If this is your first time working on a lesson…
1) Please read our FreeFor Ops page. It will explain the site purpose and navigation, Lesson Outlines and the overarching concept of FreeFor IO.
2) It will direct you to also read the START HERE page, Tenets page and the first lessons. There are a few lessons ahead of this one.
Welcome to Secure PC (L1.4, Lesson ID 0018). This quick lesson will arm you with some (free) Windows programs to help keep your PC secure.
- Your behavior and discipline
- Firewalls (in addition to your router)
- Anti-Malware / Anti-Spyware
- Privacy Cleaners / Secure Delete
- Disk and File Encryption (to be covered in a separate lesson)
- Regularly: Scanning, updating virus / malware databases, updating versions
Why is this important? Your PC is where it all begins. It is an end point that needs to be secured. The industry term for this is End Point Security. It is easier to exploit your behaviors and PC than it is to crack encryption or Tor. It is imperative that you keep your PC as secure as possible before we begin the lesson on securing your browser.
Here’s Bruce Schneier commenting on it…(emphasis ours)
TAO (NSA’s Tailored Access Operations) also hacks into computers to recover long-term keys. So if you’re running a VPN that uses a complex shared secret to protect your data and the NSA decides it cares, it might try to steal that secret. This kind of thing is only done against high-value targets.
How do you communicate securely against such an adversary? Snowden said it in an online Q&A soon after he made his first document public: “Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.”