Title: The Symantec Guide to Home Internet Security
Authors: Andrew Conry-Murray, Vincent Weafer
Publisher: Symantec Press
Published: September 3, 2005
Edition: 1st Edition
Windows is today by far the most popular platform for workstation and desktop computers. However, it has also proven to be the most susceptible to a wide variety of attacks, many of which being of a distributed (mass-spreading) nature.
Regardless of the important steps that Microsoft has taken to provide a sufficient out-of-the box level of security, a default Windows installation remains far from secure and not likely to survive for long against the various hazards that access to the Internet hides.
Truth is that few users are even aware of these hazards -until it is too late-, much less being able to make an educated choice among all these protective software titles with fancy names out there.
This is where Symantec Guide to Home Internet Security comes to the rescue, offering a consistent and easy to comprehend source of information to both the completely novice users and those with limited knowledge in the ways of computer security.
Without going into unnecessary technical details, it explains all that a user needs to know to protect his privacy in windows environments. For those that do not know, Symantec has been established as one of the leading companies in the field of computer security globally, offering it's own quality software solutions -with best examples the Norton Anti-Virus and Internet Security suite.
However this book is in no way written to promote or focus to any specific software. It aims to educate the reader so that he is able to make his own sensible choices of security-related software and it definitely succeeds in it... Symantec's Guide to Home Internet Security is of the few security-related books that demand no experience or previous knowledge.
In it's about 200 pages, it manages to teach with illustrative examples, tables and images everything from the ground, without becoming tiresome or confusing to the reader at any point. The material covered is well distributed into 10 chapters.
Chapter 1 is a short introduction to the main types of Internet risks. It shows how the Internet is full of cunning/malicious users that will do anything to take advantage of every valuable bit of information that we exchange.
Chapter 2 covers the most well-established techniques of identity-stealing. It teaches you important methods to prevent them and react in the event of identity theft.
Chapter 3 explains the logic behind firewalls, in which cases they can protect us and how they can be used to effectively do so.
Chapters 4 and 5 cover the large subject of Malware (malicious software). You will learn in what ways Viruses, Worms, Spyware, Adware and Trojan horses can harm your system, how you can minimize the possibility of being infected, in what ways you can utilize protective software as a measure of prevention and restoration and what are the criteria according to which you should choose those software products.
Chapter 6 continues with the subject of SPAM messages, whether they just carry annoying advertisements or act as means of Information Phising and Social Engineering techniques. This chapter will teach you a great deal of these techniques, how to filter out SPAM messages and determine the validity of any potentially harmful message.
Chapter 7 focuses generally on good practices for keeping your Windows system in good health.
Chapter 8 is dedicated in presenting methods for protecting other members of your family/environment that will use your computer with possibly less knowledge about security or underage from unwanted content. Windows features and extra tools for filtering access to unwanted content are described, along with recommendations for optimum implementation.
Chapter 9 speaks about security in Wireless/Portable devices and VoIP applications. Common usage mistakes are pointed with regard to the severity of their potential exploitation. Finally,
Chapter 10 introduces the basic principles of cryptography, it's most widely used applications and possible ways that we can take advantage of it to protect our privacy.
Conclusion: If you are not familiar at all with security or have your doubts in some things, this book can literally save you! The material covered is absolutely necessary for the survival of any windows station connected to the Internet and reading Symantec's Guide to Home Internet Security is probably the easiest way to learn it.