Sunday, February 26, 2012

3 Steps to (Almost) Malware-Proof of Your Internet Browsing

Here's the 3 easiest steps to eliminate most threats you'll come across while browsing the web. They're all free.

1. Use Mozilla Firefox.


Yes, I get credit if you download Firefox through that link. No, I don't make a dime from it. But I might get a really cool T-shirt if enough people download it from there. :)

The main reason Firefox is used has more to do with number 2 below than anything else. Firefox has a few things going for it. It's open source, meaning that the source code is visible and changeable by anyone. Instead of a small team at a company working on it, millions can (and do) work to improve upon the software. There's no monetary payment involved, but you'll get credit for the improvement if it's implemented and it looks good on a resume. Since it's quite popular, a lot of web developers will make sure their sites work with it. Did I mention it's free?

2. Install the NoScript plug-in.

Plugin Checker

Just search for NoScript there and it will come right up. NoScript disables Javascript universally unless you whitelist the site and allow it. It also has the side effect of blocking a lot of ads. Without Javascript, sites cannot just install something onto your computer without you knowing about it. There's a bit of a learning curve to browsing with the plug-in enabled, but it's worth it. These two things will fix half your problems with picking up malware from the Internet.

3. Use common sense.

This is the other half. If you just hit allow all all the time in NoScript, it will be like not even having it. Stay away from sites that are obviously potentially malicious. For example, downloading the latest, greatest single for free from a file sharing site is stealing. Chances are, that free download, isn't really free. (Yes, that goes double for the free porn sites gang.) Those sites make money somehow, and a lot of the time it's by installing tracking and "ad-serving" software on your machine. Or they might just install software on your computer to have it participate in DDoS attacks whenever the site owner wants. This could land you in serious legal trouble. Just don't go there.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. It's mostly because I haven't really been playing anything. Real life has been kinda crazy. I'm back on overnight shift, but I don't mind it so much since it allows me to do something I like.

My guild is moving towards Guild Wars 2. WAR just doesn't have the population any more, and TOR has been kinda disappointing. Circle of Rage always an Open RvR, large scale guild. Back in the day, we fielded no less than 3 warbands. The WvW in GW2 looks very promising.

So I figured I'd at least post something useful until I have more to talk about. I can do more stuff like this if you all want. Let me know.

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