PDA

View Full Version : computer security question


ArtLady1981
05-14-2009, 06:25 AM
1) Is my "sleeping" or "shut down" laptop safer from hackers with or without a complex password?

2) Is my laptop safer from hackers fully shut down, or in sleep mode? Or are they the same?

I've always wondered if I need to have my computer protected by a complex password. :?? And boy o boy, mine is complex!

traceleighj
05-14-2009, 07:55 AM
I always shut my computer down- partly because it uses energy when it is sleeping, so I try to shut down when I am not using it.

I would make a password that is not so easy to figure out- think that comes from what I have to do at work. Throw a capital letter and a number will make it difficult to figure out.

Good luck!

Craw
05-14-2009, 10:54 AM
I'm not totally sure about this but my thoughts are that as long as the computer is on, whether it's asleep or awake, it's connected to the internet (I'm assuming you don't use dial up services) and therefore open to hackers. A complex password would give you peace of mind... a little anyway.

suzeeq
05-14-2009, 11:25 AM
I'd think turning off your modem would help. We used to leave ours on with the computer off, but I've heard that you can still get hacked that way.

hookedonknitting
05-14-2009, 12:58 PM
Well, if a hacker really wants in they can, any way. The key is have good software and Get a router. And ALWAYS use complex passwords. You should turn off your computer everyday for a couple of reasons, power for one thing, two is that your computer is still working when asleep and it reduces the life of your computer components. It is like leaving a movie on pause. What is your reason for being worried about hackers? have you had a bad experience? Your should also run virus check, registry checks routinely as these are the main sources of computer problems. Spyware is what sends out info to other people when you don't know...brutal stuff....so a spyware detector is also good to have..... I hope this helps some...my knowledge base isn't huge but I come from a family of techies...

suzeeq
05-14-2009, 01:15 PM
A firewall helps prevent anyone looking at your computer too.

Jan in CA
05-14-2009, 01:17 PM
Showing my ignorance here... I thought passwords only protected you from people actually trying to get on the computer, not internet hackers. No? :??

hookedonknitting
05-14-2009, 01:24 PM
Depends on what you are password protecting.... if you are refering to the one when you try to get to your desktop, then yes, but other programs, firewalls routers and such protect both.

Jan in CA
05-14-2009, 01:32 PM
Depends on what you are password protecting.... if you are refering to the one when you try to get to your desktop, then yes, but other programs, firewalls routers and such protect both.

Right, I was just referring to the password that she mentioned. ;)

hookedonknitting
05-14-2009, 01:48 PM
sry...I wasn't sure which password anyone was talking about! :)

sakura-panda
05-14-2009, 01:53 PM
I think -- I'm an electrical engineer, not a computer guru -- that as long as your hard drive isn't spinning, it isn't being read by anybody, hackers included. There isn't some way to read the data with activating the drive. So when your computer is shut down, you don't need to worry.

I'm not sure exactly what sleep mode does -- I think it "stops" the hard drive, but does not "park" it, which means that it isn't spinning and therefore, isn't readable. Because it is only "paused", it is quicker to get it back up and running again since you aren't performing any of the regular start up checks and diagnostics.

(Which is also why it is a good idea to periodically turn off your computer -- so that it has a chance to run those checks and finish installing any updates that require a reboot.)

sakura-panda
05-14-2009, 01:59 PM
two is that your computer is still working when asleep and it reduces the life of your computer components. It is like leaving a movie on pause.


This is mostly not true. :) If the computer was still working, there wouldn't be any point into going into sleep mode. There is no harm to the physical components in your computer from putting it to sleep. If anything, there is more wear when the computer does not go to sleep.

The movie analogy is good, especially since now that VHS tapes are practically obsolete, there isn't any harm to leaving a movie paused.

hookedonknitting
05-14-2009, 02:38 PM
so I double checked with my bro who is a network security analyst, and if your computer is asleep it is still at risk and that it is still running. There is still power to the main board and thus to your network card. Computers that hackers have can wake up your computer. windows + have software that allow external access by admin. Hackers know this and how to get admin info to get in.... They can also put your comp back to sleep so you never know..... And it does still put you comp components at risk because it is not off- power is still running through it. I am sorry I was just trying to keep it simple for everyone involved....

suzeeq
05-14-2009, 02:42 PM
The movie analogy is good, especially since now that VHS tapes are practically obsolete, there isn't any harm to leaving a movie paused.

There may be.... When I check out dvds from the library, there's often spots where the movie gets 'stuck', it doesn't play, fwd, go back or anything but stop. Then I remember the running time and do scene select and try to get just beyond that part and back up a little. PITA and I'm sure it comes from people leaving it on pause too long. The laser damages the data at that point.

newamy
05-14-2009, 02:50 PM
I should ask my geeky husband for more details but he is not here. I do know that for Hackers the good fire wall/ secure router is very important to protect access. If the computer is turned OFF then you are also protected.
But for physical stealing...like someone takes your lap top no pass word will stop them from pulling data off unless you have an encryption program in the start up. The standard widows start up with password is not a protection. It's been explained to me that someone in the know can just stick a disc in and start pulling data.

sakura-panda
05-14-2009, 03:01 PM
so I double checked with my bro who is a network security analyst, and if your computer is asleep it is still at risk and that it is still running. There is still power to the main board and thus to your network card. Computers that hackers have can wake up your computer. windows + have software that allow external access by admin. Hackers know this and how to get admin info to get in.... They can also put your comp back to sleep so you never know..... And it does still put you comp components at risk because it is not off- power is still running through it. I am sorry I was just trying to keep it simple for everyone involved....

Ooh, that is interesting -- I had no idea they could wake it up. Now that you say that, it does seem to me that my computer does show up on the network even when it is asleep. Although it might not actually be asleep since I don't put my computer to sleep but it sometimes goes to sleep on its own.

(Like I said, I'm not a computer guru, I just work with them a lot. ;))

Thanks for the details! :)

sakura-panda
05-14-2009, 03:06 PM
There may be.... When I check out dvds from the library, there's often spots where the movie gets 'stuck', it doesn't play, fwd, go back or anything but stop. Then I remember the running time and do scene select and try to get just beyond that part and back up a little. PITA and I'm sure it comes from people leaving it on pause too long. The laser damages the data at that point.

Are you sure it's not just that the disc is dirty or scratched? My DVD players do not pause indefinitely -- after a certain amount of time they just stop (and one DVD player even shuts itself off).

I know that a lot of people do not take care of their DVDs to make sure they don't get scratched or gunk on them. :sad: Some of my friends just toss their discs around and they always complain that they have bad luck with keeping DVD players working.

Jan in CA
05-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Dollyce, you might check this site out. It's actually called ShieldsUP and is about internet security.
https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

According to all the tests on that site my computer is in super stealth mode. http://bestsmileys.com/peeping/5.gif

suzeeq
05-14-2009, 09:19 PM
It's hard to say, but there's not always a scratch or smudge on the disc.

Knitting_Guy
05-14-2009, 11:38 PM
1) Is my "sleeping" or "shut down" laptop safer from hackers with or without a complex password? The more complex the password the safer your computer will be. Your password can never be too complex. It should always consist of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.

2) Is my laptop safer from hackers fully shut down, or in sleep mode? Or are they the same?It doesn't matter as in either mode it's disconnected from the web and therefore not vulnerable to attack during that state.

Of course, running Linux instead of Windoze solves a lot of these problems :)

ArtLady1981
05-15-2009, 03:25 AM
Thanks to all!

And thanks Mason! My password is filled with numeric and alpha characters, both upper and lower case, and punctuation marks of various sorts!

hookedonknitting
05-15-2009, 01:58 PM
LOL!!! I know..the passwords are so good we have a hard time remebering them let alone anyone guessing!!!