Want to Avoid Malware on the Internet? – Think BEFORE You Click

Paranoia 6 I ran a little experiment with a group of “average computer user” friends recently, and while there were no great surprises, the conditioned response to “just click” while surfing the web issue, is still there – despite my long battle to get them to modify this behavior.

You would think that endlessly repeating “just clicking haphazardly, without considering the consequences, can lead to the installation of malicious code that can cause identity theft and the theft of passwords, bank account numbers, and other personal information” would have some impact.

Apparently, it will take even more repetition before progress can be made. In the meantime, curiously browsing the web blissfully unaware of the considerable malware dangers, will continue to be the modus operandi for my friends.

The web is the success it has become at least partially due to the fact that it can satisfy our curiosity about almost anything we can think of. My friends are not alone in their “clicking haphazardly” bad habit. Many of us have learned to satisfy our curiosity simply by a mouse click here, and a mouse click there. Arguable, we have developed a conditioned response to “just click”.

Knowing this, cyber crooks are now exploiting our natural curiosity more and more, by focusing on this aspect of social engineering to create an opportunity designed to drop malicious code, including rootkits, password stealers, Trojan horses, and spam bots on our computers.

So in a real sense then, it may well be our conditioned human responses that pose the biggest risk to our online safety and security. Our curiosity, coupled with our conditioned responses can often override our common sense, so it’s not unusual for people to open an email attachment, for example, despite knowing that the attachment could be a virus, or other form of malware.

Conditioned Response

Security experts argue that a significant number of malware infections could be avoided if users stopped “just clicking haphazardly” or opening the types of files that are clearly dangerous. To this point however, this type of dangerous behavior continues despite the warnings.

As part of the Tech community I am aware that many fellow Techies choose not to run anti-malware software, but instead they rely on their own experiences, and common sense, to avoid malware infections. They are well aware of the hidden dangers on the Internet and have overcome that natural tendency to “just click”.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates and let them know that “just clicking haphazardly” without considering the consequences, can lead to the installation of malicious code that can cause identity theft and the theft of passwords, bank account numbers, and other personal information.

The following are security risks on the Internet that “just clicking”, can expose you to:

  • Trojan horse programs
  • Back door and remote administration programs
  • Denial of service attacks
  • Being an intermediary for another attack
  • Mobile code (Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX)
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Email spoofing
  • Email-borne viruses
  • Packet sniffing

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Filed under Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Safe Surfing, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools, worms

One response to “Want to Avoid Malware on the Internet? – Think BEFORE You Click

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