How Effective Is Anti-Theft Technology for Your PC
Scams, viruses, identity theft, they all have a purpose. That purpose is to steal information, corrupt your files and open the door for cyber criminals to drain your bank accounts and steal your identity. We all want to feel safe when we are online. With so many aspects of our life that now demand we use the internet to function in today’s society, there are ways to protect your personal life. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure you are keeping your PC (and your family) safe from cyber-attacks.
Your Inbox is Your First Line of Defense
Cyber criminals love to target email addresses. They are fairly easy to get. Once they have your email address they are able to disguise their attacks using a method called phishing. These emails will mimic other sites that you are probably familiar with, such as social media sites or banks.
They will ask for you to confirm your personal information. Sometimes they will offer to send you something in return such as a gift card or entry in a sweepstakes they are giving away to their ‘loyal customers’. But the only thing you will be receiving is a virus or bot that will communicate back to the host your private information.
These are not too difficult to spot if you pay a little extra attention to the details. One telltale sign the email is a phishing site is the URL will be misspelled. It will either have an extra letter suck in the name or a tiny period at the end. Another dead giveaway is the handy icon to the left of the URL in your browser bar. It should contain a small green lock to indicate the site has been validated as legit.
The best practice to protect yourself and your PC is to not open any emails you do not recognize as coming from trusted sources. Immediately delete them. If you accidentally open one, it isn’t going to make your PC sick. It is the links inside the emails you want to run as far away from as possible. If you happen to accidentally get sucked in and click on one of those links, close it and keep your security and antivirus software active.
Don’t Fall For Fake Updates or Warnings
These can actually be pretty convincing. Some will even pop-up with an error code and tell you they found hundreds of problems on your PC that need immediate attention. For your convenience, they will have a handy button that will even flash saying “fix now”. This promise to fix all your PC problems is nothing more than an illusion. As soon as you click on the button, you have given permission to the malware to operate on your device.
You may have seen a pop-up before while browsing the internet. It will even have an icon so similar to your browser’s icon that it can be hard to tell that this is a scam. It will ask you to update your settings because of a new security update on their end. It will claim in order for the new settings to take effect, you need to download the current version. Do not click anything. Even by clicking the decline button, you can inadvertently authorize the attacker to begin running code on your hard drive. The best course of action is to move your mouse up to the top of your browser and close the tab all together.
Taking a Proactive Approach
Keeping your PC safe from online hackers and cyber thieves is not all defensive. You can take a proactive approach by running anti-virus software regularly and maintaining an active malware removal program. Some resources such as a Windows firewall come with your Windows software and act as a filter to prevent direct hacking attempts or malicious programs from accessing your PC through your network. You can set notifications to alert you when your firewall has blocked a new application.
When it comes to taking preventative steps against malware, it is a good idea to run a malware removal program routinely. There are millions of types of malware on the web today. Even pop up advertisements can implant tracking devices and in some cases keystroke tracking programs. These keystroke tracking programs will send information back to cyber criminals who will then decipher your passwords. Anti-malware programs runs in the background to filter out these threats to minimize your risk of viruses, worms, bots and tracking programs.
Without a proactive approach, you are not effectively protecting your PC or your personal information. Despite all of the cyber threats from today’s technological advancements, the internet can still be a safe place if you know what to watch out for and have proper protective programs. Do you feel safe on your computer?
This guest article was written by Peter Davidson, a senior business associate who strives to help different brands and startups to make business decisions and strategies efficiently. He loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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