Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The Season of Spam*

The Internet Is Not Disneyland

Folks, we are now in the time of year (and will be through New Years) of heightened cybercriminal activity. Phishing e-mails and other fraudulent ruses will be mass-distributed online in an even greater effort to obtain your money/credit card number/personal information. The Internet is not Disneyland. Most knowledgeable people refer to it as the “wild, wild, West”, (a reference to sheer lawlessness) but I like a different analogy better.. think of it as going into the Big City, and going down to the docks/warehouse district, alone, and at night.
You can do it, but you best be careful.

What you can do to have some protection:

1: please read Top 10 things you should do to your computer. It is a checklist, and provides you with the How To’s for a (more) protected_computersecure computer, as well as providing links to important (free) security downloads.
2: enable an anti-phishing filter, which can help alert you to poisoned websites before you go there. All modern browsers have a filter built in, and all you have to do is turn it on. Or you can add an anti-phishing toolbar/plug-in such as Link Scanner Lite, McAfee’s Site Advisor and/or – the excellent WOT.
3: make sure ALL the programs on your computer are patched and up-to-date. The easiest and most effective way to do this (IMHO) is to download and install the PSI (Personal Software Inspector) from Secunia.
4: Never respond to e-mails asking for personal information. Legitimate businesses never contact you about “important issues” via e-mail. But criminals love to go phishing!
5: Be PARANOID on the Internet. (Use common sense) Think someone can’t trace back to you? Guess again; your browser reveals a wealth of information by default.
Sound too good to be true? It is. There’s no such thing as a “free iPod”… and, no, you did not win the Irish Lottery.
Is looking at sexually explicit material simply irresistible? Go to one of those video rental shops that has a back room instead of clicking links and images.

A malware infection can cost you all your data and/or several hundred dollars in cleanup.. and/or many hours of your time..

[note: almost all of these things referred to above are “set it, then forget it” simple. You do not have to be an über-geek, or devote hours, to implement them. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!]

Today’s free link: What’s On My PC… FREE Layers of Protection!

Today’s free download: K9 Web Protection is a  free Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids.

* Orig post: 2/4/09

November 13, 2009 - Posted by | computers, cyber crime, Internet, Internet scam

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