Category Archives: Internet Security

How To Avoid Viruses

They say “Prevention is better than cure”. Most causes of virus infections today happen through simple techniques that bad people use to trick you.

Since anti-viruses can’t always give the best protection, it is good if you know how to avoid viruses. I know a few basic techniques you can use how to easily spot viruses. These techniques have worked very well for me. In fact it has worked so good, that I’ve never had the need to install anti-virus software on my machine. Please note that I would never recommend not having anti-virus software, I am just saying that these techniques are extremely practical.


Common stuff people don’t know:

- You can’t get a virus by browsing a website. You can however get a virus by installing software the website asks you to install.
- You can’t get a virus by receiving an infected email and most of the time you also can’t get it by reading the email the normal way it is presented to you. Important: you will very likely get a virus by opening the attachment(s) of an infected email.

The bottom line of avoiding viruses:

1. Don’t ever install anything from a website if you do not know the website
2. If you receive an email and don’t know who it came from, simply delete it

1. Don’t ever install anything from a website if you do not know the website

One of my best friends was browsing a bad website 3 months ago (on his birthday actually) when he received a pop-up telling him that he has been infected with a virus and must immediately click here to install anti-virus software. Not knowing the signs, he followed the instructions and installed the virus (that was impersonating an anti-virus) on his system.

Soon after the virus was installed it told him that the supposedly ‘virus’ he had, could not be removed and that he needed other supposedly ‘better’ anti-virus software. Working along he was just helping the virus installing even more viruses on his system. Shame, I don’t think it was his best birthday.

First sign he missed: the pop-up was not from his system, but from the website. This is easy to spot. If you use internet explorer to view websites, there will always be a ‘Windows Internet Explorer’ in the top of the pop-up window somewhere.

Second sign: The website he was browsing was bad. Websites that have questionable content, such as pirated software or adult content are bad.

Hint: If you are not sure if a website is safe, type the name of the website in Google. If it’s a trap, plenty other more trustworthy websites will have warnings on their websites and Google is the way to locate those warnings.

2. If you receive an email and don’t know who it came from, simply delete it

This is extremely important if the email has any form of attachment or a link to a website to download something! Don’t be fooled by any promises, guarantees or emotional heart breaking stories – they are all lies!

Other less common ways of getting viruses:

- From friends

If a friend brings you software on a flash disk, you must think twice before installing the software. Does the person have good anti-virus software? (Remember: good trustworthy friends can also accidentally give you viruses)

- Website impersonations

Watch out for fake websites. The easiest way to spot a fake website is to analyse the address of the website, which is always displayed at the top of your internet browser.

How an internet address (also known as URL) works:

It consists out of 3 parts: The “http://”, the “domains” and the path

It always starts with http://, so you can just ignore that part of the address
The domains are the part after that up until the first “/” character and the path are the rest.

Example: http://www.google.com/accounts
Domain = www.google.com
Path = /accounts

The path simply says where on the current server the page is, so the important part is the domain, because this actually says which server to use.

A domain is always divided by “.” characters, for example “mail.google.com”.

Start from the right. So “com” would be the first domain (known as the top level domain or TLD). The guy who controls this domain controls all the ones that are beneath it. The .com registry is currently controlled by ICANN.

The second level domain is “google.com” and is logically controlled by Google (but ICANN can bypass them if they want). And the third one is “mail.google.com” and is also controlled by Google.

The important lesson here is if a website address is http://mail.google.123web123.com or http://secure.bank.123web123.com it belongs to 123web123.com and not Google or your bank! Therefore the website can impersonate the real websites to get you to log in details or to ask you to install viruses! Also watch out for any strange characters like the “@” in the domain name. Most of the time, this is associated with fake websites.

- Fake links

People can send you an email with a link that looks like a legitimate link, but actually links to a completely different website. Here is a perfect example: http://www.google.com
It looks like Google’s website address, but if you click on it, it takes you to http://www.yahoo.com!
The easiest way to spot this is to move with your mouse over the link without clicking on it. On the bottom left corner of your screen it should show the correct link you are actually going to go to when you click on it!

Also remember the section above on how internet addresses work. An address could actually be the address you are visiting, but not the people you thought owned it.

Also Google a website or a website address if you are not sure. This is a safe way to find out which 3rd parties know about them.

About anti-virus software:

I would currently recommend AVG. Its free, doesn’t slow down your computer too much and relatively up to date.

By: Wim Conradie-25674

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Majority shareholder in Matogen Corporate Web Development (www.matogen.com). Studied electronic engineering, computer sciences & industrial engineering at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Started first web development business in November 2003. Have a passion for business and adding value to other busnesses.

PC Security Is a Tedious Job

Computers are perhaps a highly technological irony. As long as secure servers are working properly, it can allow Internet users to transact business such as sell their products or make purchases without ever having to worry if their information is being hacked. Yet they are inherently vulnerable to hackers whenever connected to the Internet. That is why it is important to learn how to enhance computer systems security.

The problem with Internet fraud is vastly growing, and it’s perfectly understandable. There are more and more people getting cleverer when it comes to computers. They can already go through the computer systems security to steal all the confidential information, which can then be used for illegal activities. Nevertheless, there are some solutions at hand, and anyone who is tasked to take care of these issues should know how to do the following things:

1. Create a backup of files. Just because they’re stored on computers doesn’t mean that they won’t get lost. Especially when your computer systems security is very weak, you may, in fact, loose all of your important data and information. For all critical files, make sure that you can create backup copies. There are plenty of storage options available. These options include disks, flash drives, and even web-based storage media. Web-based storage media allows you to access your files through an Internet connection.

2. Control the number of people who have access to highly important information. There are a lot of benefits that you gain if you learn how to regulate the number of persons who can access main computers. For one, there will be more accountability. With a controlled system it is very easy to pinpoint the cause or the individual responsible in case there is breach in computer systems security. Of course, it also means that you will lessen the risks of having data stolen.

3. Change passwords as often as possible. The age-old method of Internet protection, the use of passwords, still remains very effective today. However, since there is already a number of software programs that can crack the passwords used to secure computers, it’s highly advisable to modify them at least once a month. To ensure an even higher level of computer systems security, it’s advisable that few people as possible should know about the password.

4. Improve your knowledge in computer systems security. Technology changes so fast and so does the different hacking strategies of scammers on the World Wide Web. It’s important to always be aware of their new techniques, as well as the new procedures and solutions to combat these types of problems. Ignorance should never be an excuse.
People working on computer systems protection should be briefed well and study the internal policies and procedures company in running and monitoring computers. When very well organized and coherent procedures are in place, errors and possible hacker penetration can easily be avoided or detected.

By: Ckint Jhonson

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Would you like to pursue the field of computer systems security? Then enhance your skills in monitoring computers, and you’re on your way. Don’t forget to learn the basic requirements of the job.

Problem With Hacker Safe

The purpose of providing a trust mark on your website is to prove to your customers that the security of your site has been evaluated and certified by a third-party. Trust mark services are designed to scan for and in some cases repair vulnerabilities in the security of your network. A trust mark provides added confidence for your customers that their information will not fall into the wrong hands when they shop with you.

There are several different trust mark programs available in the e-commerce market, but to get the maximum benefit, it’s important to choose the right one. Hacker Safe is a popular trust mark program provided by Scan Alert. It offers customers daily security scans for vulnerabilities and certifies he results. Unfortunately, there have been some high-profile problems with Hacker Safe recently. Numerous websites bearing the Hacker Safe trust mark have been found vulnerable to potential hacks. Specifically, some of these sites have been found vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS). This type of attack can result in a number of serious breaches.

The reputation of a trust mark provider is the most essential ingredient to the service. Customers must have confidence that the third party authenticator is competent and reliable in order for them to trust their certification of the website. The holes in Hacker Safe’s scanning program erode the reliability of that trust mark. If customers know that even one site that was supposed to be secure actually wasn’t, the entire purpose of having a trust mark on your site is undermined. (Hacker Safe has recently been re-branded as “McAfee Secure.”)

Having a reliable trust mark on your site is a valuable tool in converting customers. Studies show that more than 70% of online shoppers look for a trust mark while shopping online. Some refuse to buy from a site that is not verified safe by a trustworthy third party. The best trust mark on the market today is the HackerProof trust mark from Comodo. The HackerProof trust mark program scans daily for vulnerabilities and certifies the results for your customers. Comodo has a long-standing and unimpeachable record for providing Website Security measures and authentication services for all types of online entities. The Comodo brand is recognized for security excellence by more than 100 million people. When your customers see the Comodo HackerProof trust mark in the corner of your website on every page, they will know that your site has been thoroughly verified for safety.

Having a reliable trust mark on your site can actually improve your sales. When customers believe that their information is 100% safe, they feel freer to shop. Many consumers report that they will look for another merchant if they do not see a reliable Trust marks providing security assurance. Comodo is so confident that their HackerProof trust mark will improve your sales that the service is free until you realize at least a 5% increase in your site’s conversion rate.

By: Vijayanand

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Vijayanand working as an online marketing co-ordinator in ID Theft team in Comodo, a leading Internet Security provider, offers a real time Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Fraud restoration services among others.