Under the Web

Some interesting things in life and internet

How to effectively guard against malware

Posted by Jackie R. on December 21, 2006

Being much involved in the internet marketing business myself, I know the chances of being infected with some of the malware are rather high. This is especially so for someone who gets complacent because such mishaps have never happened before, thinking such stuff will never happen because I have the latest anti-virus software. Remember, a single moment of carelessness is enough to haunt you for a long time, and very often, just having anti-virus software is not enough to protect you.

Nowadays, site admins or webmasters can easily program some codes into their websites and when you visit these websites, your computer may be infected unknowingly with malware. Or someone sends spams to your POP mail box and you download those spams to your computer and unknowingly launch some programs that come with it. These are usually spyware, trojans or keyloggers. Also you don’t want your computer to be part of the zombie network that launches DDOS attacks on other websites. This problem is more acute if you are heavily involved in autosurfs, HYIPs or traffic exchanges because you need to surf or click many stranger sites everyday in your routine. Also HYIP arena is a place full of sleazy thieves who are very capable of stealing money right under your noses. Everyday there are reports of people being stolen of E-Golds and such thing happened to me before too. It’s scary, isn’t it? So how to prevent such things from happening?

1. Throw away your Windows operating systems
Due to the prevalence of Windows operating systems, in fact I think more than 80% of world use Windows, thieves prefer to design malware specially for such big group of users. Call it economy of greater returns, a viral effect could spread out in very short time to harm millions of computers world-wide. In fact, switch to alternatives like Linux operating systems whose architecture is built not to propagate malware even if it were hit and also chances of being hit are extremely low. An excellent Linux distro to recommend is Ubuntu.

2. Throw away Internet Explorer.
If you prefer to stick to Windows, at least do yourself a favour by using alternative browsers like Firefox or Opera and for mail client, switch to something like Thunderbird. For Firefox, you may want to install No-Script add-on for added security.

3. Install a good firewall software
Firewalls are programs that constantly monitor your internet’s inbound and outbound traffics. It can warn you in the event your computer’s malware attempt to connect to the outside thus letting you have idea of what programs are using your connections. It can block unknown outside traffic packets from reaching your computers too.

4. Use a real time Malware scanner
Having an anti-virus protecting you real time is no longer enough because anti-virus software is not able to guard you against spyware, trojans or worms. Often it is this category of malware that harm you the most so you got to install a real time malware scanner. Currently I am using an excellent real time malware scanner called a-square anti-malware from Emsisoft for more than 1 year and I really find it a great choice to recommend it to all.

5. Use Gmail as your online email
Face it, your Yahoo or hotmail email accounts are not as secure as Gmail so it is good that you switch to Gmail for some of the more confidential online accounts you have. Also a good practice is to delete all the welcome emails from the sites that you are members because these emails usually contain your login passwords which can be tampered with if there’s an unlawful access.

6. Use complicated passwords
Use password generators to generate complex passwords for you. Most importantly, do you use a same password for all the sites you registered with. Use different and complex passwords for each of your accounts. You can use an excellent password manager like Roboform to manager and generate complex passwords for you.

Those are the few main points to have a safe online experience. Remember, online security is a must now.

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