Sunday, October 18, 2009

Manic Monday

To start out I would like to say that October is, among many other important things, Cyber Security Awareness month. This is the first year that it has been in effect and very few people have ever heard of such a thing. So I am soliciting help for an awareness ribbon. Like the pink ribbon for Breast cancer awareness and the yellow ribbon for remembrance of our troops. I would like to have a ribbon Black in color with gold edges and the words CYBER and SECURITY in gold down the legs of the ribbon. Leave me a comment if you can help.

Last week I said I would tell you how to track where your computer has been on the Internet. Let me start by warning you that it is illegal to do this on a computer that you don’t personally own. And even if you find something suspicious, there may be an innocent explanation (Misspelled URL addresses[ used to be a porn site will redirect you to a site of dubious content] POP-UP windows can and will make their way into the list as well) So leave the forensics to the experts. Also the Hawthorn Effect is in full control and simply looking at a file on a computer will change the ownership and the time access codes.

Most people equate the Internet with the World Wide Web. WWW is part of the Internet, and there is much more to the Internet than web browsing. But that is where we will concentrate. The first place to start would be the Windows <START> Button. Click <START> and point at “Recent Items” This will show a list of all the latest items opened by a program on your PC. Then point your cursor at the Recycle Bin Icon. Right click it and select browse. This will give you a list of all deleted files since the last time it was emptied. Now on to the good stuff. I’m going to confine this to use of Mozilla’s Firefox. If you need info for another browser leave a comment and I’ll get that info for you next Monday.

In Firefox there is a <HISTORY> menu at the top of the window. Click it and click <Show all history>. This will open a new window with a list of all the URLs visited. That is if the user didn’t delete he history files. If the history file list is empty there is still no need to panic. Maybe the history is set to clear on closing. But that isn’t the end. In the address bar of Firefox type ‘about:cache?=disk’ without the quotes and hit <ENTER>. This will bring  up a list of files statistics where you can see the info below:

Disk cache device

Number of entries:

Maximum storage size:
51200 KiB

Storage in use:
44963 KiB

Cache Directory:

List Cache Entries

Offline cache device

Number of entries:

Maximum storage size:
512000 KiB

Storage in use:
0 KiB

Cache Directory:

List Cache Entries


Point and click on one of the “List Cache Entries”. From there you can click on the links to see information about the file. Their will also include a link to the picture or item that was cached. So now you have a list of files that Firefox thought was important enough to save for future browsing that does not go away when the history is dumped. None of this would be admissible in a court. Because the files could have come about for the reasons I listed earlier. But it may prove useful for enforcing your personal “Unacceptable Use Policy” at home.

Stay safe and happy computing.


2Thinks said...

It may be because I'm reading a post titled Manic Monday at 10:24 p.m. on Sunday, but I'm gonna hafta re-read this a few hunderd times afore I git it.

Luckily, for me, my hubz is a computer wizard and has our pc ultra protected from bad stuff (so I think anyway). We have a lot of rules about where one can use a computer in our house (out in the open family room, living room or kitchen) and dad gets to read over the shoulder whenever he wishes to check up. I get "caught" blogging an awful lot.

I think the black ribbon w/gold trim is a good choice. I hope you have a follower, who is a ribbon maker. Me? I'm just your cheerleader. Go KW! Educate and keep 'em safe!! Shish Boom Bah!

Kelly Combs said...

Great information. My kids don't go on the internet much yet, and I am always right here when they do, so I will save this tidbit for later use.

I am not tech savvy enough to make a ribbon button.

Good luck!

HeartNiki said...

I didn't know about typing ‘about:cache?=disk’. Thanks for sharing!

Edie said...

Good info KW. I'll have to go check this out, but my little ones computer usage is highly monitored over here.

I'll be glad to make you're button for you. :)

Gotta Have Faith said...

I made a quick Cyber Security Awareness ribbon. I will put it on my site so you can copy it.

Let me know if you like it.