Blog / Tech Tips
Computer viruses / malware are increasingly common and destructive. To help reduce the risk of infecting your computer and the computers of others please follow these virus protection tips.
- Do not open any files attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious, or untrustworthy source.
- Do not open any files attached to an email unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from a dear friend or someone you know. Some viruses can replicate themselves and spread through email. Better be safe than sorry and confirm that they really sent it.
- Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected. If the need to do so is there always save the file to your hard drive before doing so.
- Delete chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any of them. These types of email are considered spam, which is unsolicited, intrusive mail that clogs up the network.
- Do not download any files from an unknown, suspicious, or untrustworthy source.
- Exercise caution when downloading files from the Internet. Ensure that the source is a legitimate and reputable one. Verify that an anti-virus program checks the files on the download site. If you're uncertain, don't download the file at all or download the file to a floppy and test it with your own anti-virus software.
- Update your virus definitions regularly. Over 500 viruses are discovered each month. While your virus protection software is scheduled to update your virus definitions automatically, occasionally you may need or want to update your virus definitions manually.
- When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments.
- Use Malware programs often. Update Virus Protection.
The FBI offered these tips:
- Adjust the privacy settings on social networking sites you frequent to make it more difficult for people you know and do not know to post content to your page. Even a "friend" can unknowingly pass on multimedia that's actually malicious software.
- Do not agree to download software to view videos. These applications can infect your computer.
- Read e-mails you receive carefully. Fraudulent messages often feature misspellings, poor grammar, and nonstandard English.
- Report e-mails you receive that purport to be from the FBI. Criminals often use the FBI's name and seal to add legitimacy to their fraudulent schemes. In fact, the FBI does not send unsolicited e-mails to the public. Should you receive unsolicited messages that feature the FBI's name, seal, or that reference a division or unit within the FBI or an individual employee, report it to the
Useful Wi-Fi Security Tips
- Use a strong password. As I pointed out in the article A little more about passwords, a sufficiently strong password (on a system with decent password protection) makes the likelihood of cracking the password through brute force attacks effectively impossible. Using a sufficiently weak password, on the other hand, almost guarantees that your system will be compromised at some point.
- Don’t broadcast your SSID. Serious security crackers who know what they are doing will not be deterred by a hidden SSID — the “name” you give your wireless network. Configuring your wireless router so it doesn’t broadcast your SSID does not provide “real” security, but it does help play the “low hanging fruit” game pretty well. A lot of lower-tier security crackers and mobile malicious code like botnet worms will scan for easily discovered information about networks and computers, and attack those that have characteristics that make them appear easy to compromise. One of those is a broadcast SSID, and you can cut down on the amount of traffic your network gets from people trying to exploit vulnerabilities on random networks by hiding your SSID. Most commercial grade router/firewall devices provide a setting for this.
Once users have experienced the convenience and freedom of working wirelessly, they want to take their Wi-Fi on the road. Here are some tips for securing your Wi-Fi devices when using them away from your home network.
- Enable WPA2 security: All of your Wi-Fi client devices (laptops, handsets, and other Wi-Fi enabled products) should use WPA2.
- Configure to approve new connections: Many devices are set by default to sense and automatically connect to any available wireless signal. Configuring your client device to request approval before connecting allows gives you greater control over your connections.
- Disable sharing: Your Wi-Fi-enabled devices may automatically enable themselves to sharing / connecting with other devices when attaching to a wireless network. File and printer sharing may be common in business and home networks, but you should avoid this in a public network such as a hotel, restaurant, or airport hotspot .
Securing a New Network
Change the network name (SSID) from the default name
Change the administrative credentials (username and password) that control the configuration settings of your Access Point/Router/Gateway
Enable WPA2-Personal (aka WPA2-PSK) with AES encryption
Create a network passphrase that meets recommended guidelines
Enable WPA2 security features on your client device and enter the passphrase for your network
What is Prey?
What is Koobface Botnet ?:
Victims of Koobface become part of the Koobface botnet, under remote control of the Koobface attackers. Koobface is typically used for data theft.
What is Mozilla Firefox?
Mozilla Firefox is an alternative to the Internet Explorer web browser. The way it has been created means it is safer to use and more flexible than Internet Explorer.
It is free to download and also features optional extensions so that you can add tools to improve things like downloading and security when browsing the Web.
Mozilla Firefox 4 was recently released. With more security features. Firefox’s cross-platform footprint and backwards compatibility with Windows XP—which isn’t supported by IE9.
You do not need to remove Internet Explorer to install Firefox - in fact it is useful to have both available to choose from, as there are one or two websites that require Internet Explorer to use, such as Windows Update.
You can have Firefox use the same settings and Bookmarks (Favorites) you had in Internet Explorer.
What Is Spyware?
Spyware is malicious code that infects your PC and can manifest itself as things such as unwanted browser toolbars and pop-ups, or if your browser homepage suddenly changes without your knowledge.
Spyware also takes the form of tracking files that watch where you go on the web in order to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies. Not only is it a source of irritation but it also affects your privacy too.
Removing spyware is an important step in the process of cleaning unwanted files and programs from your PC, keeping it secure and fixing problems.
Fortunately there are programs available to help you track down and remove these unwanted files. There are several commercial security packages that offer anti-spyware tools as well as other features.
Ad-Aware and Spybot are two free programs you can use to fight spyware.
McAfee Total Protection 2012
With thousands of new viruses created every day, relying on traditional security updates isn't enough anymore. McAfee® AntiVirus Plus instantly detects and blocks viruses-and stops web threats before they are downloaded to your PC. Reengineered to be faster than ever before, the software's innovative design simplifies your security experience while offering you essential protection.
Junk File / Registry Cleaner
CCleaner is a tool to clean your system from temporary and unnecessary files that accumulate over time. This also includes rather thorough cleaning of Internet and PC usage tracks like browser cache, recently used files, web sites visited and more. You can select the items that you want cleaned and also specify cookies that should not be deleted. In addition, the program comes with a registry scanner that scans for invalid references (advanced users) and options to start cleaning automatically or from the command line. (Slim version, no toolbar)