** With the ever increasing threat to the business and home user on the Internet, security has become a critically important topic.
Over the past few years, I have cleaned up hundreds of systems, supposedly protected by
every known 'brand' of Internet security.
I have noticed that, while there is no 100% foolproof way of keeping your computer secure while
accessing the Internet, there are a few simple steps everyone can take to keep the risks to a minimum.
To begin with, the importance of arming your system with a good Antivirus AND Antispyware (kept updated) is a no-brainer.
There are a couple of 'decent' free ones out there... namely AVG and AVAST,
however, I say that with an emphatic 'BEWARE'.
If you are a MYSPACE freak, I guarantee you will not be adequately protected!
I only suggest them because they are better than nothing, although the AVG in particular is quite popular.
Myself... I use Kaspersky Internet Security Suite. Sadly, I can not, in good conscience, recommend Norton or McAfee ...
especially the latter.
Internet habits also have an impact on our systems' vulnerability to infections. Some of the worst habits I have noticed on severely infected systems include, but are not limited to:
1. Forwarded emails: many of these emails are infected with a virus, even if they are sent by someone we know.
Virus writers are also known to use the endless list of email addresses included in forwards when writing code.
2. The popular social sites such as MySpace are known to infect systems. And whether you are on a site such as MySpace or just browsing, downloading files from an unknown source is a dangerous habit.
3. This also includes popular peer-to-peer file sharing programs, such as Limewire, Kazaa, and Bearshare.
4. Porn sites, or adult video downloads, etc... are an invitation to disaster. If a user is prone to visiting these sites, it is not a matter of if, but WHEN, their system falls prey to virus and/or spyware infections.
5. Additionally, never click on a link in an email. There are many 'phishing' attempts that come in email form that appear
to be from a bank, paypal, even the IRS. If you are ever concerned about your account, go directly to your financial
institution's web site or call them directly.
6. The latest onslaught of attacks from the cybercriminals has been in the form of 'rogue security' software.
This software pretends to be a security product, when, in fact, it is the very opposite! If you are on the Internet,
and get a popup 'warning' you of infections on your system, don't try to do anything with the popup, but
close down your Browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc...), and run a full system scan immediately.