Today I would like to share some TIPS “Common sense” that will help you to avoid getting infected with Viruses and Malware from the Internet. The Internet is here to stay and it has made our life easy and a lot of things possible. Just for a second imagine Life minus the Internet (Technology in general) It would be unthinkable, we depend on technology so much so that without it life would virtually could come to a standstill. Accessing any information and communicating with people from anywhere in the world has become a breeze, all thanks to the Internet.
But, at the same time all good things has a evil side too. Our own curiosity and carelessness can quickly lead us down to our own downfall. The Internet is full of prying eyes constantly watching your every movement, one wrong step and you are open to all sorts of attack. No matter what ever line of defenses you may have, the biggest security risk is YOU ( I mean the user)
Letting a Virus gain entry on your computer or catching a Malware is easy, but we can easily avoid it. All it takes is a little common sense and sensible surfing.
So here are some TIPS to avoid getting viruses, Malware’s, Phished etc.
1. Click only those Links and Downloads you trust.
Any Internet user should know this, its quite obvious and doesn’t need to be stressed. Never visit any dubious websites or download files from untrusted sites and of course never download any illegal files. Because this is a sure way to catch malware, viruses anything just name it. If for some reasons you can not avoid these sites make sure that your system is wellprotected and updated. But the question is how do you know which site is safe and which is not ? obviously no site will warn you “Hey look we are capable of infecting your computer”. The final decision is yours only.
There is a small browser plugin called WOT (Web of Trust). This plugin sits quietly in your browser and warns you of any doubtful website. WOT is a free Internet security add-on for your browser. WOT provides you with an extra layer of security by warning you of the status of website before you interact with a risky website.
Download “Web of Trust” WOT.
2. E-Mails : Turn off HTML:
The most common way of Malware spreading is through E-mails. The fact is malicious E-mails with malware automatically runs scripts when you open an E-mail in HTML view.. That’s the reason most e-mail clients and webmail clients do not display HTML contents by default (for example Pictures). If your E-mail clients/ browsers do not display pictures and instead shows a message “For security reasons images on this page is not displayed” leave it that way , and don’t click on the link unless you know that its from a trusted site.
3. Do Not open any Spam or Unsolicited E-Mail attachments.
When in doubt, never open any E-mail from a unknown source or download any attachment, unless you are sure that its from a trusted site or you were expecting any such attachments. Almost all web mail clients will scan your attachments for any virus or Malware before opening or downloading, NEVER skip this process.
4. Try to understand How Scams and Phishing Attacks works:
Most web E-mail clients has Scam filters, enable it and use it wisely. Most Phishing sites hides behind popular sites you may be visiting frequently like Facebook, Your Bank etc. You may get mails as notifications from these sites. The truth is Facebook or Bank may never actually sent these e- mails, they could be fake. If you carelessly follow these links and as requested you provide your credentials such as user name or passwords, than the scammers has successfully “Phished” your personal information’s.
Of course, social sites like the Facebook, Twitter etc may sometimes send you legitimate notifications, or your Bank may sometimes try to to contact you for some information’s too. When you get such e-mails and when in doubt, you can check the actual source URL without clicking on the Link. Just Hover your mouse over the Link and look at the bottom of your browser page, where the actual the link will be displayed, if the link in your E-mail and link displayed is different, you will be wiser not to click on such links. And it’s a good idea to contact your Bank to verify if they have sent any such E-mails.
5. Don’t get Fooled or intimidated:
Information’s and warnings come in all forms. You may have come across many site which prominently displays “ Your computer is infected, scan for FREE” or “Optimize your Computer for FREE” or offering you to download free Antivirus programs or other utilities.Don’t let such warnings scare you, they are fake! Don’t get carried away with such tactics. Always download software from Trusted sources only.
6. Always Scan any External Devices that you connect to your Computer:
Whenever you connect any external USB devices like a External Hard disk , Thumb drives , or a Memory card, make it a point to scan it first before opening it. If you already have installed Anti virus, Anti-Malware software (Which you must have), just go to My computer than right click on the device icon and from the context menu click to scan the device with the Anti virus and Anti Malware. For safety turn off Auto run features for all external devices to protect your PC from self executing files.
Read this article on “ How to turn off Auto-run features in Windows”
7. Read the EULA and Pay attention when you install Software’s:
Most often Software installers comes bundled with optional installs such as a Toolbar or some other additional programs which you may need at all. So be careful when you click on the “I Agree” button. Always read the programs EULA “End users license agreement”. If the software installations has a Custom installation option always choose that option so that you can decide which components to be installed and deselect anything which you are not familiar with or you don’t want to install. The Golden rule “You should not install software that you don’t trust.
Posted By: Ben Jamir