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"Safe(r) web browsing" PowerPoint slides online

For those who missed the IT security roundtable April 9, it’s comforting to know that presenter Harvard Townsend (K-State’s chief information security officer) diligently documents the details in his PowerPoint files. The Safe(r) Web Browsing presentation (50-slide PowerPoint) that’s now online serves as a realistic roadmap of the latest dangers and defenses for K-Staters who want to be safer-than-sorry when browsing the Web.

As Townsend has said before, “The scary thing is you don’t even have to click on anything – just visiting a site with malicious code can initiate a download that installs malware on your computer without you knowing it.”

Slide 29 from the Safe(r) Web Browsing presentation
Slide 29 from the Safe(r) Web Browsing presentation (click the image to download the PowerPoint)

The agenda starts with “The Internet is a bad neighborhood” and covers:

  • The dangers of web browsing
  • Helpful features built into web browsers
  • Tools you can add to your web browsers
  • Trend Micro is your friend
  • Miscellany cautions/tips/tricks

Take-away points

  1. The Safe(r) Web Browsing presentation shows-and-tells how to recognize bad web addresses (URLs) online, in e-mail, searches, and other links.
  2. Search-engine poisoning happens when top services such as Google “are tricked into presenting a malicious link in the top 10 results for popular searches” and “13 percent of Google searches for popular or trendy topics yield malicious links.”
  3. Watch out for bad URLs hidden by shortening services like TinyURL.com, Bit.ly, and CloakedLink.com.
  4. Use the “country code definitions” at www.iana.org/domains/root/db/index.html to  check where websites are really hosted (example: .ch = China).
  5. It’s essential to keep good security tools and setups on your computer (see the helpful features, tools, and cautions/tips/tricks).

Townsend’s conclusions

  • There’s no way to be 100 percent secure surfing the Web these days.
  • Use a multi-faceted approach to reduce your risk (browser security features, browser add-ons, Trend Micro security software, educate yourself).
  • These tools and techniques make your browsing experience less convenient and may frustrate you at times, but they are necessary in today’s hostile online climate.
  • Think before you click!

For more details, see the April 6 news article and the April 9 Safe(r) Web Browsing PowerPoint presentation.

About Betsy Edwards

• Web/information specialist in Information Technology Services • Editor/writer, K-State IT communications • IT News blog moderator • ETDR specialist