Distrust and caution are the parents of security.
I was just browsing the interwebs, as I am want to do, and I came across a few interesting articles about consumer safety online. I thought I’d summarise the advice:
- Do NOT click on things you don’t understand
- Do NOT install things unless you’re really sure
- Update your computer daily*
- Update your AV daily
Ooooh a new Christmas PC!
I’ve never got a new PC at Christmas, sadly, but I would strongly recommend you doing a few things the instant you get it. Install a good AV, I’d recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, not because I work for Microsoft** but because it’s the same technology sitting behind it as the enterprise grade Forefront Endpoint Protection has. (FEP is a world-class security product that you get at home for free)
Turn on Windows Update, it’s really easy. Start > Windows Update > On. Done.
Then run it, the computer you’ve bought is probably 3 months or so out of date because of the way supply chain works. It will take you a little while to finish it but definitely worth getting this sorted before putting your new games etc on.
Microsoft have designed their approach to antivirus to use all resources available, when an exploit is found that can attack a business it is fixed. That same fix is shared with consumers; everyone benefits.
There are some great videos at the Get Safe Online website, here, that can walk you through how you can keep your machine safe while using it online.
The only reason that people will try to attack you or your machine is for money. Whether it is to extort you into buying some fake antivirus software that you suddenly discover has just expired or to use your machine as part of a massive distributed computer to attack someone is, to be honest, irrelevant as the reason always stays the same.
- Andrea Simmons — Get Safe Online 2011
- Stuart Aston — Tell a friend…
- Social Media Security — Great advice on how you should lock down your Facebook settings
*Yes its annoying, yes you do have to reboot sometimes but it is a lot less annoying than rebuilding your machine!
**Though that does help