Cyber Security Awareness Month Online Guide

by News Editor on October 9th, 2012 in Security Tips.

Scammers continue to update their old malicious tricks, and develop new ones to get past your defenses. This coming season is no different. Stay safe this Halloween season and beyond with a quick overview of these security advices in honor of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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.

It’s all the more reason to stay alert to these rogue anti-malware programs, even when browsing on legitimate sites. A few quick pointers to avoid rogues: follow the Lavasoft Malware Labs blog for updates on the latest rogue techniques, install a reliable anti-malware solution like Ad-Aware (which finds and detects rogues), and always do your research before buying or installing new software.

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!

Update your Ad-Aware today! Version 10.3 is available to download here.

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.
Even U.S. president Barack Obama said in a speech to the nation’s classrooms this fall, “Be careful what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up later in your life.”

Keep an eye out for scams.

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!

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