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Spotting The Biggest Security Flaw In A System

Any system has a weakest point, even if that point is not, in itself, weak. There are two main size of system relevant to the average user; their computer, and their local network, where both have their own special security weaknesses. The average user does not have to worry too much about their local or household network becoming breached; modern routers are well designed to protect from basic threats, and devices also have layers of protection.

A computer which is connected to the internet needs protection from all sides, as even if the user has nothing to hide, their system can still contains lots of personal data. Pictures, passwords, use history, all can be tracked and breached through many ways. Most cases of security breaches are minor, adding bloatware or malware to a computer, but the serious threats use the same weaknesses in a system to infect. Having pop up ads may not seem like the worst thing, but this could've easily been spyware or ransomware.

As always with these things, the first line of defence will always win the battle; an encrypted off-site backup of the system. If anything was to happen, then the only fail-safe method of patching security is to have a complete copy of your system and files which you can back up from. It's as simple as downloading an image.

The most common way for a malicious user to breach a pc is through the use of phishing scams. These pages appear to be normal pages you would see, such as an email from PayPal or HMRC, but clicking a link causes a download to your computer filled with malicious software. The biggest security flaw for any computer is having poor malware protection, such as through Kaspersky or BitDefender. Most attacks occur this way, and it is famously how the Locky strains of ransomware infected and shut down thousands of NHS computers in early 2017.

Firewall is the next biggest flaw in most peoples security. A firewall is put in place by default in most large OS' (Windows, Mac, Linux/Ubuntu) and this is often good, but is still vulnerable to a targetted attack. Make sure firewall software is constantly updated, as a firewall is there to protect from direct intrusions, and to monitor SQL packet injection. A good firewall such as through Norton or BitDefender will protect a computer from most threats.

After firewall protection, any attacks that occur are usually targeted, and not simply a 'wide net' method of intrusion. It's important to note that if an attack does lock your computer, a backup will always save it. This is where the real details of attack prevention start, with a complete security package as the best option for protection here. BitDefender is great as an antivirus and firewall, but it cannot modify the registry, or control which ports your system allows connections through. IP spoofing has decreased drastically in the last few years, as firewalls began to recognise patterns, but it still happens to machines which appear local.

One of the massively underrated aspects of cyber security is to use an adblock extension while browsing; popups are rife online and these can often lead to malware. Using a program like uBlock Origin is likely the most suitable answer here, as popups do pose a risk. It can always be disabled for sites' the user wishes to support, and enabled when browsing lesser known websites.

Eduction is also an incredibly important step into protecting a system, but this is easier said than done. Bad-browsing habits are common in most people, and also lead to intrusions. Simple things such as not trusting unknown downloads or websites should be easy to teach, but alot of people simply haven't experienced many download sites, so don't know which ones to trust.

Why Doesn't Google Show Every Page?

Search engines are one of the modern staples of life in the 21st century, and most people depend upon them so heavily that few know how they'd cope without them. But unfortunately for everyone, Google only shows pages hosted in a very specific way, and on a very specific part of the internet as a whole. This applies to any search engine like Bing or Yahoo, but Google has become synonymous with using a search engine, and is by far the largest so we'll use that as the example.

Google and other search engines have over 30 trillion pages indexed and searchable, going up by around 10-30x every 5 years. Only around one ten-thousandth of pages are accessed by Google every month, with most clicked links only in the first 3 pages. Around 92% of links clicked from searches are within the first 2 pages, and less than one percent of searches are used past page 4. The Google index is huge, and if someone printed off every page which Google has as searchable, the stack would reach from London to the middle of Australia.

All search engines have the same problems however, as many websites have thousands of pages, but they are not coded in a Google-friendly way. Most sites on the World Wide Web have some form of password accessed pages, which are not searchable through Google. Universities, businesses, banks, and private boards are all unsearchable for the content they upload through portals. Even basic things like browser based games such as Kingdom of Loathing are unsearchable; tens of thousands of pages, but only one shows up in Google because the site is coded in PHP.

It's important to note that search engines like Bing and Google only search the 'top layer' of the internet, or the World Wide Web. Nobody knows exactly how many pages there are in the deep web or dark web, but people estimates that Google indexes between 0.04% and 12% of the total number of pages. This is a truly miniscule amount compared to the entire internet, but the searchable results are usually those relevant to consumers.

The main bulk of the internet as we know it is behind password protected barriers, and the dark web is almost equal in size. The dark web requires a special untraceable browser to access, such as Tor, and as such cannot be searched conventionally. Alot of the stuff on the dark web is either illegal, or people simply wish to remain private, so it makes sense that there is no record of it. Things like buying drugs, inciting hate, hiring people for illegal activites such as murder, and many other illegal things are banned from the internet, so the dark web is where people go to resource these things.

There are certain sites on the World Wide Web which Google intentionally does not search however. Websites can be 'blacklisted' from Google for violating their TOS, and mostly happens when people are attempting SEO or similar activities to subvert Googles intentions. Obviously, search engines do not like this, as it goes against their mantra of relevant results or advertisements, so they are put on a list to not-index.

Search engines will always give you the most relevant results for your search query, and can be customised using boolean commands (Google) or basic excepts of script (Bing).