Computer users who lack the necessary skills to protect their machines, or who are unaware of the consequences of surfing the Internet with inadequate protection, are the grist from which cyber criminals make their daily bread – and lots of it!
How much? How does $105 billion annually strike you?
Playing 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?
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 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. For example over on What’s On My PC, there is a terrific article on Internet Security (FREE Layers of Protection), complete with free recommended security applications.
For additional information on cyber crime, checkout TechPaul’s “Security Alert – An Infection Has Been Detected!”