How to Avoid Malicious Software!

Lately we have seen a surge in viruses and other malicious software infecting computers.  People dont realize that while the Internet is a vast, nearly unlimited resource for information, commerce and entertainment; it can also be a scary and even dangerous place for those caught unawares.

In order to help protect you we put together a white paper full of information on malicious software and how to avoid it.  Below is a quick list highlighting the major points.  

Avoiding Malicious Software Quick Guide

The Do’s

  • DO – run a paid (as opposed to FREE) anti-virus software from a respectable developer (i.e. Bullguard, etc.).

  • DO – run active anti-spyware/malware protection software.

  • DO – READ PROMPTS, DIALOG BOXES, AND POP-UP WINDOWS! Avoid things you didn’t request.

  • DO – install updates for Adobe, Java, anti-virus, Office, Windows, and web browsers REGULARLY.

  • DO – Search the name of the software or pop-up before allowing it or installing it.

  • DO – Read title bars and the name of pop-ups and prompts. If it has an Internet Explorer icon and says “Your computer is infected”, its most likely malicious software!

The Dont’s

  • DON’T – click on links from unknown sources.

  • DON’T – install programs, tool bars or other unknown software without verifying safety and necessity.

  • DON’T – open email or attachments from unrecognized especially with blank or suspicious subject lines.

  • DON’T – open unsolicited email from HMRC, Inland Revenue, UK GOV, or other government or financial institutions. These can be strikingly convincing, but are almost always FAKE. These organizations will contact you via phone or postal mail with important information.

  • DON’T – Provide passwords in email. EVER. No legitimate company or email will ever request them, as email is inherently insecure.

  • DON’T – Disable or ignore warnings from your anti-virus software or Windows. If they are informing you of a problem, they require your attention to remain protected.

  • DON’T – click next without reading and checking or unchecking specific items on even trusted software installers. Example: Java updates and installers have the “Ask tool bar” installer checked by default. While not necessarily harmful, its software that you did not ask for bundled without your knowledge, and it is suggested that you uncheck that portion of the installer before continuing.

  • DON’T – provide your address, credit card information, birthday or social security number to an untrusted company or individual.

  • DON’T – accept sweets (or files) from strangers!

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