February 14, 2012 in Tech to Know
Malware and other forms of digital security breaches threaten every aspect of our now technologically advanced society. Few people understand the complexities involved with cyber crime better than the IT professionals that we depend on to defend our sensitive information. Schools and businesses spend tremendous resources on virus and spyware protection–including software and the personnel knowledgable enough to “Man the Machines.” But, how can we–as individuals–do our part in a war against this invisible enemy?
We must come to know our enemy, learn his habits, and create a plan to minimize the effectiveness of his attacks.
Here are some reminders for you while browsing the web:
1.) Be very careful about on what you click.
If something unexpected pops up, do not click on anything in it–just try to close the window. If you have to kill the browser to get rid of it, do it. On a PC, you can hit the CTRL and F4 keys together to shut down the browser. COMMAND and Q will quit the browser on a Mac. However, if it takes turning off the computer, do it.
2.) Never click on links in an e-mail unless you are 100% positive it is genuine.
It is always better to access the information directly from the original website. Also, genuine sites will always allow you to get to the information from their site and not just from an e-mail.
3.) Be careful when moving your mouse over a web page.
Some items will pop up just because the mouse it over them. Also, malware can install itself just because your mouse moved over where it was hiding.
4.) Double check the URL in the address bar.
Fake sites often mimic genuine sites, however, the address is slightly different. For instance: a simple typo can land you on www.gogle.com instead of www.google.com or www.lenzinfo.com instead of www.lensinfo.com. These small mistakes can expose your computer to predators.
5.) Genuine sites can be hacked.
Malware can be inserted into a genuine site. So, don’t let your guard down just because your are sure of the site. Treat all websites as a potential threat.
6.) NEVER offer account information on an unsecured site!!!
Genuine sites will always use https:// at the start of a URL any time you need to provide the following:
- Username & Password
- Financial information
- Make a purchase
If you get a certificate warning on a site, always contact the site owner to verify that the site is indeed genuine.
7.) For normal browsing it is usually best to have the pop-up blocker turned on.
If you have tips that you would like to share, post them below in the comments section.