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Internet Security – It’s Not Just About Anti-Virus Software

In the last blog, we talked about why it is so important to invest in decent data security software. However, data security software should not be your only source of protection. While Anti-virus software is a vital part of a robust data security plan, there are cultural activities a user must be aware of, and for which a user must take responsibility to ensure their data protection.

Are You Putting Yourself at Risk Visiting Questionable Websites?

Questionable web sites promoting porn, game sites and some peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted music and films, are notorious for the spread of malicious software such as trackers, Trojans, Worms and Viruses. Our advice is to avoid them. If avoiding such web sites is problematic for you, then other precautions need to be taken to ensure protection – such as dedicating a non-networked machine to that pursuit and avoid mixing your business or personal financial data.

Does Express Install Really Save You Time?

When installing certain non-commercial software, an option for Express or Advanced Install is offered. Express Install is a clever ploy that is psychologically designed to trick the user into clicking it, the alternate button is often called Advanced Install, which tricks the user into believing that you need advanced knowledge to go down that path; but you don’t – and if you do go down that path, an attempt will be made to install other things which could interfere or disable parts of your protection set-up and slow-down your PC with constant internet polling. You also leave yourself open to the possible installation of malware whose removal could entail a complete restoration of your operating system and cause the loss of any data/documents which had not previously been backed up.

Are You Vigilant about the Source of External Drives/Thumb Drives?

The rule of thumb is: If you do not trust the source, do not use the disk/flash drive/thumb drive or external hard drive. Even the highest security and protection schemes can not prevent this cultural problem. A few years ago, the US army’s network was compromised and taken down briefly because a user inserted a thumb drive which, unbeknownst, contained a virus. It spread fast and crashed the entire system.

Are You Putting Yourself at Risk by Opening Emails With Embedded Links?

Email/online links and embedded links can be devastating as well. If you do not trust the source, or if the email looks odd, do not click on any of its embedded links. As a precaution for emails from trusted sources, a simple phone call to the sender asking if they included a link can avoid disaster. “Phishing Schemes”, while not a virus, can cause indescribable mental grief, loss of productivity and significant loss of personal resources. They work by imitating a legitimate institution (ie; your bank), and ask you to click a link to reset your password. The link directs your browser to a site which mimics your Bank’s site exactly, and asks for your username and password. Once you enter these, your financial accounts have been compromised and your funds can be depleted. As a safety precaution, always connect with your bank’s web site by manually entering the URL or by using a known and trusted link.

It’s a jungle out there online – with all sorts of dangers lurking, and you need to be protected! If you have any questions or need advice, contact Revolution IT and today and talk to our friendly Help Desk Team.

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