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Essential Computer Security: Everyone's Guide to Email, Internet, and Wireless Security Paperback – Jan 14 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Syngress; 1 edition (Jan. 14 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597491144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597491143
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,004,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Tony Bradley, CISSP-ISSAP, is the Guide for the About.com site for Internet / Network Security. He has written for a variety of other web sites and publications including SearchSecurity.com, WindowsNetworking.com, Smart Computing Magazine and Information Security Magazine. Currently a security architect and consultant for a Fortune 100 company, Tony has driven security policies and technologies for antivirus and incident response for Fortune 500 companies and he has been network administrator and technical support for smaller companies. He is Microsoft Certified as an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) and MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) in Windows 2000 and an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) in Windows NT.

He has on average over 600,000 page views per month and 25,000 subscribers to his weekly newsletter. He created a 10-part Computer Security 101 Class which has had thousands of participants since its creation and continues to gain in popularity through word of mouth.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb319e5f4) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb33cfcf0) out of 5 stars Computer Security for Everyone Nov. 19 2006
By jose_monkey_org - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the first things to know about this book is that it doesn't try to be a complete reference for computer security, and it keeps it focus very well. It doesn't try to be a computer security book for the top 5% of the technically inclined, either. Instead, it tries to be a computer security book for the masses and covers topics that they'll need to know to keep their computer safe. The book outline why this is important to the average user: your own data will be kept safe and your computer will be kept problem free, and your computer wont be a problem source for everyone else.

The book does a decent job of laying out what it will cover and mostly picks topics that matter most, require the least amount of extra effort to make it happen. The book isn't just for one situation, either, and it covers some home network setups which include wireless routers and such. Overall, it seems to have picked its territory well.

It covers this territory in an OK fashion, which is to say that it gives an adequate treatment to the important topics but leaves a few spots uncovered. I'm pleased that it covers some basic WinXP stuff, like how to secure your accounts and such.

The chapter on passwords was OK, and about what I expected. Obviously these are important, as bots that perform brute force attacks to get in are as popular as ever. The chapter on patching is OK, but seems incomplete. It should have done a better job of covering Windows Update a little more thoroughly (it felt like it stopped short of this important feature) and a bit more on how to use built-in vendor supplied "I have an update available" stuff that is increasingly popular.

Part II is what's probably unique about this book, and gives some of the best meat around for this level of a book. It covers home networking safety (ie keeping the neighbor kid from using your WIFI and keeping your computers safe and usable behind a DSL firewall), email security (both your account credentials and attachment security), and spyware, adware, and general web-browser security. I would have liked to have seen the book advocate (with great reasons) Firefox over IE and Windows Defender in addition to AdAware and Hijack This.

Part 3 is about maintenance and backups, and it's decent. It slips into Linux advocacy in Chapter 12, which we could have done without.

The appendices are good, well reasoned and well executed. The case study and the basics covered complement the book well.

Overall the book does a decent job, and targets the kind of person who would like to know enough to participate in some popular forums and contribute, so they have some technical skills that they're growing. It wont do so well with people who are not very technically inclined, and that's not unsurprising.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb33b0d80) out of 5 stars Wonderful Book for Home and Small Business Users Nov. 19 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a really compact overview of computer security for non-technical users. But, at the same time, it's technical. Not too technical, but technical enough to walk the reader through setting up a home firewall, a secure network (wired or wireless), and anti-spyware to name just a few.

There's a lot of goodies in only 278 pages.

A lot of books that have come out lately on home computer security are either too light to be of value, or focus more on identity theft and fraud prevention. These are important topics, but Tony sticks to bread-and-butter technical measures home users need to understand.

There's real meat in here that goes into surprising detail that's easy to follow that I've haven't seen in other recent books. Tony does a good job of covering setting up Local Security policies on Windows machines, for example. This is something I've only seen in hardcore techie manuals that probably wouldn't normally be seen by most home users.

There's a great chapter on disaster recovery, how to follow security bulletins from Microsoft and apply patches regularly. And, for the daring home use, even a chapter on setting up Linux.

The case study for a small business is also well done and can provide valuable insight for a home user setting up their own network.

Essential Computer Security is complete yet simple and achieves the goal of its title.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb621fd80) out of 5 stars The best book on the subject in years Nov. 12 2006
By A. Lukaszewski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you have ever wished that your company's IT staff had more time to

help you understand why you should not open email from people you do

not know or how an IP address relates to the DNS, this book is for

you. If you have ever wanted a personal network security consultant

always on-call to explain the workings of daily network security

issues, this book will meet that need at a fraction of a percentage of

the cost.

The author sketches the general framework of a both wired and wireless

networks. He then discusses in detail the risks associated with each

application that uses those networks -- email, web browser, etc. In

each case, his explanations are well-worded such that, by the end of

any section, the reader feels like they grok the philosophy of

security and has always known what the author just taught them. He

does not obfuscate the content of the book in unexplained acronyms and

unnecessary details but keeps his task of empowering the average user

always in view.

Aside from covering the basics of network dynamics and applications

used by the average internet user, the book offers two other boons for

small and medium business users. For those who are unsure what a

computer firewall is and how to deploy one effectively, the author

offers an in-depth discussion of the subject via a case study. In

addition, for those who are frustrated with Windows security lapses,

another chapter offers a comprehensive discussion of alternatives to

Windows applications and offers counsel on how to migrate to Linux.

Unlike other books, the author does not talk down to the reader but

shares his extensive knowledge as a co-labourer in the reader's

efforts. I wish I could have given this book to users when I worked

for a major university -- but then I would have been out of a job!

Simply put: This is one of the best computer security books for users

that I have seen for several years.
HASH(0xb3241744) out of 5 stars Dated but Good Jan. 27 2014
By Bart L. Schairer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Essential Computer Security is dated most of the information it contains is still relevant. Due to its age I wouldn’t pay a premium price for it, but if you can get it used, as I did, it is definitely worth your time. If you are new to computer security this book is an excellent place to start; if you are already very knowledgeable in the subject then you can probably skip this book. I suppose the book’s strength is to people fairly new in the subject as it is easy to understand and covers the most basic concepts while moving into more complicated ones. Most people will find material they can use in the book and will find other sections that are either too basic or too complicated for their expertise.

I got the book to learn more about wireless security. While the book was published in 2006 I was able to learn what I needed from it and along with what I knew about more recent advances I obtained all the information I needed to secure my home wireless network that consists of older devices along with new equipment. The book also covers the basics about passwords, user accounts, internet security, IP addresses, malware, VPNs, security settings, Windows issues, fixing things once you have a problem, and it even dabbles in Unix and Linux a bit.

Again, I don’t think this book is worth full retail due to its age, but if you can get it used at a decent price unless you’re an expert already you’re sure to find something you can use that makes it worth the cost.
HASH(0xb3241714) out of 5 stars Does what is says on the cover - doing it on all PCs at home April 5 2012
By Jill Dann, FBCS CITP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Essential Guide to Home Computer Security is a book which does entirely what it says on the cover. It is very engagingly written tight from the preface. I liked how considerate the author is to his intended audience. The abbreviations and resources/links pages being right up front are really helpful, avoid the jargon trap which turns people off and indicates that the author knows how people research things these days. Both of us at our bijou company are going to fully read and implement the advice in this book. It is easy to follow, not patronising and extremely well-structured.
I hope that it gets several editions under its belt but the author has been as careful as possible to not make it easily out of date.