6 Common Myths About Web Safety – Part 2

internet safety securityWelcome to Part 2 in this series.  Computer Viruses, Malware, Trojans, and other internet threats (commonly referred to as “Malware”) are rampant today, so I wrote his series to shed light on the subject and help dispel the most common myths.

Of course, we’re here to provide virus & malware removal services, should your PC or laptop get infected.

Myth #3: Only Naive Users get Malware and Viruses

Malware from “Drive-By Downloads” happens automatically without any user action, other than visiting the site. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what level of computer expertise you have.  If you are visiting sites on the internet, you are at risk.  Even if you’re web savvy and know some of the tactics they use, you don’t know which one they’re using at the time, or on what sites they’re using them.  Of course, you would also be savvy enough to have good Antivirus & other security software on your system.

Myth #4: You Can only Get Infected if you Download Files

Again, most malware infections now occur through  “Drive-By Downloads”.  This is not a download you initiate, but rather one that happens behind the scenes without your doing anything.

Hackers inject the malicious code into the actual web page content, which then downloads and executes automatically within the browser as a by-product of simply viewing the web page.  Hackers exploit known weaknesses (or security “holes”) in the browser, operating system or plug-ins to infect the computer and download more malware.

Myth #5: Firefox and Chrome Browsers are More Secure than Internet Explorer

This was true for Internet Explorer’s older versions (earlier that IE8), but not any more.  Today, all current version browsers are equally at risk because they all are essentially “container environments” used to run other programming platforms (languages).

The most common is the JavaScript programming language, which is used by malware authors to initiate an attack.  They also use common browser plug-ins such as Adobe Reader and Flash Player, which run on all browsers.

The more popular browsers (Internet Explorer) get more publicity about unpatched security holes, but it’s the unpublicized issues you should be most concerned about.  The fact is, there is no safe browser.  Again, use good security software.  You can read about and download our recommended Computer Virus Removal (antivirus and security software) on our website.

Myth #6: When the Lock Icon Appears in the Browser, it’s Secure

The padlock icon that appears at the bottom of your browser window indicates that the site is secured.  This means it’s using what’s called an “SSL” (encrypted) connection between your computer and the website to protect your personal information, like account numbers, etc.

If you go to a secure site, like your bank directly, via your favorites/bookmarks, or typed in the address yourself, you’re probably okay, so don’t worry.  If you got there by clicking a link in an email message, or somewhere else, you may not be.

Hackers can make fake websites that look just like the real thing, and use fake (“spoofed”) SSL coding, so if you go to the site, you’ll see the little lock icon and think the site is legitimate and secure when it’s really not.

These are called “Phishing” scams.  They usually come from emails, supposedly from a trusted site, asking you to verify your personal information.  They may say something scary, like “your account has been compromised, and needs to be re-verified”, etc.

Real banks never send such emails, so never respond to them.  If you’re still worried, call your bank and ask them if there really is an issue with your account.  The word here is Vigilance!

About Steve Frantzis

Steve Frantzis is the Owner of Saguaro PC Tech, LLC, a computer repair shop in Tucson. If you have any questions or need help with your laptop, desktop, Mac, or mobile device, please call Us at (520) 250-5948.

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