♦ Destructive malware will utilize popular communication tools to spread, including worms sent through email and instant messages, Trojan horses dropped from web sites, and virus-infected files downloaded from peer-to-peer connections. Malware will also seek to exploit existing vulnerabilities on systems making their entry quiet and easy.
♦ Attackers are continually finding new ways to access computer systems. The use of hidden methods such as rootkits and botnets has increased, and you may be a victim without even realizing it.
♦ Bullies are taking advantage of technology to intimidate and harass their victims. Dealing with cyberbullying can be difficult, but there are steps you can take.
♦ Online trading can be an easy, cost-effective way to manage investments. However, online investors are often targets of scams, so take precautions to ensure that you do not become a victim.
♦ Chain letters are familiar to anyone with an email account, whether they are sent by strangers or well-intentioned friends or family members. Try to verify the information before following any instructions or passing the message along.
♦ Malicious code is not always hidden in web page scripts or unusual file formats. Attackers may corrupt types of files that you would recognize and typically consider safe, so you should take precautions when opening files from other people.
♦ Fake antivirus is malicious software (malware) designed to steal information from unsuspecting users by mimicking legitimate security software. It’s important to protect your computer from fake antivirus infection and to be able to recognize when an infection has occurred.
♦ Because of its popularity, the internet has become an ideal target for advertising. As a result, spyware, or adware, has become increasingly prevalent. When troubleshooting problems with your computer, you may discover that the source of the problem is spyware software that has been installed on your machine without your knowledge.
♦ You may have heard of denial-of-service attacks launched against websites, but you can also be a victim of these attacks. Denial-of-service attacks can be difficult to distinguish from common network activity, but there are some indications that an attack is in progress.
♦ Do not give sensitive information to anyone unless you are sure that they are indeed who they claim to be and that they should have access to the information.
♦ Identity theft, or identity fraud, is a crime that can have substantial financial and emotional consequences. Take precautions with personal information; and if you become a victim, act immediately to minimize the damage.
♦ The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.
♦ The main difference between email clients is the user interface. Regardless of which software you decide to use, follow good security practices when reading or sending email.
♦ Digital signatures are a way to verify that an email message is really from the person who supposedly sent it and that it hasn’t been changed.
♦ Although they offer a convenient way to communicate with other people, there are dangers associated with tools that allow real-time communication.
♦ While email attachments are a popular and convenient way to send documents, they are also a common source of viruses. Use caution when opening attachments, even if they appear to have been sent by someone you know.
♦ Although in many situations it may be appropriate to list email recipients in the To: or CC: fields, sometimes using the BCC: field may be the most desirable option.
♦ Spam is a common, and often frustrating, side effect to having an email account. Although you will probably not be able to eliminate it, there are ways to reduce it.
♦ Although free email services are convenient for sending personal correspondence, you should not use them to send messages containing sensitive information.
♦ You’ve heard the news stories about credit card numbers being stolen and email viruses spreading. Maybe you’ve even been a victim yourself. One of the best defenses is understanding the risks, what some of the basic terms mean, and what you can do to protect yourself against them.
♦ Remember that the Internet is a public resource. Avoid putting anything online that you don’t want the public to see or that you may want to retract.
♦ A router comes configured with many vendor default settings. Many of these settings are public knowledge and make your router susceptible to attacks. Remember to change your router default log-in password during your initial setup.
♦ Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
♦ Children present unique security risks when they use a computer—not only do you have to keep them safe, you have to protect the data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats.
♦ Anti-virus software can identify and block many viruses before they can infect your computer. Once you install anti-virus software, it is important to keep it up to date.
♦ When anyone or anything can access your computer at any time, your computer is more susceptible to being attacked. You can restrict outside access to your computer and the information on it with a firewall.