Whether you have chosen to accept it or not the world has moved into a new digital era almost everything can now be done online, the internet has made life so much easier and this is something we as a world have taken full advantage of, whether it is chatting on Facebook and other social sites, downloading the latest music, watching TV online, shopping around for the cheapest deals, what ever the case its safe to say the majority of people have used the Internet for one of these reasons.
But like most things in life it can not be always sunshine and rainbows, there is a darker side to the Internet and recently a dear friend of mine felt the effect of this after returning home from a long days honest work, he noticed that he had lost his bank card and me being the chilled out person i am told him to relax and simply ring the bank first thing in the morning to cancel the card, here is where the irony comes in to play, majorly panicking thinking someone may have stolen his card he quickly got on his laptop and logged into his online banking and transferred his money over in to my account for safe keeping,
Few days go by and out of the blue he notices he could no longer access his online banking upon ringing his bank to see the problem he found out there had been an attempt to transfer the sum of £790, luckily enough the attempt failed as the thief was obviously an amateur and forgot about the fail safe, unfortunately there’s literally hundreds of ways to get round this and any Tom, Dick or can do it, but as we do not condone such acts of criminality plus it would just be bad karma this is not something we care to get in more detail about so back to the rest of the article.
It turned out the night he freaked out and transferred his money he actual had some malicious software on his computer which activated when he returned to his bank’s website, this software recorded all his details and everything he typed in the keyboard and then sent it back to who ever the crooks are and this is how they gained access to his account, my friend was extremely lucky this time unlike other victims of this i know but had he paid attention to his online safety this could of all been avoided.
So back to the original point of this article……
Just like real life the Internet has its fair share of bad apples, so it is vital that you secure your computer the best you can, i know many people simply cannot afford 1 more outgoing expense but for me the average year subscription cost of £40 is more than worth it for the peace of mind i get by having Norton’s Internet Security installed on my computers. but if you really can’t afford this there is no excuse for not trying one of the free alternatives ( listed below)
The majority of all cyber crime would be some form of phishing scam and do not kid yourself this industry is making millions if not billions of pounds a year from unsuspecting victims, some of the common ways these crooks get you information is by adding malicious code to torrents, programs, scripts and other downloads, some of these files will even automatically download an install on your computer without you knowing just because you have clicked a link and ended up on a dodgy website. Another way which some of you may have already experienced is the extremely annoying phishing emails, i may self have found one of my email address’ being sold on the market and now have hundreds of emails every month saying things like, you have won 10 million Ugandan dollars blah blah or I’ve been trying to contact you in regards to your inheritance etc.
The problem with these emails is that once your address has been added to a phishers list it gets sold to other phishers and so on, these guys set up so many email address’ it doesn’t matter how many times you block them you will continue to get the emails – the only thing you can do is delete the email address which in some cases is not really an option. you will tend to find if you use an email client such as Microsoft Outlook or even the free equivalent Mozilla Thunder Bird a little icon will come up next to the email letting you know the same email has been sent to thousands of other users so its more than likely spam.
I could go on and on with this article but id rather not, so here are some simple tips to help you stay safe online,
- Have more than one email address
- Run all your email address through an email client
- Search for security add ons for your browser
- Be careful what you share online
- Back-Up your computer Monthly
- Check the SSL certificate before making payments to any new websites
- Install some overall security such as Norton, VIPRE or Titanium - Find whats best for you!
- Finally do some research on what type of defence you computers need!
Anyways that’s it for this post but remember to share the link and follow us on Facebook and before i forget AVG - is the only free internet security i would recommend using but remember it is only basic protection which i guess is better than nothing so check it out you will also find the avg website offer a variety of other free software which may be of interest to you guys so let me know what you think…