Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Sometimes, we all need a little help in life. That’s especially true in the world of technology, and even more so within the world of security and privacy.
There are so many facets of security to consider. Perhaps you’ve been infected by a particularly nasty strain of malware and need help removing it, maybe you’re looking for advice on the best anti-virus suite, or perhaps you’ve been hacked and need to know the best way to proceed.
If you need security advice, you should turn to some of the leading online forums. Yes, forums as a medium of communication are slowly dying, but they’re still the best place to have lengthy discussions with experts and specialists.
Here are the seven best forums to visit if you need security advice.
Wilders Security Forums is probably the most well-known security forum on the web.
If you’ve got a question, first check the site’s extensive archives. With more than 200,000 threads and 2.5 million posts, it’s a fantastic resource for researching and learning about almost any security-based topic.
The homepage itself is easy to navigate. You’ll find sub-forums dedicated to everything from mobile security and encryption problems to hardware and virtualization. In the header, you’ll also find links to privacy-based threads and product-based threads.
If you have a question or need a recommendation, Wilders should be your first port of call.
MalwareTips’ slogan is “Your Security Adviser” and it certainly delivers on its goal.
The two best parts of the forum are the “Software” section and the “War Room.” The software section is divided into general apps and security apps. The general apps cover the security of operating systems, office suites, media players, VPNs, and more, while the security apps section focuses on the various qualities of anti-virus software and malware removal tools.
While the software section is primarily focused on facts, the War Room is for users to compare, contrast, and argue about the merits of two competing apps. Be warned: things sometimes get feisty!
Even though the site’s primary purpose is high-quality forums, there is lots of extra content for you to dig into. It boasts a regularly updated news section, tutorials covering topics such as “Tweak and Secure Windows” and “How to Avoid Malware,” giveaways, reviews, and an enjoyable blog.
Security Focus looks old-school, but don’t let its obsession with graphics from 1999 put you off. The site has some of the most knowledgeable security experts in the world as subscribers.
The forum is split into 14 sections: bug tracking, Apple, Windows, Microsoft, viruses, forensics, honeypots, IDS, log analysis, penetration testing, secure shells, security basics, web app security, wireless security, and Spanish language. Each section lets you subscribe to a mailing list if you want to keep abreast of everything users are saying.
The site also has a separate section dedicated to vulnerabilities. You can search by vendor, title, or version to see if any known issues are affecting the software you use every day.
The SecurityInfoWatch forums have a different focus to the three sites I discussed so far.
The forum doesn’t concentrate on computers, anti-virus, and other issues affecting average home users. Instead, SecurityInfoWatch’s primary subject matters are topics as smart alarms, CCTV systems, cyber-terrorism, retail security, and access control.
The forums are a spin-off from the main site. It publishes news and other pertinent information mainly concerning the issues mentioned above.
AntiOnline follows the typical forum layout: you’re presented with a long list of topics each of which has countless threads within it.
It’s an excellent resource for intermediate users. The technical jargon is accurate without being off-putting, and the individual rooms are primarily about topics that’ll interest people who have a sound knowledge of cyber-security without being experts.
Aside from covering the usual issues like adware, firewalls, cyber-scams, and anti-virus, it also has extensive space dedicated to niche-but-important subjects such as regulatory compliance, steganography, training conferences, and even the ethics and morals of privacy.
What exactly is Reddit? A forum? A chat site? A news site? No one really knows, but no list of security forums would be complete without the inclusion of /r/NetSec.
At the time of writing, the subreddit has almost 200,000 subscribers. They post news, analysis, and opinion on everything related to information security and associated topics.
Unfortunately, this is not a site for beginners, some of the content subscribers discuss is complex and might not be of interest to non-experts.
The mods have two posts permanently stuck to the top of the page: one for general discussion about security issues and one for job opportunities.
7. Hack Forums
What better place to get security advice and information than from a forum with a focus on white hat hacking? The site has 3.5 million users and more than 50 million posts, making it one of the most active forums on this list.
The top place to visit for malware and security tips is Tech > White Hat Malware, Virus, and Rat Removal Help. Within it, you’ll find a sub-forum called Computer Protection and Security Alerts, and that’s where you’ll find a lot of the best information.
Hack Forums also has lots of space dedicated to coding, gaming, graphics, and the web, making it one of the best stops for any tech-related discussions.
Which Security Forums Do You Visit?
I’ve introduced you to seven of the best security forums on the web. Between them, they cover almost every conceivable aspect of tech security for all levels of expertise. If you have a security-based question, you can be 100 percent confident that you’ll get the right answer from one of the sites.
Of course, there are many more security forums out there. Some are operated by sites similar to MakeUseOf, some are run by security software developers, and some are independent.
What forums would you add to this list? Where do you go when you need security advice? You can leave your tips, suggestions, and recommendations in the comments section below.