Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Safe browsing habits

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The internet is full of viruses, trojans and malicious programs called malwares. Unless you take precautions from viruses and worms before connecting to the Internet, sooner or later your PC will get infected with these. I have seen computers with massive infection due to lack of proper security softwares and mainly due to lack of knowledge of the owners. Everybody likes to and wants to browse the Internet but such bad experiences often mars the joy of Internet surfing. The aim of this article is to provide you with some tips and teach you how to keep yourself and your computer safe on the Internet.


1. The first thing you will need to do is update Windows. You can either turn on Automatic Updates or manually update Windows using Autopatcher. An anti virus software and a firewall are the next most important protection you will require. I assume you already have it installed and is up to date.

2. The second most important thing is the browser. If you are using Internet Explorer 6 then I advise you to dump that and install either Opera or Firefox. Almost all worms and viruses are targeted towards Internet Explorer since it is the most used browser. If you keep yourself away from IE, you will automatically reduce your chances of getting infected. If you are used to the looks of IE and want to stick with it, (which I don’t recommend), at least upgrade to IE version 7.

3. Never click on pop-ups. Pop-ups are an aggressive form of advertising and might contain viruses and worms. Do not believe if it says you are the lucky user and that you have won $1000. Always close the pop-up window by clicking on the X button of the window. It’s better to use a pop-up blocker to block such irritations. Opera and IE7 comes with a pop-up blocker by default. For Firefox you can use the AdBlock extension.

4. Never open emails from persons you don’t know. Never download attachment from unknown people. Even if you know the person, always scan the file with an anti-virus program before opening. Most viruses/worms spread through email. It infects one computer then mails itself to other email ids stored in the address book of the infected computer. If your email id is stored in your friends PC and his PC gets a worm, then the worm will be automatically mailed to you from your friends PC.

5. If possible refrain from using an email client, for the same reason mentioned above. Email clients download all emails and attachment without asking you which is quite dangerous. Though every email client has spam filters, but spammers know how to bypass these. You shouldn’t take a chance. Instead of email client you can use a program called ePrompter which alerts you whenever you have a new mail in your inbox, without downloading or opening the mail. After you receive the alert, you can login to your email account through your browser to read the mails. This is a much safer approach.

6. Do not give away your personal email address to websites that requiure registration or on forums. Dropping your email address all over the net will attract more spam to your inbox. Register a separate email ID for just such purposes.

7. Be exactly sure what you download from the internet. Download from trusted sources and always scan your downloads with anti-virus programs. Similarly, know what you are installing on your computer. Most malwares come attached with other programs and get installed without your knowledge. Read the dialog boxes and warnings carefully before clicking on Yes or No. If you suspect anything, do a search on Google for the program.

8. Another way by which viruses spread is thorugh peer-to-peer network. Bittorrent, Limewire, Bearshare etc are programs through which viruses can spread easily. Again, always make sure that you know what you are downloading.

If you follow these steps, I can assure you that you can remain pretty safe even if you browse potentially harmful sites. So be alert, stay safe.

2 comments:

  1. Run "Damn small linux" or "Puppy linux" live cd's if you dont want to leave a trace of our browsing history on pc.
    They are 50mb distros,which can be loaded into RAM/MEMORY.
    "SEAMONKEY"-the browser I prefer is an better alternative with an e-mail client.

    Even safer is to use "Lynx" the text browser..but for the geeks and those who love to get their hands dirty(count me in)

    eprompter is really a good tool-thanks you mentioned it.I should get it on my blog too.I used and very much impressed with it performance.

    For e-mail use GISHPUPPY..
    http://www.gishpuppy.com/
    fine more info at the above link

    regards,

    ReplyDelete
  2. *ps sorry for the typos
    I used it and very much.....
    *find more info at

    ReplyDelete

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