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using the cloud


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#1 HeartsongAcres

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 12:00 PM

I am a novice computer user and have been going through the guides on this site (Thank you to whoever maintains these and updates them!), and one concern I have had come up recently, is this cloud technology.  I barely understand it except that it is all digital and eliminates a lot of paper. (super simplified I know :P )   Going digital is appealing-or mostly anyway. I would love to eliminate the files and files of paper and streamline everything we have after thirty years of marriage and family life.  BUT....a part of me is totally freaked out by the idea.  It seems there are hacks all the time photos, videos (of which I have never, ever put on a pc-too paranoid) that end up in the wrong hands, not to mention the financial etc information and identity theft issues.

 

So in general, I am asking for some feedback.  Is  using good anti virus, malware etc (per the general recommendations and caveats of there is no "one size fits al"l answer) enough along with backing up my pc regularly?  I also wonder if there are recommended programs to use or not use...Evernote, Google Calendar and others.  I also believe there are ways to go digital that keeps my files all in my own possession which might be a good alternative, but realizing as technology progresses, if I am going to use email and other online services  like banking and shopping, more and more is already in the cloud. 

 

I'm just trying to sort out this stuff-which is a bit overwhelming. :)   So asking for some thoughts here.

 

Thanks

S

 

 



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#2 ScathEnfys

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 12:24 PM

Good antivirus and antimalware are not enough. You have to keep a good security mindset too. Since you are posting before doing, you are at least on the right track. I personally prefer to avoid cloud storage for important files and keep them on a external hard drive that is only connected when I need to look at those files.
That being said, I'm not sure what you mean by "cloud technology", as it is an irritatingly vague buzzword that everyone seems to have a different meaning for. What exactly are you trying to keep? Different programs have their advantages and disadvantages for different uses.
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#3 Aura

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 12:25 PM

So in general, I am asking for some feedback. Is using good anti virus, malware etc (per the general recommendations and caveats of there is no "one size fits al"l answer) enough along with backing up my pc regularly?


It isn't enough. You forgot "safe and secure browsing habits, and general use of a computer" as well :) Which is the most important, since most infections can be prevented if the user is aware of the risks that exists out there on the Internet, and if he pays attention to what he's doing.

I also wonder if there are recommended programs to use or not use...Evernote, Google Calendar and others.


What kind of programs are you asking for here? Evernote and Google Calendar are what we would call "productivity" programs. Do you want recommendations for those?

I also believe there are ways to go digital that keeps my files all in my own possession which might be a good alternative, but realizing as technology progresses, if I am going to use email and other online services like banking and shopping, more and more is already in the cloud.


You know that digital doesn't mean the cloud, right? For instance, if you keep your own files on your hard drive, they are digital, but also "local", since they aren't on the Internet. We call "cloud storage" services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, etc. for that kind of storage. Even there, your files are still in your possession, but hosted somewhere else (and if you have the local client installed, you have a copy on both your computer and your service provider's servers).

It seems there are hacks all the time photos, videos (of which I have never, ever put on a pc-too paranoid) that end up in the wrong hands, not to mention the financial etc information and identity theft issues.


There's too way your data can be compromised when you host them somewhere else (Cloud): client-side compromise, and server-side compromise. The client is you. So as long as you use a strong password, enable 2FA on your account, use HTTPS to transmit sensitive data, don't fall for phishing attacks, etc. your account won't fall in the wrong hands and your data will remain secure. On the other end, there's nothing you can do about server-side compromise. It's your service provider's job to handle that, which means: hardened servers, restricted access to the physical servers hosting the data, APT prevention, etc. Basically, you are responsible for 50% of the security of your stuff on the cloud, and the provider the other 50%. However, most of the time, when a leak occur, it's because the security failed on the client-side (which is you), so the provider isn't the blame. Of course, when there's a breach, it's a different story and your provider's at fault here (kind of).

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#4 HeartsongAcres

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:19 PM

I realize there is a difference between digital and cloud, but I don't know the lingo well enough to really elaborate.  One post mentioned storing things on an external hard drive-being a novice, I hope you could  (or someone could) elaborate on the different sources one could/should have for backing up and storing files.  I am aware of flash drives, but know there's other options.  How do I choose what is the right kind for my needs? 

 

Re safe internet browsing.....I just realized I was  in an admin account a little while ago while I was reading something. ( !! )  I set up a new local account so can't check just what, but it was here at BC I think in a post by Quietman (?) on ransomware.  Or at least that was what was next in line on my "to study" list.   Thankfully, I have not spent much time online at all.  I find learning this new version of Windows a pain in the hiney. 

 

In fact my study today led me to another question.  I have the Malwarebytes on my pc, but is the anti exploit version a separate program? Do I need to download that too?  I am using the free version, and once I know my way around the facets of security better, I may upgrade to a paid versions where needed (and if needed.) 

 

Sorry for the questions, but I guess y'all are used to it.  I do so appreciate this site being available to novices like me! 

 

Oh....and yes I was looking for recommendations on productivity programs-which I know depend a bit on what you want it for.  In my case a calendar that is adaptable to my personal things, financial reminders etc and also one I can mesh with our homeschooling schedule and other records for that. I also anticipate going back to school myself at some point soon.    So I guess one I can personalize and adjust etc...like a planner but better and one I can use offline.

 

Thanks

S



#5 Aura

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:31 PM

I realize there is a difference between digital and cloud, but I don't know the lingo well enough to really elaborate.


Here goes :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital -> Digital data mostly
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_(disambiguation) -> Everything under Information technology, but mostly "Cloud storage".

One post mentioned storing things on an external hard drive-being a novice, I hope you could (or someone could) elaborate on the different sources one could/should have for backing up and storing files. I am aware of flash drives, but know there's other options. How do I choose what is the right kind for my needs?


We have a section dedicated to these kind of questions. Backup, Imaging, and Disk Management Software

Re safe internet browsing.....I just realized I was in an admin account a little while ago while I was reading something. ( !! ) I set up a new local account so can't check just what, but it was here at BC I think in a post by Quietman (?) on ransomware. Or at least that was what was next in line on my "to study" list. Thankfully, I have not spent much time online at all. I find learning this new version of Windows a pain in the hiney.


Some Ransomware do not need Admin Rights to encrypt files sadly. It's a good practice to use a Standard user account and only use the Admin one when needed however.

In fact my study today led me to another question. I have the Malwarebytes on my pc, but is the anti exploit version a separate program? Do I need to download that too? I am using the free version, and once I know my way around the facets of security better, I may upgrade to a paid versions where needed (and if needed.)


Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is a separate program yes, and a very good one on top of that. You should install the free version, and getting the paid one is really worth it as well.

Oh....and yes I was looking for recommendations on productivity programs-which I know depend a bit on what you want it for. In my case a calendar that is adaptable to my personal things, financial reminders etc and also one I can mesh with our homeschooling schedule and other records for that. I also anticipate going back to school myself at some point soon. So I guess one I can personalize and adjust etc...like a planner but better and one I can use offline.


You can ask for these in the Business Applications section (since productivity programs are mostly for business usage if you ask me).

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#6 ScathEnfys

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:42 PM

Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is a separate program yes, and a very good one on top of that.

To elaborate on that a bit more, Malwarebytes produces a variety of free security programs on top of their flagship anti-malware. Malwarebytes anti-rootkit (MBAR), Malwarebytes anti-exploit (MBAE), and Malwarebytes anti-ransomware (MBARW - I think) some of their separate programs. All of them work very well in my experience, though I will note that the anti-ransomware is still in beta and that the anti-rootkit is a removal tool designed for stubborn infections.
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#7 Aura

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:45 PM

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware is planned to be integrated in Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit's technology is also included in Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, once it reaches a stable level. Once done, a new beta of MBAR is released then they rince and repeat. It's a good way tactic.

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#8 quietman7

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 06:00 PM

I realize there is a difference between digital and cloud, but I don't know the lingo well enough to really elaborate.  One post mentioned storing things on an external hard drive-being a novice, I hope you could  (or someone could) elaborate on the different sources one could/should have for backing up and storing files.  I am aware of flash drives, but know there's other options.  How do I choose what is the right kind for my needs?

I just use small portable external hard drives for backups on each of my computers...just be sure to disconnect the external drive when the backup is completed to protect yourself from ransomware infection.

US-CERT Alert (TA13-309A) advises some crypto malware variants have the ability to target, find and encrypt files located within network drives, shared (mapped network paths), USB drives, external hard drives, and even some cloud storage drives if they have a drive letter. In most cases, if you're going to use a cloud backup that provides strong encryption, includes versioning and does not utilize a drive letter (cloud backups typically do not use those), then you should be safe from crypto ransomware as you can back up to the date prior to the infection.
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