Internet security tutorial
This tutorial will help you stay safe when using the Internet, and avoid hackers, viruses, and accidentally giving out your private information to strangers. It is assumed that you're using Microsoft Windows (the most popular operating system for PCs).
Main article: Browser security
All Windows versions newer than Windows 95 (including Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP) ship with a web browser called Microsoft Internet Explorer (often called "IE"). This is the program you use to 'surf the web' and view web pages. As Windows is a popular operating system, a large percentage of web surfers (often estimated to around 90 %) use IE. But it doesn't mean that IE is the only Internet browser out there.
In fact, it is strongly advisable to use another web browser instead of IE. Here's why:
- IE is known for having many security holes that can be used by hackers and malicious code to gain entry to your computer. IE is also closely integrated with Windows, which means that security exploits in IE can easily be used to infect the entire operating system.
- IE is the most popular Internet browser on the web, which means that it is a big target for hackers and viruses out there.
Instead, it is recommended to use either Firefox or Opera (links below) as the standard Internet browser. Firefox is based on open source code, while Opera is commercial but free software. Both are simple to download and install (visit the websites linked below). Firefox seems to be preferred by many.
A firewall is software that functions like, yes, a 'firewall' for your internet connection. It only lets through what you want to let through, and can block out potential hackers. Windows XP comes with a built-in firewall. Make sure it is turned on by checking your Internet connection settings. If you're using a Windows version different from XP, you'll have to make sure that a firewall application is installed. If you don't find one on your computer, you can use a free firewall called ZoneAlarm (linked below).
Anti-virus software can prevent computer viruses from spreading to your computer. If you don't have anti-virus software on your computer, you should consider getting it. The best ones are the ones you pay for, but you can also get several free ones on the web.
Windows XP has a feature called Windows Update, which lets you easily update Windows with new security fixes. You should visit Windows Update regularly (there should be a shortcut in the Start Menu) or considering turning on automatic updates.
All computers that are connected to the Internet have their own identifiable IP address. It is visible to external web sites you connect to, and in the worst case can be used to identify you as an individual. A proxy can help you stay anonymous on the Internet by masking your IP address. The easiest proxies operate via a website, like Anonymouse (link below). Using a proxy is recommended when visiting boylover sites that use external hosting of images, like boylover.net.
If you're serious about Internet security, you should consider using Tor. It is an advanced proxy, and is better at protecting your privacy than web-based proxies. Tor is also considered more secure, as it is based on open source code and dynamic traffic routing, and doesn't have the possibilites for logging that a fixed web site has. It should be noted that Tor is still experimental software. Tor is a program that is installed on your computer. There are downloads and complete installation instructions available at Tor's home site (linked below).
Internet Security and Child Pornography
Remember that no matter how secure you can make your computer, it will never be 100 percent secure. There will always be ways law enforcement can use to bust you if you attempt downloading illegal materials on your computer. This tutorial should only be used to help you visit legal web sites safely without having to fear revealing your personal information or getting your computer hacked or infected by nasty code, not to help visiting illegal sites. There is only one waterproof advice to avoid being caught with child pornography: stay away from it!