Capturing a full web page

by Chris Taylor

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

Screen capture tools such as the Windows Snipping Tool are great for capturing what you see on the screen, but what if you want to capture an entire web page and you have to scroll to see it all?

Some third-party utilities such as TechSmith’s Snagit, Wisdom Software’s ScreenHunter Pro, and browser extensions can capture entire scrollable windows, but with Chromium-based web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Brave and Vivaldi you can capture an entire web page without installing anything.

In any Chromium-based browser press Ctrl-Shift-i to open Developer Tools. Then press Ctrl-Shift-p to run a developer tool. In the search box that pops up, type in screenshot (1 in image below) and click the second option: Capture full size screenshot.

The entire webpage will be captured and stored as a PNG graphic file in your Downloads folder.


Different Kinds Of Firewalls

Cybersecurity is more important than ever, with cyberattacks costing businesses billions every year.

Commercial firewalls have been available since the 1990s, but technology has changed drastically since then. With so many options available now, it can feel difficult to know where to start in choosing the right firewall. 

Read on to learn what a firewall is, how it works, and how to choose the correct firewall to protect you.

What is a Firewall?

A firewall works as a barrier between your devices and external networks. It monitors your incoming and outgoing traffic to determine whether there’s anything sinister going on, like a virus trying to install itself from the internet, for example.

Firewalls check for specific security rules to decide whether it allows or blocks certain packets of data. There are various kinds of firewalls to protect at different levels.

You can also install firewalls as software, hardware, or cloud-based protection.

How Does a Firewall Work?

Depending on what kind of protection you’re after, you can install a firewall as a piece of hardware, software, or a cloud-based service.

Hardware and cloud-based solutions are usually targeted toward businesses to protect a network of devices and virtual platforms with advanced features and permissions.

Software is more affordable and easily accessible for small businesses and home users. Firewall software can scan files and apps for viruses and monitor web usage, all while cross-referencing a database of known threats and updates regularly.

Whatever kind you choose, a firewall’s filters protect your data and devices by looking out for specific cybersecurity threats, including:

  • DDoS prevention – hackers may drastically slow down a server by flooding it with data requests.
  • Backdoors – viruses and hackers can exploit security bugs in some apps and platforms to gain access to your data and manipulate programs without your knowledge.
  • Malicious scripts – a script, also known as a macro, is a piece of code that an application can run to perform complex tasks. Hackers may use these scripts to execute dangerous processes that can harm your devices and data.

Types of Firewalls

Curious about what firewall type is best? Read on to learn about the most common types of firewalls and their features.

Packet-filtering firewalls

Considered the most basic kind of firewall, a packet-filtering firewall monitors incoming packets of data. Without a firewall, these packets of data can all reach their destination. A firewall implements a set of security rules—every packet is inspected, and if a known threat is detected, the packet is removed.

A packet-filtering firewall is quick and efficient to use, offering a basic level of security.

Proxy firewalls

Proxy firewalls offer application-level protection. Instead of the firewall simply monitoring the data packets sent and received, the proxy acts as a ‘mirror’ of the device, so it becomes the only exit and entry point for data. It protects the destination ports and at the same time can perform security checks at a deeper level.

Proxy firewalls are a more secure option, but they’re slower and put more strain on your device’s resources.

Stateful inspection firewalls

Stateful inspection firewalls examine several characteristics of incoming data and compare them against a database of known, trusted packets. 

It offers a much higher level of security, but it can impact a system’s performance and it is generally more expensive than a basic option.

Next-generation firewalls

Next-gen firewalls combine traditional firewall features like packet inspection with other security elements. These might include malware detection and antivirus protection.

A more comprehensive firewall solution, it inspects the data within the packets sent and received, based on a constantly updated database, as well as filtering for specific security rules. Next-generation firewalls are more expensive for this reason.

Deciding on a Firewall

When choosing a firewall to protect your devices and data, you should take into account the level of security you require, and the budget you can afford. Think about the protection you need now and in the future. 

If you own a business, you may need more advanced firewall features if you have a large network and complex requirements. Choosing cloud-based and hardware firewalls can suffice.

Most home users and small businesses will do well to choose a software firewall that provides malware detection and network monitoring, like GlassWire.


How to Spot Malicious Apps

A malicious app is created specifically with the intention to cause harm.

They’re usually designed to appear as innocent apps, or even clones of official apps, to steal sensitive information.

For example, a malicious developer could design a storage cleaner app to steal files and data from the users that install it on their devices. Or, clone a familiar banking app to take your account details.

What Makes an App Malicious?

There are plenty of applications that exist that could be vulnerable to hacking but overall have no sinister intentions.

For example, any app that collects location data could be intercepted by a hacker looking to steal that information. These appear as riskier apps but aren’t developed to cause deliberate harm.

Malicious apps, on the other hand, exist primarily to either steal information from the user who installs it or to manipulate the device it’s installed on.

Malicious Behavior to Look Out For

Developers have smart ways to make malicious apps appear genuine, so it’s vital you understand how to spot a malicious app before downloading it to your device.

Avoid third-party APK files

The Apple and Google official app stores protect you and your data from harm by verifying that the apps they offer are safe. Third-party sites offering APK files to download do not offer protection and pose a significant security threat.

Apple verifies all apps in the store. On Android, look for the ‘Verified by Play Protect’ message when installing an app.

App Store Reviews and Strange App Descriptions

A legit app has lots of genuine reviews and ratings left by users. They also have descriptive information about how the app works.

If you come across an app that has almost no reviews, or the reviews appear to be copied and pasted, this could be a warning sign.

Similarly, if there’s no app description or the information is vague with lots of grammatical errors, chances are the app could be malicious.

Check for higher-than-usual data usage

Malicious apps often use your data to perform sketchy tasks in the background without your knowledge.

Check your monthly data usage in your settings, or install a dedicated data monitor like GlassWire.

If something doesn’t seem right, and the problematic app appears to be using far more data than it should be, uninstall it immediately.

Common Mobile Vulnerabilities

Mobile devices can be susceptible to malicious apps or other kinds of security threats because they have certain vulnerabilities that hackers exploit.

Data Leaks

When you install an app, how often do you check what permissions you’re allowing?

Apps often collect sensitive data and we don’t read the fine print to see what this is. You could potentially be handing over a lot of your personal information without realizing it.

Open Wifi

Open wifi spots—ones you can connect to without a password—can be convenient in a pinch.

However, they pose a massive risk.

When your device is connected, hackers can easily intercept the data you’re sending and receiving and even access your device.

Old or Out-of-Date Device

Did you know that mobile devices only receive software and security updates for a certain number of years?

After that, the device becomes a huge target for hackers.

As newer models come out, developers stop providing support for the older devices. This leaves big gaps in security which can be exploited.

Poor Password Protection

Kaspersky Labs found that over half of consumers don’t password-protect their mobile devices. Are you one of them?

Leaving your mobile device easy to access poses a threat to your personal data if the phone is lost or stolen.

Avoiding Malicious Apps with a Personal Firewall

Choosing a personal firewall proactively protects your devices in several ways.

A quality personal firewall can:

  • Monitor network traffic for threats by inspecting packets of data received
  • Defend against viruses by identifying thousands of new types every week
  • Prevent hackers from accessing your data through anti-fraud and anti-phishing methods
  • Adds a layer of privacy to your data by encrypting files, protecting location info, and preventing unwanted microphone access

In Summary

Malicious apps are out to steal your data.

Protect your devices with firewalls, data monitors, and strong passwords. Avoid open wifi networks and third-party app websites.

Take care in only installing trusted apps from official app stores and if something feels off about an app you’ve installed, like higher data usage or strange permissions, uninstall the app immediately to keep yourself safe from attack.

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by Chris Taylor About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at…