- 7th April, 2017 : 20:03
- Jon Eastwood
- 0 Comments
Millions of UK Internet users are putting themselves at risk of attack from Internet criminals because they don't understand threats to their computer or the ways to protect against them.
They have also found that 83% of the UK's population don't know enough about protecting themselves online. In fact 42% of the population just rely on friends and family for online safety advice rather than finding expert information for themselves.
Computer viruses are small, malicious computer programs that try to infect computers, spreading from one machine to the next. They can spread in a variety of ways:
As attachments to emails. An infected computer can send out tens of thousands of emails, each carrying the virus. Often it will use your email address book to find new people to attack.
By pretending to be something they're not (a 'trojan'). For example, a file that looks like it contains a picture of a celebrity.
As downloads on malicious websites. In some cases, just visiting the site can download the virus. In other cases, they can be hidden inside seemingly-innocent programs that you download from the net. Spyware can be unintentionally installed on your computer from the Internet. It can gather information from a computer without permission inlcuding: email addresses, key strokes, passwords, credit card numbers and other general private information. In addition, it can use your computer's processing capacity and deliver spam without your notice or consent.
Hidden inside documents ('macro viruses')
Directly over the internet from one computer to another (a 'worm'). Once infected, a computer will scan the internet looking for computers that are vulnerable to attack and send them a copy of itself.
What security measures do you have in place?
Many believe that having anti-virus software is enough. This is a common misconception. Viruses aren't the only threat to your computer so this is a bit like locking the front door when you leave the house, but leaving the key ON the mat! Viruses don't just come from emails. Your computer could be infected in a number of different ways. Because of the variety of methods used to spread viruses, you need different defenses for complete protection.
Our top tips to stay safe online
- Install anti-virus software - There are many reputable companies providing good anti-virus software, for example: Symantec and McAfee.
- Install a firewall - This will protect you against hackers and some viruses and spyware.
- Upgrade your operating system - The newest versions are generally the safest.
- Get operating system updates - Install the latest patches to update your computer.
- Run anti-spyware software - Anti-virus and firewalls don't protect your computer from everything. Most anti-spyware software solutions will search your computer and will destroy spyware programs.
- Run spam software - This will reduce the number of junk emails most often associated with viruses.
General computer safety
Don't enter personal or financial information unless the web address starts with 'https://' and there is a small padlock in the frame of the web browser window. Do not open suspicious looking email attachments.
Make regular back ups. Update your subscriptions to anti-virus software and don't install software from an untrustworthy source.
If you think this all sounds like too much hard work or you don't know where to start, contact Spiral Sites today to discuss how we can help you protect your business.