Connecting to the Internet
So, the Internet. Exactly what is
the Internet? I'm sure you think you know, but can you say exactly what it is? And, exactly what is
the difference between the Internet and the Web? Well, the 'Internet' is made up of all the web servers (special computers), routers, cables etc. that 'host' web sites, 'route' messages and data from one to another (so, from your computer or device to a web server and back again, or from one web server to another) and enable you to visit web sites and access email. The 'Web' (www, or World Wide Web), is made up of all the web sites/pages that are hosted (stored and 'served' to you) on the servers and the linking of all of these by direct links and 'Search Engines' like Google, Yahoo and Bing (and yes, there are many, many, more to choose from).
- Duck Duck Go
- Google Scholar
- Ix Quick
- The Internet Archive
So, if this is all external to your property and devices, how can you change anything on the internet to make it more secure. Well, you can't directly, but you can change how you access it. This means selecting and configuring the best Browser, Email Client, Internet Security Suite and other software that you use to access and protect you on the web (all covered elsewhere on this site, but also check out your Device's Hardware/Firmware/BIOS and Operating Systems security, access control and monitoring tools), but if you are serious about internet security, and you should be, you can do more than this. There are many tools available to make you more secure and to monitor what and how the programs on your device are accessing the internet, such as:
- VPN, virtual private network
- vulnerability scanner
As stated elsewhere, one of the most important aspects of computer security and safety is good backup! Make sure you backup your personal data to an external hard drive, or online - preferably both - as you are only really safe if you have two or more backups and one at least is 'off site', i.e., not where you keep your computer/laptop/other device. As well as backing up your important data, make sure you permanently
delete old data. When you select a file, or files and press the delete key, it only removes the file from the viewable list of files, the main part of the file is still on your hard drive/device memory, but is available for overwriting. Until it is overwritten, it is fairly easy to recover. Even then, it may still be recoverable by a professional data thief! To securely delete your data, you need to overwrite it with a sequence of data that makes it impossible to recover and you can do this with many programs and applications, such as CCleaner. This, and other such apps, make it easy to over-write or 'wipe' 'blank' areas of your hard drive or system storage with a sequence of ones and zeros, making it virtually impossible to recover the original data - so make sure that you will never need any of your deleted files again before doing this!
For very experienced users and computer professionals, there's Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer