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02-13-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to build a flashdrive for basic security while browsing the internet.

These tips can be easily used without a flash drive to supplement your own security on your home computer.

First off, the point of this is how you can browse the internet, chat and other things safely and securely -- and best of all, with added anonymity -- on other people's computers.


Brief intro:

Many times, when I sit down at a school computer, I notice that someone forgot to log out of their student account or email or even one time, their amazon account. Now, what would have happened to the if I lacked the integrity I do have? A whole lot of shit, that's for sure. Now, I know most computer savvy people are thinking "Oh please, I remember to log out every time, I don't need this."

Wrong.

In this day and age, you can use all the simple security measures you can get.


Why a flash drive?

Well, because nowadays, flash drives with higher capacities are getting cheaper and cheaper. I found a 2 GB one at walmart for $5 (they usually run about $10, and I think what I got was a lucky find). 2GB is about all you're going to need, maybe even 1 gb.



Okay, let's get started

First, go here: PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives

Programs you need to download:
Firefox Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives
KeePass KeePass Password Safe Portable | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives

Suggested:

Eraser portable Eraser Portable | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives
PortableApps launcher Download PortableApps.com Suite and Platform | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB drives


Okay, take note that these are just the basics. You can add all kind of crazy stuff when you want to (I even have GIMP and Audacity for no real reason).


Also, just to note, I'm sure there are probably programs out there that are just as good and maybe better, but these happen to be the ones I use, and trust.


Firefox:

Okay, Most people in this day and age that know jack about computers probably uses firefox. Hell, all I had to do to get my mom to use it was say "It's better than internet explorer" and show her to click the firefox icon when I was teaching her to use the internet.

I'm sure most firefox users know that you can save usernames and passwords to firefox. But did you know it's also super easy to get your passwords from your browser? That's right, anyone with access to your computer can get your passwords, and here's how (and how to prevent it).


First, you go to "tools" and select "options".



Oh my, what's this? Saved passwords? Yes, you simply need to click on that to get all the usernames and passwords saved by firefox.



How to prevent it:


See that little box that says "Master password?" Yeah, click on that. it'll prompt you to make a password.


When you do make one, you'll need to enter that password everytime in order to view your passwords. And sometimes (I don't remember if it's all the time), you'll be asked to enter the master password when saving a password or using a saved password. Nifty!





But...what if you don't want to save your passwords and usernames to begin with? What if you're like me where you want long, random passwords but can never remember them and don't wanna write them down?

Well, here's the answer:


KeePass (or any good password manager).


I love KeePass. It makes a database that is encrypted and password locked, so all your passwords are safe from prying eyes, until you enter your master password. And hell, you can use a file as a key for additional security (I've read that you can use a premade file, so you could use a picture or something, but I don't know how to do that, mostly because I didn't care to. I might update this with how to do that, if I ever feel like it).



After you install it to your flashdrive, you need to create a new database.


It'll prompt you for a password.


If you want a key file, if can randomly generate one for you:







After you've got that out of the way, you need to make keys for all your passwords, like this:

Just click the little icon that looks like a key





KeePass also has an autofill option that works with firefox. You just have to make sure you cliked in the username box, or else it will enter it in the address bar. Not fun.

It's also got a random password generator, where you can set parameters like length and combinations of characters (like all numbers, all letters, include crap like underscores, etc.).






The advantages of using portable firefox.

When I'm in class, I use my own firefox rather than what's on the computer (my teacher doesn't care, it's a net security class.) simply because it won't save my browsing history and passwords to the school computer. That's just stupid.

Also, I can use it on my mom's computer and she'll never know I was browsing pr0n at 3 in the morning, because it never shows up in her history. Not that she'd know how to check, but it's always nice to have that option. Also, you can keep your own set of bookmarks and add ons so you don't have to risk someone getting mad at you for installing crap on their computer. Well, they'll probably get mad until you explain it's not on their computer.


Anyways, that's I hope you guys have fun with this. For extra security you can even encrypt your whole drive, but I personally thought that was overkill in my case, as my flashdrive only very rarely leaves the safety of my neck.
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02-13-2009   #2 (permalink)
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It'd be obsolete if I recorded the keys typed no?

Though good for simple privacy and password protection.
 
02-14-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegeance
It'd be obsolete if I recorded the keys typed no?

Though good for simple privacy and password protection.
not necessarily. If you use the password generator + auto fill in, it actually can circumvent a decent amount of key logging, from what I understand.

And the main purpose is so you don't go "Oh know, I'm still logged in at school/someone's house/the office/etc." since you logged in on your own browser which was seperate from everything else.
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