3 Ways to Get Trapped by Malware

Surviving a day of computing is tougher than a chinchilla trying to live in Central Park. The bad guys sets traps at every crossing and your email and Internet are their favorite paths. Don’t for a minute, think you are safe without first taking a close look at what you click. Today more than ever before, you should be wary of everything you encounter. The figures vary depending on who you’re quoting but I’m comfortable with sayng that at this moment 50% of the computers in the US are infected with some form of malware.Save your skin. Look before you click.

1.)E Mail

Did you get an unusual e mail today from your Cable company or perhaps your utility company? The key here is unusual. Thieves are especially adept at making their messages look just like the real ones. Official company logos are available everywhere and are ripe for the picking. Beware of anything that asks for personal information. If you aren’t expecting it, don’t open it. Never click an embedded link in an unsolicited email. If you do, you will surely become infected.

2.)Looking For Trouble

You’ve been searching the Internet for information on how to make your own Home Brew and finally find a video that looks promising. You open the clip and instead of the video playing you are told that your media player can’t open the video. You will need to download the right codec and BINGO!! You’re trapped before you even know what a codec is.

Immediately the Trojans are installed and there’s no turning back. You’ll see a change in your home page, offers of a malware scanner to remove the threat, and don’t forget the pop ups. Anytime you get an error that the site won’t open without additional software or codecs, STOP, X OUT and don’t return. Most people don’t realize that they are the ones installing infections on their own computers. Web pages are not what they seem. Anytime you click OK you are giving permission for something to happen. Know what that something is.

There are plenty of sites harboring infections not the least of which are Blogs, computer sites, and porn sites. Searching for and playing adult videos is not the most dangerous activity you can engage in but it’s certainly in the Top 10. Worst of all, if you’re infected from a porn site your monitor will be displaying some very embarrassing pics for all the world to see. Don’t forget the very disturbing pop ups. Hopefully it won’t send them to your contacts list.

Scan your system with your most trusted antivirus and after you remove the malware you also need to remove the cached pics that are stored within the depths of your system. Run your antivirus while in SafeMode With Networking to be sure you get every trace.

3.)Traveling the Same Trail

Don’t Mix it up a little. It’s very easy to use the same password for everything. Makes life easier doesn’t it? It makes life easier for the trappers too. Vary the password used for every site. Why would you use the same password for FaceBook that you use for your Internet Banking? Also be sure to use different emails for different tasks. If I’m looking for new personal software I shouldn’t be using my company email. If I’m searching for used cars or sports bars why would I use the same email that I use for work or important correspondence? Why make my company information vulnerable during risky personal actions? I wouldn’t. Take a different path to avoid being caught by shrewd trappers. Use multiple email, multiple passwords, and vary your habits a little. Oh, and while you’re at it, please, please, please do not tell everyone on FaceBook or Twitter that you are away from home and where you’re staying. It’s like saying “Hey come steal my car this weekend”. “I’m going to be gone.” Mix it up and cover your tracks.

Let me know what you do and what programs you use to cover your tracks. It’s easy to loose your skin out there.

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8 thoughts on “3 Ways to Get Trapped by Malware

  1. Thanks Donald, good advice for everyone. I have owned so many computers and have had so many viruses over the years it should be a surprise now for me to make any mistakes, but they still happen. Right now I have 2 computers, each with 2+ separate OS's; Win-7 for everyday use, XP-64 for engineering programs, and XP-32 for those old games I never seem to tire of. I do regular backups and run scans constantly. All of this was learned the hard way – not just hours or days, but weeks of frustration. Also, since I don't like HDD failures, all five of my OS's between the two computers each have thier own SSD's.

  2. I get at least one email every day from sources who want to give me money from dead relatives, kings, politicians and such. I have blocked everyone of them but next day they come from different email addresses.

  3. I recommend that people keep no less then 5 separate e-mail accounts.
    1) Personal – just friends and family.
    2) Commercial – for buying stuff.
    3) Financial – anything connected to your money.
    4) Junk mail – for getting newsletters and notifications.
    5) Blogs and comments.

    You need to be prepared to lose #4 & #5. This is no guarantee, but it is easier to ignore spam when you know that you don't use that e-mail address with that company. My commercial e-mail address was stolen from one of my companies and now I get spammed.

    You need a password storage program like KeePass or Password Safe. Lastpass is good, if you trust them to keep your info safe. I do.

  4. Use “DoNotTrack+ software in your browser to stop social networks and ad tracking from tracking what sites you visit.

  5. EVERY time I get a(n obvious) phishing email, I expand the entire header and if necessary, copy it into the email and forward it to the security site of the organization that the phishbait pretends to come from, e.g: spoof@paypal.com. Most sites olike that have a SECURITY or WHAT TO DO site, and provide their security email address. Usually, you receive back a boilerplate thank you reply, but it has to be doing some good (I hope!).

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