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Lavasoft Supports Cyber Security Awareness Month with Essential Safety Tips
(October 23, 2009)
Well-known anti-spyware pioneer Lavasoft today announced its continued support for Cyber Security Awareness month by offering five essentials for consumers to stay secure online this season. National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their computers.
Lavasoft offers a free version of its anti-malware software – Ad-Aware Free Anti-Malware – in order to provide consumers around the world, regardless of economic status or geographic location, with online protection and the power to control their individual privacy and security.
Lavasoft offers the following five essentials for consumers to stay secure online this fall:
1. Shore up your online defense.
Know that malicious threats will be coming in from a variety of angles – websites, e-mail, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, included. Preparing your PC with anti-virus, anti-spyware and a firewall (and making sure the software is always up-to-date) is critical in keeping safe. But, even with the best protection, you need to stay aware and cautious of the threats you may encounter online. Be suspicious when browsing the Web, clicking links, and responding to messages on networking sites and in email. Always think before you click!
2. Don’t let ‘scareware’ frighten you into giving up your cash.
When it comes to security software, thanks to the persistence of scammers, it’s getting harder and harder to tell rogue software (also known as “scareware”) from the real thing, especially with the use of sneaky social engineering tactics. For example, in September, an “authorized advertisement” was spotted causing problems on the New York Times website, issuing pop-ups, warning users of a non-existent virus infection, and prompting them to download rogue security software. It’s all the more reason to stay alert to these rogue anti-malware programs, even when browsing on legitimate sites.
3. Talk to your kids about online security and privacy.
Back in the swing of the school season, children of all ages are now using PCs more than ever to socialize, learn and play games. While you may already teach your kids about the importance of being safe online, make sure they know that it’s not just about clicking the wrong link or downloading the wrong file. Have conversations and set boundaries for how much private information is okay to give out or make available online. Stress the fact that what’s on the Web, including what they post to blogs and social networking sites, is permanent.
4. Keep an eye out for scams taking advantage of the down economy.
Cyber criminals, just like their counterparts in the real world, have been seen taking advantage of global economic confusion and fears to profit from the unwitting, using techniques aimed at the unemployed and those trying to make or save extra money. Online traps being set have included bogus or misleading job ads and offers, and ploys targeting banks, financial institutions and money lenders. Remember, the old adage applies online: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
5. Get your news from a reliable source.
Playing off of breaking news and events continues to be a popular way for online scammers to locate their next victim. In September, malware writers piggybacked on news of the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy to setup websites pushing rogue security software, and used search engine manipulation techniques to boost the scope of the scams. Another similar case occurred with the recent death of actor Patrick Swayze; industry experts began to see the news being exploited online, only hours after the first legitimate reports came in. Scammers swiftly created fake news reports serving malware, attempting to con users searching for more news on Swayze’s death. Be aware that you may stumble across these types of misleading and opportunistic “news reports” simply through a search for a hot topic in your favorite search engine. To avoid the scams, get your news directly from a trusted online source.
“October and National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the United States may be coming to an end, but the online scam season is just beginning. As we approach the holiday shopping season, computer users around the world need to be especially vigilant about avoiding scams. They can do this by protecting their PC’s with security software and staying aware of the latest online threats,” says Lavasoft CEO Jason King.
“We – home users, businesses, and educators included – can each do our part to fight cyber crime by carrying on this spirit of National Cyber Security Awareness month into the coming months,” King says.
More information on Lavasoft’s security solutions as well as online protection tips can be found on the Lavasoft website at www.lavasoft.com.
More information about Cyber Security Awareness Month is available on the StaySafeOnline.org website.