Porn Surfing? – Free Software to Protect Your Computer

Why You Need Protection

porn_industry 3 Online pornography is enormously popular. So popular that the pornography industry has revenues larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined.

That’s right, the combined revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink.

Three essential factors have impacted the popularity of Internet pornography:

  • Easy Internet access
  • The anonymity the Internet provides
  • Cost effectiveness

Experienced computer users however, are generally aware that pornographic web sites are notorious for spyware, viruses, browser exploits, and phishing attacks, on insufficiently protected computers.

The credibility of this view is emphasized by Esa Suurio, CEO of Against Intuition Inc., the company that supports Web of Trust, {see Like Porno Sites? – They LOVE You!), on this site, who concluded following a recent survey “Visiting the red light district of the Internet makes the user vulnerable to spyware, viruses and leakage of confidential information which can cause significant damage.”

Pornography is what it is; I am not a member of the Morality Police, and I hold no religious or political views on the availability of pornography on the Internet; except of course, pornography which is clearly illegal, or morally reprehensible.

porn_industry 4

My main concern with pornographic Websites is focused instead, on the primary/secondary use that many of these sites are designed for – as a vehicle for the distribution of potentially harmful malware applications that can be surreptitiously dropped onto unwitting visitors computers.

The potential for damage to both computers and users is enormous, considering the confidential/financial data that can be stolen by keyloggers, tracking cookies, and other common forms of malware used by porn sites.

Unethical porno sites have a reputation for some, or all, of the following behavior:

Pop-up windows that are difficult, or impossible to close. Tip: Pressing the Control key and the W key simultaneously, will generally close pop-ups.

Browser hijacking.

Dropping spyware, viruses, Trojans, and rogue applications.

Requiring the installation of a plug-in or codec – a favorite method of malware insertion.

Be particularly cautious of so called “free three-day trial memberships”. These schemes are notorious for fraud and credit card scams. Just try to take advantage of a “free three-day trial memberships”, without providing credit card details.

Before surfing porn web sites:

Install the latest operating system updates, and patches, on your computer. This step is just common sense in all circumstances. Unpatched systems will be attacked!

Unethical porn sites can drop malicious code which will exploit vulnerabilities in your browser or operating system. Just visiting these sites can infect, or damage your system.

Ensure you are using the latest version of your Internet Browser – known security holes in older Browser versions will be exploited.

Consider switching your Browser – Experienced computer users tend to use FireFox as their principal Internet Browser, since the security add-ons which are available, offer substantial protection from exploits. No Browser however, is totally secure against exploits.

Turn off JavaScript in your Browser.

Install effective ant-malware solutions on your computer.

The following free anti-malware and system protection applications offer effective protection.

This list is not exhaustive. For more information and additional free anti-malware and system protection applications, read “The 35 Best Free Applications – Tried, Tested and Reliable!” on this site.

Firewall: Comodo Firewall Pro

The definitive free firewall in my view; Comodo Firewall protects your system by defeating hackers and restricting unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet.

Internet Browser protection: Web of Trust (WOT)

WOT is a free Internet Browser add-on (my personal favorite), that has established an impressive 4.5/5.0 star user rating on CNET. WOT tests web sites you are visiting for spyware, spam, viruses, browser exploits, unreliable online shops, phishing, and online scams, helping you avoid unsafe web sites.

porno sites 4 google

(Click pic for larger)

In this Google search for “hot porno sites”, notice that WOT indicates that out of the 6 sites illustrated, 2 are dangerous, 2 should be viewed with caution, 1 is an unknown quantity, and only 1 is safe.

Anti-virus: Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic

This anti-virus program offers comprehensive protection with an easy to use interface. In the time that I have been testing Avira, I have been impressed with its performance, and I have come to rely on it as my primary anti-virus program. I highly recommend this one.

Anti-spyware: Spyware Terminator

Having tested virtually all of the major anti-spyware applications over the past year or more, I’ve settled, for now, on Spyware Terminator primarily due to its strong real-time protection against spyware, adware, Trojans, key-loggers, home page hijackers and other malware threats. Spyware Terminator excels in strong active protection against know and unknown threats.

Adware remover: Ad-Aware

Many software reviewers consider Ad-Aware Free as the best free adware remover available. It does a relatively good job of protecting against known data-mining, Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijackers and tracking components. The only downside with the free version is real-time protection is not included.

Zero-day malware protection: ThreatFire

ThreatFire blocks mal-ware, including zero-day threats, by analyzing program behavior and it does a stellar job. Again, this is one of the security applications that forms part of my front line defenses. I have found it to have high success rate at blocking mal-ware based on analysis of behavior.

How much information can a web site collect about you?

In my experience, most people are shocked at the amount of information that a web site is capable of collecting from a simple visit.

If you are interested in seeing just how much information your Internet Browser gives away about you and your computer system when you visit a web site, then checkout BrowserSpy.dk.

8 Comments

Filed under Adware, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools, worms

8 responses to “Porn Surfing? – Free Software to Protect Your Computer

  1. Pingback: fire » Blog Archive » Porn Surfing? - Free Software to Protect Your Computer « Bill …

  2. Hi. serve me suit! Where can I understand and download software? All order banknotes = (. Is it not workable to perceive for on the loose!? http://www.kriatoroff.narod.ru/smile.gif yavmyase

  3. Hi Bill,
    I guess if I had to pick a program to survive a website you pretty much know is going to be infested, I’d be running SandboxIE. It’s not the ideal situation but for simplicity it works well. The biggest problem is it is limited to 32 bit OS’s, and doesn’t run on any version of Win 7.
    Cheers
    Mark

  4. I just want to say thanks

  5. Raj Kumar

    it IS A VERY INTELLIGENT STEP.

  6. eddie

    just another reason to stay away from that garbage…….

  7. Ross

    Do you know if I can get in trouble in Canada if I see a picture on a links page thats illegal while surfing the net? Will windows vista record in any way a thumbnail while visiting a links page? Maybe you can help or tell me who can.Thanx for reading.

    • Bill Mullins

      Ross,

      I’m assuming that you are speaking of pornography that is considered illegal under Canada’s Criminal Code. The simple answer is – if the intent was to go to a page that contains such illegal content, one could open oneself to a criminal charge. If, on the other hand, there is no way of knowing the site contained illegal content, a conviction would be difficult for the Crown to obtain. Make no mistake though, individuals have been prosecuted in the U.S., and other countries, for accessing illegal content, in some cases accidentally, and the onus was placed on the accused to prove it was not done intentionally. I cannot however, recall such a case in Canada.

      The Internet is rife with traps, and redirection to an unsavory, or a dangerous site, occurs much more frequently than is generally acknowledged. Computer forensics though, is a well developed science and generally, the use of forensic applications can determine intent.

      The question of Vista recording a thumbnail is not the issue. Instead, the contents of a Browser’s cache as well as browsing, search, and download history are all relevant. As a security safeguard, all of these should be cleared when the Browser is closed. Ccleaneris a free application that does this easily and quickly. You can of course, set your Browser preferences to do this – but Ccleaner does a better job in my view.

      An additional safeguard to reduce the possibility of surfing to unsafe or illegal sites, is the addition of a Browser add-on such as WOT, which warns of unsafe content.

      I hope this info helps.

      Bill