Ottawa PC Users' Group
Computer Security Workshop 2016


The motto of the Ottawa PC Users' Group (OPCUG) is "Users Helping Users", a task we have undertaken for more than 30 years. In accordance with this tradition, this fall, the club is offering a Computer Security Workshop with a variety of technical sessions designed to keep your computer - and your personal data - safe for hackers and scammers. The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2016 (10:15 am to 4:45 pm) at the Elmvale Acres branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Many users will have upgraded to Windows 10 and will have received the recent Anniversary Edition updates. We will look at what's new in Windows 10, discuss some tips and tricks to make Windows work the way that you want it to, and, in particular, we will review the most important security features of the new OS. A comprehensive backup system is a necessity to avoid losing those irreplaceable digital photographs or to protect against having your important data files encrypted by malicious ransomware. We will discuss some ways to provide peace of mind through regular - and simple - backup procedures. Finally, we will look at security software to provide protection against threats such as computer viruses and spyware, and how to ensure that your wireless system is safe against attack from external hackers.


Windows Windows 10
Chris Taylor
Now that Windows 10 has been out for a little over a year, we have an opportunity to look at how Windows has matured. Chris Taylor, OPCUG's President, will talk about some of the important changes both visible and “under the hood” and, in particular, will review some of the details of the recent Anniversary Edition updates. The new OS has some good - and some not so good - features. But, it is, without doubt, the most secure version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. It has built-in anti-virus and anti-spyware features and installs security patches automatically. Chris will discuss the good, the bad - and the ugly - features of Windows 10, and provide some insight on how to tweak the OS to work in the way that you desire.
Backup Strategies
Alan German Backup drive
One thing that you can guarantee is that - eventually - your hard drive will fail. And, when it does, you will wish you had a recent backup. You also need to make sure that you don't lose irreplaceable files such as digital photographs and sensitive personal documents. A relatively-new threat to the security of your personal files is ransomware in which hackers can encrypt your files and demand payment for a key to unlock them. A sound backup system is the cornerstone of a secure system to protect against such potential problems. Alan German, OPCUG's Treasurer, will show you how to create full backups with disk imaging software, and how to synchronize files and folders - all using free software. We will see how to implement a comprehensive backup system that will keep all of your data safe.
Protection Against Malware
Secured! Alan German
Computer viruses, adware, spyware, identity theft, exploits... It seems that malicious hackers have a myriad of ways to break into our systems and steal our data - and our money! But, we also have a range of powerful tools to stop them. The trick is to use the right tools and keep them up to date in order to provide the best defence possible. Alan will discuss a wide range of such items, including anti-virus and anti-spyware software, firewalls, security patches for the operating system, and updates for our applications. Most of these countermeasures work in set-it and forget-it mode. But, they definitely need to be set!
Wireless router Wireless Security
Chris Taylor
These days, almost all of us use wireless connections at home - for a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. But, is our home Wi-Fi secure from attack over the Internet? Does it prevent neighbours from gaining access to the system and using our bandwidth? Most wireless routers do not default to the most secure configuration. However, it's surprisingly easy to make sure that your network is secure. In this session, Chris will show you just how easy it is.