Author Topic: Staying safe online  (Read 3768 times)

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Offline Anne

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Staying safe online
« on: August 10, 2006, 10:27:52 PM »
Staying safe online isn't just about running one program or another to protect you, it's also practising what we call "safe hex", which really means learning about threats and how to recognise how your PC is vulnerable to them. Making sure you apply security patches for your computer as soon as they are released rather than 3 months later, and running up to date firewall and anti malware programs to stop nasties getting in, and catching and cleaning them if they do sneak past your first lines of defences.

Security online is something we describe as a layered process...

  • The first layer in it is YOU, the person sitting at the keyboard. All the software in the world won't keep you totally safe if you open unexpected attachments or visit dodgy website links.
  • After you comes the firewall to stop hackers getting in and even more important, stopping unauthorised data (e.g. your bank details, passwords, etc.) being sent out by trojans that you may get on your PC.
  • Then there's the anti virus and anti trojan programs, most of which will monitor in real time all the files you access on your PC or online and both warn you of threats in them and/or prevent access to the infected file/s and clean the infection out.
  • Anti spyware, anti adware, and plugins like SiteAdvisor form the lowest layer of your defence system and help keep your free of all the rubbish that you can accumulate simply by surfing the net and which can cause your PC to slow down or become unstable.

With a little thought and planning and a modest ?/$ outlay you can stay fairly safe online. The alternative can be disastrous... we've seen hard drives destroyed by computer viruses with the total loss of the data on it (and no backup of course), or files that are so badly compromised that it takes a lot of hours in data recovery time to try and rescue that damaged data. Or even more worrying, one recent case where someone lost over ?20,000 from their bank account by clicking on a link in a phishing e-mail and entering their banking details into the link. Sadly, it's only when it's too late that one realises how important the lost/damaged/compromised data actually was, or when your bank account is suddenly empty that you find out you're a victim of fraud.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 08:46:38 PM by Anne »
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