Basic Computer Security – 6 things you need to know.

Many users are being subjected to more sophisticated attacks on their home and work computers.  Many of these attacks are designed to look like legitimate security programs or services in order to trick the user into giving permission to the attack software to do whatever it wants!

Many users believe that a firewall or anti-virus product is enough to protect them.  Sadly the number 1 failure of security is the USER!  Users who open email attachments, users who click on banner ads, users who go to malicious sites on the web, users who put strange thumb drives in their PC’s!

So if you are a user here is the education to save you lots of time, money and headaches

  1. Firewalls, Anti-virus and Anti-Mal ware are not bullet proof
    • While these components of security are essential they do not protect against user intervention.  the most recent wave of Fake Anti Virus  attacks proves this.  Security is not a 1 step fix.  It is an ongoing awareness that some people in the world are out to exploit you.
    • Make sure that your firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware are up to date.  1000’s of new malware are released every single day.
  2. Do Not Click!
    • Banner ads may or may not be trustworthy.  Save yourself the hassle do not click on them.  You probably didn’t need that Homer Simpson Chia head anyway.
    • Again with Fake Anti Viruses.  they don’t really hurt until you click on them.  this includes clicking NO or the red X.  they are very sneaky and will execute malicious code even though you do not want it.  Safe bet is once you see the Fake AV hold the power button on your PC until it turns off.
  3. Do Not Open Emails, not just attachments
    • Simply opening some emails is enough to trigger their dangerous payload.  If you do not recognize the sender or it seems fishy in anyway DO NOT OPEN IT.  You can always call that person to verify they sent the email.
  4. Trust No Website
    • You should treat all websites as if the are aout to get you.  Seems paranoid and cynical but hackers target high traffic sites specifically because they have lots of traffic.  even if they only compromise the site for a minute that can translate to 100,000 users infected.
    • If the website asks you to download something to view a file or redirects you to a different site close your browser immediately.
  5. Read.  Don’t just press OK
    • Most problems on your PC will display some kind of onscreen prompt.  Whether it is a Fake AV or a legitimate program stop and Read.  Then use your best judgment on what you should do. Messages that say “Press OK and you get a free iPad” are probably not legitimate.
    • If you are unsure call your IT professional and they can usually advise you one way or the other over the phone.
  6. Be Aware
    • Know what protection software you have and what it looks like.
    • Be discerning in opening emails websites etc
    • Practice Safe Computing by being aware of different threats and staying educated.

A good thing to do is to be sure and hire qualified a IT Management company to give you an extra layer of protection and to actively manage your security.

Be safe on the net!

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