Monday, January 5, 2009

Common Risks

Assuming Your Security Software Is Protecting You

Security software is fully effective only when activated, frequently updated and used appropriately.

Accessing a Financial Account through an Email Link
No matter how official an e-mail message looks, trying to access a financial account by clicking on a Web link in an email is always risky.

Using a Single Password for All Online Accounts
A recent survey showed that nine percent of home Internet users designate a single password for all their financial accounts. That practice lets someone who gets your password and steals your identity easily access all your accounts.
Please see Avoid or Mitigate Risks for my comment on this recommendation.

Downloading Free Software
You couldn't resist that neat, “free program”. Now your computer runs slower than ever.

Downloading Music From P2P networks
Peer To Peer (P2P, computer to computer) networks can be another major source of virus infections. You may think a given service is "safe" because you pay for a membership - or your teenager tells you so. There is overwhelming evidence that this is not true!
This all is independent of the fact that such downloads are illegal.

Clicking on a Pop-up Ad That Says Your PC Is Insecure
Fifteen percent of respondents to above mentioned recent survey who saw pop-up ads clicked on them. That is ALWAYS a very bad idea. Even if you know such pop-ups are phonies, they're still dangerous. It's easy to click inside the ad by mistake; instead close them by hitting Alt-F4.

Shopping Online the Same Way You Do in Stores
Online shopping requires special precautions because the risks are different than in a walk-in store: You can't always be sure who you're doing business with. You must disclose more personal information, such as your address, to the online retailer.
Research the online retailers reputation before you buy the first time from them!

Thinking Your Apple Mac Shields You from All Risks
Mac users fall prey to phishing scams at about the same rate as Windows users, yet far fewer of them protect themselves with an anti-phishing tool. To make matters worse, the browser of choice for most Mac users, Apple's Safari, has no phishing protection built-in.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog.

Thank you in advance.

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