Security has always been one of the top concerns for us no matter if we’re talking about viruses, malware, Trojan horses, credit card fraud or hack attacks. They’re all dangerous and capable of causing important damages or financial losses, so it’s extremely important to apply the most powerful security measures as soon as possible. Christmas is not only that time of the year when you finally get the chance to spend some time with family and friends, but it’s also one of the busiest periods when it comes to computer security. Although we’re all expecting Santa and his nice gifts, don’t be too surprised if you get only Viagra, watches and drugs as spam messages have always been so generous.
So, I believe we all understood that Christmas can easily turn into a dangerous threat for every vulnerable computer out there. Now, what can we do in order to be sure that Christmas remains the same friendly and calm period of the year? Here are the simplest but extremely important tips that may help you avoid a disaster before the end of the year:
- Do NOT download email attachments unless you have an updated antivirus application to scan the files before they are executed. It has been proved several times that attackers attempt to exploit vulnerable systems by attaching infected Christmas greetings, e-cards or other files, to email messages.
- Do NOT open the email messages coming from untrusted or unknown sources. Spammers are always out there, sending millions of unsolicited messages to inboxes from all over the world, so all these emails should be ignored as soon as they reach the inbox. Recent studies have revealed that nearly 90 percent of the total email traffic is SPAM!
- Do NOT click on the links included in email messages unless you’re sure they’re secure. Phishers and hackers attempt to lure people on malicious websites by sending them attractive Christmas offerings and products by email. Once you load such a webpage, it asks for your credentials which could be then used for credit card fraud or identity theft.
- Do NOT download files from untrusted websites. In the recent few weeks, a shocking avalanche of infected websites indexed on the main search engines has been spotted by many of us so just try to avoid pages that may look suspect or dangerous.
- For those of you using instant messaging applications: do NOT click on links sent by unknown contacts and do NOT receive the files they send. An important part of the online scams are conducted through instant messengers as attackers attempt to lure users on malicious pages and steal their login credentials.
- The members of social networking services must be extremely careful when they communicate with new users. Do NOT accept files or click on links provided by unknown people as the recent months came with several exploits conducted through MySpace, Facebook and other similar technologies.
- Buy products ONLY from trusted online shops (although buying stuff on Christmas may be pretty uncanny).
- UPDATE your antivirus and other security tools and apply the latest security patches.
That being said, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and weak computer security scams (because not being attacked on the web is almost a myth)!