Introduction to Web Security

Welcome to Lesson 1 – Introduction to Web Security

This lesson will introduce you to the concept of Internet and Web Security.

computer security

What knowledge and skills do you need to use computers and to use the Internet safely?

This knowledge is necessary even if you just visit the Internet via a smartphone or tablet.

In order to be safe on the Internet, you need to have a basic knowledge of what Firewalls, Viruses and Malware are. You need to have the firewall of your computer active, as well as having protection via virus scan programs and other programs to protect you from malware.  
This places a challenge on all computer users. When your computer is vulnerable, this means that intruders can see what you are doing, and may even steal passwords and identity.

Share this page with friends that need to keep safe on the Internet. We all need to maintain our safety in a world where computing security is becoming a great problem 

It is our desire to help and educate computer users to understand better how to be safe on the Web. Make it your goal to learn how to be safe and avoid being hacked or be a victim of identity theft.

The first concept and item you need to learn is: What is a Firewall.

A great and simple video to watch is below, which was published by the Center for Identity at The University of Texas at Austin.  It is our sincere desire to share and help to educate computer users to understand better how to be safe on the Web. Make it your goal to learn how to be safe and avoid being hacked or be a victim of identity theft.

Understanding and Using Firewalls


Knowledge Check:

To be secure on the web, you need to do the following:

  1. Activate your computer firewall: for this you must learn or take a course on basic computer settings and skills.
  2. You must know the dangers of computer viruses, and how to avoid viruses. 
  3. You must know the dangers of computer malware, and how to avoid malware. 
  4. You must know how to browse to the correct web sites. This means that you must train to know how to identify if the website is reputable, and how to avoid landing on a non-reputable website. 
  5. You must know the dangers of using a public WiFi.
  6. Be aware that the best virus scanning software are not free.
  7. Be aware that in the web you will find MANY sites offering virus scanning and similar software. 
  8. So, how do you know what sites are REPUTABLE? The way I explain this is simply: When I want to find out about a reputable doctor, I ask people I know or ask the hospital. You have to learn HOW to identify what is a reputable web site.
  9. You must learn how to manage your security software. You may consider asking a friend that is knowledgeable about computing. There are many computer stores and repair shops that can provide a good answer. 
  10. I can only give a recommendation, but you are solely responsible to learn how to be safe on the Web. By the way, I do not earn anything for the advice, but again, you must learn how to be safe.

For in-depth knowledge of the above concepts, you have to either take a course on basic computer security or study these via books or the web. Do be very careful because the tool you wish to use to scan your computer needs to be from a reputable vendor or reputable website. 
This page intends to give you an insight unto what these things are. You have to take the ownership of learning these concepts to avoid data or identity hacking, or losing you computer data by the effects of a virus attack.

Waiver: The information in this page is for educational purposes, and it is the total responsibility of the user to know how to avoid these dangers. Being on the Internet HAS GREAT DANGERS. The Internet has many gardens with beautiful things, but there ARE many evil people who seek to steal and damage the users on the net.
I would need to say that the best virus scanning software  are not free. Though, if you have an Internet provider, such as Xfinity or AT&T, they may already have a virus scanning software such as Norton or McAfee. Check with your Internet provider to find out about that.
Basic Computer Security
What is a Firewall?
firewallFirewall is a software program that configures the computer hardware and software ports, so that that it will not permit unsolicited input data to enter or manipulate the computer. The firewall protects the computer from hacking. Hacking is the unsolicited intrusion of a person using a computer to access another computer. 
Inside the computer motherboard, there are hardware (electronic) ports, these ports are inside the various chips. If one of these ports are not protected, then hacking can occur. This is the same as if one of the doors of your house is open, then intruders can enter and cause damage. If you have an active firewall, then the firewall is protecting these ports.
It is like someone forcing their way inside your house. The firewall protects the computer ports, through which the communication go in and out of a computer. A Firewall acts like a soldier protecting the doors and ports of the computer. The term Firewall comes from the old strategy of having the castle surrounded by a surrounding channel. Sometimes these channels wire lighted with fire, hence the term firewall. 
Now, if you go to an non-reputable web page, an there are many out their, and you click a download button, or say yes to the button click. Then you are the one giving permission for the download. This means that you must know if the web page is reputable or if it is fraudulent. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF the web page is reputable or if it is fraudulent? That is another course topic. It is like if you get a doctor, do you go to the first one that appears in the yellow pages, or do you ask for references. It is like finding a good mechanic. You have to be sure yourself if the page is safe. You have to learn the process of browsing safely on the web. That is a course in itself!

Dangers of a Public WiFi? 

The danger of the public WiFi is that you need to undertstand the hackers are very knowledgeable and skilled to break into networks.

I personally recommend the following:

  1. Ensure that you are not protected by your firewall and viruscan software. 
  2. The Firewall will prevent or minimize the risk of your computer being hacked.
  3. The hackers can use a keylogger to detect what keys of the keyboard you pulse, so it can see what keys you press when you enter your passwords. The hackers will then access you account and steal your money and identity. 
  4. If you use a Public WiFi, be sure you already are inside your account, so that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ENTER YOUR PASSWORD while at the Public WiFi.
  6. Be aware that someone could be recording on a camera what you enter on the computer.
  7. Hackers can use a similar SSID as the place you are in. This means that if you go to Starbuck, ask the store what is the name of the WiFi network. The SSID is the name of the WiFi network. The hacker can use a similar SSID name to trick you to logging in that network. If you enter that network, YOU HAVE FALLEN INSIDE THE TRAP.
  8. Even if you believe that the public WiFi  is “safe” you must avoid entering usernames and passwords before you go into the public WiFi.

Recommendations to use the Internet 

  1. Do most of your Internet chores at home with a firewall active on your computer.
  2. If you need to use a Public WiFi, be sure to login to your email before. In this manner you do not have to enter usernames or passwords in a public WiFi.
  3. Be sure that you have the correct SSID, that is, the correct name of the Public WiFi name. This means that if you go to Starbuck, as the store what is the name of the WiFi network. The SSID is the name of the WiFi network. 
  4. Never enter a non-reputable web site. Be sure you enter the correct web site address.
  5. Did you know that many cell phones have the capability of to perform as a WIFI HOTSPOT and you can set a password. If you are on the go, travelling, like right now. I am connected my Cell Phone WIFI HOTSPOT. I am doing website update and writing my Kindle eBook.
  6. Check with your cell phone company. Many cell phone vendors offer a built-in WiFi hotspot in the phone itself. 
  7. Keep learning and be secure on the web. 

If you would kindly send your feedback, or would like to learn topics such as Computer Security, Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access. We can arrange a formal class either face-to-face in the Portland, Oregon area, or online via the web. These arranged class do have a cost.



Many virus scan vendor and Internet service providers facilitate addition information from which you can learn to be safe on the Web. All these companies are reputable and their is much to learn from them. This page does not promote any particular vendor. That will be a personal choice of the computer user.

Here are some links:

What is a Firewall?

Security Basics by Xfinity