The Fundamental Principle Of Safe Surfing – Think “Common Sense”

imageSo what can you add to your computer’s Firewall, Security Applications, and Browser security add-ons to ensure you have the best protection available while you’re surfing the web? Well, how about something that’s free, and readily available? Something called “Common Sense”.

Common sense: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.

-   Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

Common Sense Tip #1 – Given the virtual epidemic of malware currently circulating on the Internet, don’t run, or install programs, of unknown origin.

Internet users’ continue to be bombarded with rogue security software which has reached epidemic proportions. There seems to be no end to the release of new rogue security software threats. Rogue software will often install and use a Trojan horse to download a trial version, or it will perform other actions on a machine that are detrimental such as slowing down the computer drastically.

Download applications, particularly free programs, only from verifiably safe sites (sites that guarantee malware free downloads), such as Download.com, MajorGeeks, Softpedia, and the like.

There are many more safe download sites available, but be sure you investigate the site thoroughly before you download anything. Googling the site, while not always entirely reliable, is a good place to start. A recommendation from friends as to a site’s safety is often a more appropriate choice.

Common Sense Tip #2 – Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources. It’s been estimated that 96% of emails are spam. While not all spam is unsafe, common sense dictates that you treat it as if it is.

Common Sense Tip #3 – Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin. If the link has been sent to you in a forwarded email from a friend, be particularly cautious. Forwarded emails are notorious for containing dangerous elements, and links.

Common Sense Tip #4 – Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them in the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them, as they could take you to a web designed to download malware onto your computer.

Common Sense Tip #5 – If you do not use a web based email service then be sure your anti-virus software scans all incoming e-mail and attachments.

Common Sense Tip #6 – Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.

Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.

Most of all, understand that you are your own best protection.

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8 Comments

Filed under Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools

8 responses to “The Fundamental Principle Of Safe Surfing – Think “Common Sense”

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    With the amount of spam email with dubious attachments I receive, I wouldn’t even consider using an email client ever again. It all happens on the web for me now.
    What really makes me laugh is when I receive email apparently from myself, I mean, do they really think I am that dumb?
    Great article and sound advice.
    Cheers

  2. Let’s not kid ourselves. Download.com is not a safe download site anymore. They are serving spyware and malware wrappers with their software these days. It’s a sad state.

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/06/014244/downloadcom-bundling-adware-with-free-software

    http://www.broadsoundtech.com

    • “They are serving spyware and malware wrappers with their software these days” – Really?

      Perhaps you could provide us with ONE example of malware which has been wrapped in the installer. Just ONE!

      Bill

  3. I consider anything that redirects my searches or adds toolbars that slowdown my computer as malware.

    It’s devious to take the consumers trust and turn it against them.

    My definition of malware is not the accepted one. Then again, the word has only been around for how long?

    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/79343

    Nmap, for example.

    • Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) that is designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, or gain unauthorized access to system resources, or that otherwise exhibits abusive behavior.

      To be sure, these programs do ‘gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation’

  4. hipockets

    Hi again –
    Re tip 4 — Instead of typing in the URL link, I right click on the link, select “Copy Link Location” {in Firefox, probably something similar in other browsers}, paste it into a text file, and see where the link takes me.

    I’m just lazy, I guess . . . . Or maybe it’s just my typing . . . . :>)

    I quit going to CNet when they came up with the idea of making you download a download program in order to download a program. That’s almost a tongue twister!