NSA Hardening Guides for Popular OS's

Are you trying to keep the bad guys out of your computer?  It turns out the NSA wants to help you!

I get a lot of requests from friends and family members who wonder if their computer might be infected with  a virus because it is acting up.  Over at Macrumors, I stumbled across a thread that linked to a site put up by the NSA to help users harden their systems against intruders.  These hardening guides are for OS X (sorry but it only goes up to Snow Leopard as of this writing), Linux, Windows and Solaris.  

 

The OS X hardening tip, available as a pdf file, point out some pretty obvious things, such as "Don't Surf or Read Mail Using Admin Account" or "Use Software Update."   Some are a little more subtle like "Disable IPv6 and Airport when Not Needed".

 

Some items are targeted at novice users while others require some knowledge of the OS to put into effect.  Whenever I set up a PC for somebody, I install Microsoft's free antivirus.  With Symantec and McAffee, I've found the cure to be almost as bad as the disease.  Other free options include AVG and Avast but it's getting harder and harder to find the free link in the forest of things to buy so I go with Windows Defender. Also some of the downloads are huge and are untenable over a DSL connection. On OS X, I recommend little snitch and if somebody wants to bother with antivirus software, I recommend ClamxAV.