Tag Archives: Safe Surfing

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.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


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

Surf Safely This Summer – PandaLabs’ Safe Summer Web Guide

PandaLabs’ Safe Summer Web Guide

pandasecurity_logo Courtesy of Panda Security.

Although most of us like to relax during the summer, computer security is one area in which you should always keep your guard up. Remember, cyber-crooks don’t take holidays.

The summer period often sees people using computers for more leisure-oriented activities than during the rest of the year. The use of services such as chats, online games, software downloads or online stores increases as users have more time on their hands. Children also tend to spend more time in front of the computer during the summer.

Cyber-crooks, however, will try to take advantage of all of this to target new victims. Here is a series of recommendations to help you keep your computer protected this summer:

Pay close attention to your email, as this is a frequently used channel for spreading threats, as well as phishing attacks and other scams distributed in spam. Typically at this time of year, waves of spam emerge offering unrealistically cheap holidays. These messages either surreptitiously ask users to reveal confidential data or prompt them to download information, which is really an infected file. So, needless to say, you should ignore all emails from unknown senders.

Promptly install the latest security patches for your applications. Cyber-crooks frequently launch attacks that exploit security holes in commonly-used programs. Developers are continually making security patches available to resolve the problems detected. If your application doesn’t notify you that these updates are available, you should enter the product’s official page occasionally to check whether any patches need to be installed. It is therefore a good idea to update applications on your computer just before you go on vacation and also when you come back.

Don’t download programs from dubious Internet sites – they could be infected. The summer period also tends to see a rise in the number of downloads people make. Yet it is important to take special care with what you download from the Internet. In particular, you should scan all downloads before running them, as much malware is distributed under the guise of files such as films, series etc. to trick users.

Take care with information you enter on social networks. Make sure you don’t publish details like the day you’ll be going on holiday, especially if details of your address are available on the same social network. – Leave your router switched off. This will prevent other users connecting to your network -possibly with malicious aims- in your absence. For example, someone could connect to your network and download malicious code which could remain on the network until you start your computer and consequently infect it.

Take precautions if you use shared computers. Many of us go to cybercafes when on holiday to read emails, chat with friends, stay in touch on social networks, etc. In this case, you should take a few precautions. Firstly, don’t enable any option that saves passwords on the local computer when you are logging into accounts from public computers. This would obviously allow the next user of the computer to access any of your accounts. Also, make sure the computer you use is not infected. At the first suspicious sign (pop-ups, malfunction…), stop using the computer. Finally, never use shared computers for bank transfers.

Use parental control programs. During the summer vacations, children will no doubt be using the computer more than usual. That’s why it is as important as ever to instruct them on how to use the Internet safely. It’s a good idea to set timetables for using the Internet, keep an eye on them when they are browsing and prevent them from accessing certain pages or content that could be unsuitable for them. Given that parents will not always be around to monitor how children use the Web, it is advisable to install a parental control program, a tool that will help establish which Web pages your children can see, and which they can’t, etc.

Make sure your computer has an up-to-date and active antivirus solution installed. There are free antivirus programs available from the Web, such as Panda Cloud Antivirus.

You can receive the Panda Security news automatically by adding this URL to your feed reader.

For up-to-date computer security news go to the Panda Security Twitter.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under Child Safety Internet, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Online Spyware/Virus Scanners, Panda Security, PandaLabs, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools