Computer & Internet Security

Posted & filed under Technology.

In this era of ubiquitous technology, we seem to hear about a new threat to our computers or online presence almost daily. How can average technology users keep up, and what steps can we take to protect ourselves?

Those were some of the questions on the minds of Lincolnwood residents who attended the library’s July 16 class on Computer and Internet Security for Beginners, taught by the same tech pros from FireLogic who taught the popular Windows 8.1 class back in March.

Instructor Derrick Wlodarz enlivened the class with real-world examples drawn from security audits that FireLogic has performed for its clients. Some of these anecdotes sent shivers through the crowd, but for every frightening scenario, Wlodarz presented a practical safeguard.

The session was recorded, and the video appears at the bottom of this page. If you don’t have time to watch the entire recording, look for these highlights:

  • Following a three-minute video from CNN on the threat of “rogue wifi” in public places (at 14:55 in the video), Wlodarz places the problem in context with a series of infographics showing the relative scale of various security threats (28:00).
  • A “Myth or Fact” segment (beginning at 37:50) addresses common misconceptions about security, including the adequacy of free antivirus programs (58:38) and the immunity of Macs (1:03:33).
  • Wlodarz translates some security jargon (ransomware, adware, phishing) and answers the common question “…but where does all this nasty stuff come from?” (1:18:01).
  • He then offers tips for staying safe on social media and email (1:41:24) and presents some of his top picks for secure email providers and web browsers (1:51:59).

Here are two tips from FireLogic that you can put into practice right away:

  1. Test the strength of your chosen passwords at howsecureismypassword.net and the Password Haystack.
  2. When you get an email with a link to a website, hover over the link rather than clicking straight through. Look at the web address that pops up: is it a site you recognize, or just a string of numbers pointing to a hacker’s headquarters? Know before you click!

Review the Windows 8.1 class, as well as classes from other local libraries, on FireLogic’s YouTube channel. Looking for more technology classes? Visit our Events page to view our full slate of fall classes.