We are the weakest link in our technology security. We use weak passwords, write passwords down, toss paper in the garbage with sensitive information.
In larger companies, social engineering comes to play. Hackers slowly gather information until they gain enough to compromise a system. Might start from a piece of trash they got that has a person's name or security information on it. Then they call another person in that company and use the prior info to pry new info. They continue to do this until they have all they need to gain access to a system. These guys are slick and make their target believe they are calling from the inside.
Use a Firewall
If you have a business network, especially if you remote access in to your systems, you need a hardware firewall for protection. For small networks and home networks, a router with NAT along with updated system software, anti-malware software and Windows Firewall running will protect you from most attacks.
Why most and not all? No system is fool proof. You can take measures to secure your systems and reduce the chance your system get compromised.
Be aware of pop ups, don’t click on them. Some of the pop-ups look are very convincing and trick most people into clicking and installing a virus. Some rouge pop ups will have a cancel or equivalent button which actually installs their rouge software. If you encounter a weird pop-up do a “ctrl, alt, del” choose "Task manager" and force close your browser.
Never open an attachment from an unknown email sender.
Avoid clicking on links in email especially if you don’t know the sender. In rare cases, your friend’s computer is infected and will send you an email stating “hey babycakes check out this funny stuff”, the virus writer will be the only one laughing.
Be aware of phishing scams, these are emails which look like they are from known organizations, but when you freak out and click on a link stating urgently “you must click here, else you will be compromised”, “Click” you have been compromised. Don’t ever click on an email claiming to be from a Bank, eBay, Facebook, PayPal, etc… email suggesting you take action or the world is gonna end. Call or email directly from their legitimate site if you have any concerns.
Avoid Peer to Peer Virus Sharing Sites
Avoid P2P file/music sharing sites and programs. Yeah that’s a tough one, but you can do it. If you insist, be very careful, as they are crawling with viruses, malware and other global warming entities.
Use Chrome or Firefox
Instead of Internet Explorer
From within Internet Explorer click on the tools menu and then click on Options.
Click once on the Security tab
Click once on the Internet icon so it becomes highlighted.
Click once on the Custom Level button. Change the Download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt
Change the Download unsigned ActiveX controls to Disable
Change the Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe to Disable
Change the Installation of desktop items to Prompt
Change the Launching programs and files in an IFRAME to Prompt
Change the Navigate sub-frames across different domains to Prompt
When all these settings have been made, click on the OK button.
If it prompts you as to whether or not you want to save the settings, press the Yes button.
Next press the Apply button and then the OK to exit the Internet Properties page
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