Playing Russian Roulette With Malware

Russian roulette 1

I’m a games player, and I bet you are too. But unlike many computer users, I do not play games with my computer’s security.

I don’t play games where the odds are stacked against me, and neither should you.

Playing a game of Russian Roulette with cyber crooks on the Internet is a mugs game – the pistol is loaded with SIX bullets. Unfortunately, you get to go first, and ducking is not an option in this game.

The bad guys will win; you will lose – there is little doubt about that. But hey, you might get lucky!

Playing this game essentially consists of any of the following forms of behavior. Go ahead – try your luck!

Download files and software through file-sharing applications such as BitTorrent, eDonkey, KaZaA and other such programs.

Make sure you click links in instant messaging (IM) that have no context or are composed of only general text.

Download executable software from web sites without ensuring that the site is reputable.

Use your USB stick on public computers, or other computers that are used by more than one person.

Be sure to open email attachments from people you don’t know.

Make it a practice of opening email attachments without first scanning them for viruses.

Open email attachments that end in a file extension of .exe, .vbs, or .lnk.

Don’t worry about it – just run your Windows computer as an administrator while on the Internet. You have to play the game, right?

laptop RIP

Additional actions you can take to ensure your computer system becomes infected.

Always run programs of unknown origin.

Don’t keep all applications (including your operating system) patched.

Don’t disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX.

Don’t disable scripting features in email programs.

Don’t make regular backups of critical data.

Don’t make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised.

Don’t turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.

Don’t install a personal firewall on the computer.

Don’t install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet.

Don’t worry about making sure your anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments.

Now, you don’t have to follow all of the above suggestions. Just follow a few, and I guarantee you – you will become infected. You will lose the game.

Oh, did I mention, if you really want to mess things up, you should surf the Net without adequate Internet Browser protection such as WOT – the best Internet browser protection available.

This article may sound facetious, and to some extent, perhaps even cynical – nevertheless, the behavior points listed, (sorry – the game rules), are often the common behaviors of a large percentage of unaware, undereducated, and less security conscious computer users.

Is it any wonder the cyber criminals are winning this game?

Don’t be a loser. Don’t play this game. Ensure you have adequate knowledge to protect yourself. If you lack this knowledge the answer is simple – get it. The Internet (including this site), can be mined for information on free protective software, and tips and hints to keep you safe.

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19 Comments

Filed under Browser add-ons, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

19 responses to “Playing Russian Roulette With Malware

  1. Murphy

    Hi,
    Good article ….after a good Giveaway . Thank you .
    Best regards !

  2. how to ollie

    Good post… I’m always on the lookout for good blogs.

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Knowledge is power isn’t it. I used to use file sharing apps quite a lot, until knowledge made me realize the risks. I don’t use them anymore, at all.

    An informed user of the internet is a safer one.

    Cheers

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      As you say “an informed user of the internet is a safer one” – couldn’t agree more!

      Bill

  4. Paf

    Hi Bill, thanks for the wise suggestions. Clear and to the point! Cheers.

  5. Hi Bill,

    As you know, I had some real problems with malware, resulting in my laptop crashing, and hours spent recovering it.

    Since I began taking your advice, my laptop has been malware free and I’ve been able to do what I’m supposed to, write.

    Thanks for all the great advice and information. I recommend your blog to everyone I know. It’s my very first port of call for all things tech related. And thanks to you I’ve found a couple more blogs I now visit for computer related stuff. ‘TechPaul’ and ‘What’s on My PC.’

    Thanks Bill

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Paul,

      What a nice complement – you just made my day, and more!

      As always, it’s a pleasure to have you visit.

      Bill

  6. Bill,

    I do not feel you are being cynical at all in your article… You have covered all of the bases. Please continue to educate and remind all of us that through our own carelessness we can (and eventually will) become a victim of many of the threats that are out there.

    Rick

    • Bill Mullins

      Rick,

      Thanks – it’s good to have backup, on this issue, from a super techie like you. Incidentially, the comment after yours, from Paul Russell, a very faithful reader, stated in part, “thanks to you I’ve found a couple more blogs I now visit for computer related stuff. ‘TechPaul’ and ‘What’s on My PC.’ So you see, we are making a difference. Very cool!

      Bill

  7. Liam O' Moulain

    Bill,

    One more time I’ve learned things I need to know, by reading your excellent article.

    Where did you learn to write like that?

    Liam

    • Bill Mullins

      Liam,

      Thanks for visiting.

      I’m a Canadian by choice, but an Irishman by cultural extraction, so writing is in my DNA. Just like drinking, fighting and womanizing, it’s all in the DNA lad. LOL

      Bill

  8. Hey Bill,
    This is great.
    May I repost part of it one day to your credit?

  9. Hi Bill,
    I agree with Liam, great article. Playing Russian Roulette online gets you an online Darwin Award in my book.
    It also reminds me a little of the tobacco industry, get you hooked on free music when you’re young…
    I see adults who can afford their own music, especially with subscription services, still stealing music, and we both know what they end up with! These also tend to be people who never back up or keep their AV’s, and Windows up to date. Sometimes bad habits come in bunches.
    Take care.
    Mark

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mark,

      “An online Darwin Award” – LMAO!

      You’re point is well made though; bad habits do come in bunches.

      Best,

      Bill