:

Internet security software doesnt just keep you protected from the most harmful online threats. It also provides an excellent line of defense against less dangerous but often more annoying problems like unexpected pop-up adverts, website redirection (when you expect one website but are shown another) and unwanted software which can slow your computer to a crawl.

Internet security software is essential because its hard to steer clear of online threats – even if you only use big-name websites and never open emails from people you dont know.

With a good internet security package running constantly on your computer, you can get on with using the internet, without having to watch your back. The software does that for you.

Parental control functions also give you confidence that other people using your computer particularly children and young people are prevented from accidentally viewing harmful or inappropriate websites.

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Internet security software Reviews 2018 – Compared & Reviewed

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Exhibit A – Internet Security Requirements

Equifax has a duty to protect the confidentiality and security of any consumer report or other nonpublic consumer information (“Consumer Information”) it provides to its Clients. In addition, Equifax seeks to protect its proprietary information including subscriber codes, account information, and all other nonpublic business information (“Proprietary Information”) (Consumer Information and Proprietary Information being referred to cumulatively as “Equifax Information”). In order to discharge these responsibilities, Equifax must obtain from its Clients appropriate information on systems, applications, processes, and entities involved in the transmission of Equifax Information. Equifax requires a description of the intended use, resale, or transmission of the Consumer Information by a Client. This document sets forth the policies and requirements of Equifax for Clients to access, obtain, repackage, and distribute Equifax Information over the Internet. These requirements are in addition to standard Equifax contractual terms and conditions.

Governs only the access of Equifax information through Equifax’s managed portal, ePORT.

Governs only the access of information through the URL

Covers only access via a browser such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator . Access of ePORT by screen-scraping or other automated system is not covered by this agreement. A separate agreement must be executed if access is through other than an Internet browser.

All Proprietary Information, including Equifax subscriber codes and security digits must be protected from unauthorized use. If Proprietary Information must be communicated by Client to an Intermediary for purposes of the transmission of Consumer Information to an End-User, the Intermediary must safeguard this Information and observe these Internet Security requirements.

All Equifax Information must be encrypted as it is transmitted over the Internet. A minimum of 128-bit key encryption is required.

Equifax Information must also be protected when stored on servers, subject to the following requirements:

Servers storing Equifax Information must be separated from the Internet or other public networks by firewall or other comparable methods;

Equifax Information must not be stored on a server that can be accessed by TCP services directly from the Internet and should not be referenced in domain name services (DNS) tables;

Secure access (both physical and network) to servers storing Equifax Information, must include authentication and passwords that are changed at least every 90 days;

All servers must be kept current with appropriate security-specific system patches, as they are available.

Consumer Information shall not be shared with, or accessed by, any person other than an End-User or permitted Intermediary, and all transmission and/or storage of Consumer Information shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions stated in these Internet Security Requirements. The Client is responsible for ensuring that the Intermediary meets these Internet Security requirements.

All Proprietary Information, including Equifax subscriber codes and security digits must be protected from unauthorized use. If Proprietary Information must be communicated by Client to an Intermediary for purposes of the transmission of Consumer Information to an End-User, the Intermediary must safeguard this Information and observe these Internet Security requirements.

All Equifax Information, including Proprietary Information and Consumer Information, shall only be shared by Client with an End-User who has been authenticated by strong authentication methodology.

When Consumer Information is accessed by an End-User, the specific individual with access to the Information must be identified, each access shall be logged, and a record of this access shall be maintained for at least three (3) months.

The Client agrees to comply with these Internet Security Requirements at all times.

A breach of security or other circumstance which causes or may have caused or allowed, access to Equifax Information by unauthorized persons or systems, whether intentional, fraudulent, or accidental, must be reported to Equifax as soon as possible and, in any case, not later than one (1) business day after discovery.

The Client shall assume all liability for the use and/or resale of Consumer Information and its delivery via the Internet, and shall hold Equifax harmless from all such liability.

Equifax must approve, in writing, any variance from these Internet Security Requirements.

Equifax retains the right to update or modify, from time to time, these Internet Security Requirements. If Equifax updates or modifies these Internet Security Requirements, Equifax will require that the Client conform its systems, applications, processes or procedures to comply with the update or modification within a reasonable time period, having regard to all relevant security and legal concerns, as may be determined in the discretion of the Equifax Group Executive, reasonably exercised.


Compliance by the Client with these Internet Security Requirements shall not relieve the Client of the obligation to observe any other or further contractual, legal, or regulatory requirements, rules or terms, nor shall Equifax’s review or approval of any of Client’s systems, applications, processes, or procedures constitute or be deemed to constitute the assumption by Equifax of any responsibility or liability for compliance by the Client with any contractual, legal, or regulatory requirements, rules, or terms. Client shall remain solely responsible for the security of its system, the security of all Equifax Information received by it from Equifax, and for any breach of that security. Equifax retains the right, in its sole discretion, to withhold approval of Internet access to Equifax Information for any reason. Equifax may suspend or terminate access to the Equifax Information at any time if Equifax has reason to believe that Client, an Intermediary, or a business End-User has violated any of these Internet Security Requirements or any contractual, legal, or regulatory requirements, rules or terms.

(Rev 01/05/2007)

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Exhibit A – Internet Security Requirements

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