Protecting a Computer from External Threats

Protecting a Computer from External Threats
As everyone is should be well aware of there are numerous threats that loom over a computer that can bring data loss, identity theft or monetary loss. In order to protect oneself from these threats computer users have installed various software packages to help thwart the attackers. These software packages include virus detection, intrusion detection, spyware removal and blocking software. For the most part, along with smart computing, these software packages have helped protect the user from many attacks - until now.

As the detection and software becomes smarter so do the hackers that are trying to steal your data or disable your computer. They will find ways to work around the scanners and detectors in order to install their malicious software or viruses. The most common way around to make the user either comfortable and safe at which point they will install the software themselves or they scare the user into paying for software by masking as a virus or virus removal software.

Below are some tips and tricks on how to protect your computer from these threats.

Read everything! When malicious software prompts the user about installing the software the text is often written that OK means Cancel and Cancel means OK. Most people don’t want the software installed and quickly click on Cancel which will install the software instead of exiting. Another safe method for exiting the install is use the X in the upper right corner of the installation window.

Again - read everything! There is one type of malicious software that appears as you are surfing the Internet that states you have a virus on your system. The people that create this software make it look very believable is if it is your own software warning you that you are infected. The truth is that you don’t have a virus and if you panic and install the software it can do the following:

  • Disable your real virus software.

  • Prevent you from running your control panel (for removal).

  • Interrupt your surfing - every so many pages loaded the software will pop back up to say you are infected.

  • Cause major headaches trying to remove.

In addition, many of these scams will pretend to perform the scan, state you have a virus and then want you to buy the software in order to remove the infections. Be very wary of any software asking you to pay for their software before cleaning the system.

Lastly, and the most neglected preventive measure, is to keep your virus scanning software up-to-date. I have heard many excuses for not keeping software up-to-date but all it takes is one infection to realize there is no excuse. It costs more to remove the virus in time and aggravation than the yearly subscription cost of maintaining the software.

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