The internet is a powerful tool that gives us access to information we otherwise wouldn’t have. While browsing the internet, it is important to surf the web safely to avoid unwanted malware and viruses. Follow these 10 tips to browse the internet safely!
1. Do not use Internet Explorer.
The easiest way to get infected with malware is to click an ad in IE, you can sometimes get instantly infected just by accidentally clicking the wrong thing and letting a junk page load. Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, both free Internet browsers not fully integrated into Windows and much safer to surf with. Some secure sites require IE, but not many, so use it only when you have to.
2. NEVER download a “FREE” game or program.
Weatherbug, coupons.com, ask.com and other sites would love you to download their so called free programs. Don’t do it. All the above and others, like game sites install other programs in the background when you install the games or programs and send your browsing history to spammers and people who sell where you are going to corporations. If you want to see the weather report go to weather.com, but NEVER download anything that says FREE – CLICK HERE. Play a game on a web site, but never download and install one. Poker.com and bejeweled should never be installed as they come with spyware.
3. Do not open SPAM.
When you get spam email it is usually pretty clear b y the subject. There is no need to open or view the contents of a SPAM email, just delete it. A good rule of thumb is, if you didn’t sign up for something or aren’t expecting the email it is probably junk and can be disregarded. UPS, the IRS or any other government agency is not going to send you an email. Also, Africa does have a prince, but he doesn’t need your financial backing.
4. Do not click ads. ANY ADS.
Ads are bad. Even Google ads can redirect you somewhere you didn’t want to go. Don’t be lazy, if you see an ad, Google search it yourself, but never click links on the right, left top or bottom of a web page. Pay attention to what your web browser is asking you and read all warnings and pop-ups. Sometimes when browsing a site you get a pop-up asking if you really want to do this. Read it before answering Yes. Most infections come from an add-on or program that asks if you want to run it first, so make sure it is from a trusted publisher.
5. Stay off sites you shouldn’t be on at work.
I know this is kinda obvious, but most malware and spyware come from shopping web sites. Using the internet for research is fine, but digging around the internet looking for the best deals on overcoats or the new line of Minolo Blonics or ‘what have you’ should wait for your own computer. Keep to the major sites and stay away from old looking or shady corners of the internet.
6. Don’t install Facebook apps!
You can go on bookface, if you are allowed to that is, but never run any of those apps that need to install to your browser or redirect you back to login to your account again or ‘gain access’ to your account to work as they could hijack your browser and possibly your Facebook and email accounts.
7. Close Pop-ups ASAP!
If a pop-up shows up when browsing to a site, quickly click the RED X at the top right of the pop-up window to close it. You can get infected by clicking the content in the pop-up or by letting it load fully, so close that pop-up as soon as it…pops up! ESPECIALLY if a pop-up comes up and claims you are infected and says it can fix it if you just click here…and enter your credit card number…and your social security number…and your bank pin…..
8. Don’t log into an account from a link in an email or facebook type of page.
Only log in to accounts directly from the site itself.
9. Don’t trust USB flash drives given to you by friends or family or co-workers completely.
If someone gives you a flash drive and their computer is infected and you install the drive you could get infected too! Run a virus scan on the drive letter when it is installed using the Symantec antivirus on your PC or any of the below free programs to scan any outside media.
10. Scan your computer regularly.
If you get infected regularly or think your computer is infected either because of more pop-ups than usual, more spam than usual or if your PC is running slower than usual you can run the following programs:
a. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
b. Super Anti-Spyware: http://www.superantispyware.com/downloadfile.html?productid=SUPERANTISPYWAREFREE
c. Combofix (only if badly infected – see us to run this for you if your Desktop icons disappear or Windows is directly effected)
d. Kaspersy Online Virus Scan: http://usa.kaspersky.com/downloads/free-anti-virus-scan (If you think you were infected with a virus from an email you may have a rootkit or backdoor variant and should do a virus scan – if you don’t have Symantec or are at a non work PC you can use this free online scanner)
e. If one or more of the above keep finding the same thing over and over you may have a process running you have to kill before removing it. If so you may need to run TDSSKiller first, then Malwarebytes before rebooting. TDSSKiller: http://support.kaspersky.com/faq/?qid=208283363
Follow these rules and use common sense to browse the internet and you too can be safe and malware free!