The Most Common Mistakes People Make with Malware
The need for antivirus and anti-spyware software would be eliminated if everyone in the digital world had perfect knowledge of the origins of computer parasites and viruses. It’s a shame that we don’t live in a world like the one in the fairy tale. Still, every day, millions of people who use computers make simple errors that put them in needless danger and increase the likelihood that their computer will get infected with some kind of malicious software. You may wonder, “What are the most common errors that computer users make daily that ultimately lead to their machine being infected with malware?”
The following is a list of our top selections for the most frequent errors committed on computers that might lead to malicious software being installed on your system.
Failure to maintain current program versions:
- This is an extremely common mistake made by millions of people who use computers all around the globe. They neglect to upgrade their software to the most recent versions, which may contain essential security fixes, yet they do so nonetheless. By applying these security updates, you can be certain that any previously disclosed vulnerabilities will be fixed. Applications that have been found to have vulnerabilities provide hackers with open doors via which they may distribute malware. Hackers, in a nutshell, find vulnerabilities within the code of certain applications and then exploit those vulnerabilities to install malware onto a computer. The Windows operating system, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java are all software products that are often targeted by hackers searching for vulnerabilities or faults in these programs. Hackers and other cybercriminals or cybersecurity magazine can uncover flaws in these systems and use them to distribute malware around the internet.
- Bringing a program up to date with the current version or installing a newly published security patch is a quick and simple approach for a computer to avoid anything like this from occurring. These updates are often sent after the identification of a security vulnerability. If the software on your computer is not updated with the latest version, you cannot trust the antivirus or anti-spyware program you have installed to keep you safe.
Downloading software or files from Warez websites
- We do not support downloading, installing, or utilizing software that has been illegally obtained in any way. When searching for software or any other file, it is never a good idea to go to Warez web pages (websites that host pirated software) or use BitTorrents (applications that facilitate the exchange of pirated software amongst peers).
- These sources almost often include viruses and other forms of harmful software. Even though you may believe that you are downloading genuine software from a warez site, the file you download might be infected with a computer virus that replicates itself when it runs. In your best interest, limit yourself to official download sites and services like download.com, iTunes, YouTube.com, and Hulu.com. Even streaming media and video material found online are not exempt from this rule.
Keep privacy settings on
Facebook has well over 500 million users, it is recommended that you review and adjust your privacy settings as necessary. You have no way of knowing who is viewing your online profile or trying to steal personal information from you, which might lead to identity theft if they are successful.
- Only friends, people you know in real life, should be able to see the information on your profile. This should also be followed for other social networking platforms like MySpace and Twitter. Never reveal personal information since it is impossible to remove a digital trace after it has been publicly shared, especially on the internet.
- Recently, rogue programs have begun targeting social networks like Facebook, so it may be a good idea to restrict your usage of Facebook apps and avoid clicking on links that might be dangerous.
Surfing free pornographic material online:
When it comes to sexual entertainment available online, “free” is not the best option, as is the case in many situations. Most free pornographic websites are infected with malware, and your computer is at risk of becoming infected if you visit one of these sites. It is common knowledge that hackers create fake pornographic websites to steal personal information or distribute malicious software. It is also not unheard of to stumble into a pornographic phishing website.
- In most cases, you won’t even be aware that you’ve been infected until you take some action, like clicking on a link to a pornographic movie or picture. Sometimes a malicious anti-spyware tool may be installed, which might corrupt your system registry and create other problems. If you really must engage in sexual amusement online, your best bet is to visit premium websites.
Clicking on popular news or celebrity rumors:
Since there is so much information available on the internet nowadays, it may be quite challenging to determine whether information can be considered “genuine.” If you are searching for certain news, you can wind up on a website that has nothing to do with the information that you were trying to get in the first place.
- At this point, you will need to employ both your common sense and your sound judgment. Many computer users end up infecting their system with malware after visiting a rogue website linked to trending news or gossip articles. Malware authors know what grabs people’s attention, often titillating information about celebrities, breaking news articles, or even tragic events. Indeed, most people who use computers will inevitably look for one of these subjects at some point. If you really must look for this news on the internet, your best bet is to utilize Google News, Bing News, or another reliable aggregator.
- These search engines will only give sites that have been prescreened and authorized. Even if utilizing trustworthy news aggregator websites does not provide a one hundred percent assurance that the results you obtain will be clean of malware, the likelihood of you coming across a bad link is greatly reduced.
Exploiting Doubtful Links
According to an article published by Inc., people often fall victim to “oddball” websites while downloading music or free images since virtual word of mouth is a common way for visitors to be led to these sites. If you visit a dubious website and click on one of its links, malware might be downloaded onto your computer.
- This software could then provide unauthorized access to your personal information, including your financial accounts and credit card data. Before proceeding forward, especially with online payments, it is essential to cross-check the authenticity of a website.
- If you are unsure whether to click on a link, Google’s search results will often display the most reliable websites at the top of the results page.
Making Use of Unknown Flash Drives
Creating backups of your information and your operating system is essential. Still, you should exercise extreme caution whenever you enter another person’s flash drive or USB drive into your computer.
- Malware may be stored on external devices, and all it takes to infect a whole network is for one disk to be carelessly left behind in a strategic location. The takeaway is simple: if it’s not your gadget, you shouldn’t use it.
- Run frequent scans of your device to check for viruses and any other apps that might be harmful. This will help ensure that you do not infect any other computers.
Installing Inappropriate Antivirus Software on Your Computer:
Everyone has at some point been confronted with a pop-up warning that states their computer is in danger unless they instantly download free antivirus software. Hackers are experts at getting you to download files before you realize what is happening.
- One of their favorite tricks is to pretend that their infectious code is a virus-scanning program that will help you defend against online threats. Hackers are experts at getting you to download files before you realize what is happening.
- However, doing so might prevent your computer from using legal antivirus software if you click on the malicious link. Always check that your antivirus software has the most recent update available and has a pop-up blocker to prevent potentially dangerous URLs from showing on your screen.
Leaving Your Webcam Unprotected:
According to an article in the Daily Mail, hacking your camera might be a frightening invasion of your privacy. An adversary may get remote access to your computer and take control of your camera if your system is infected with a certain kind of virus.
- Because the camera on your computer is not secured in the same way that cameras on other network-enabled devices are, you should familiarize yourself with the telltale signs that your camera is turned on (and maybe recording) – in most cases, a light will appear.
- Because it does not obstruct the flow of sound, covering the camera with a piece of tape is insufficient; you must also be familiar with turning off the device.
Utilizing the Same Password While Dispensing Two-Factor Authentication:
You are genuinely making a hacker’s day when you use the same password for all your online accounts, including those used for online shopping, online banking, and government websites. This practice, known as “daisy chaining,” makes it possible for an attacker to compromise all your accounts by hacking into just one.
- You should make sure that each of your online accounts has its unique password, which is changed regularly (at least once every six months).
- Even though it may be challenging to remember so many passwords, it is well worth it to avoid being vulnerable to a cyber attack.
Using Weak Passwords:
When you use several passwords, especially ones that are not sufficiently difficult, you risk becoming the victim of a brute-force assault. A cybercriminal may easily be able to crack a weak password as compared to a difficult one.
Putting Off the Installation of Software Updates:
A mistake that might help fraudsters get access to your system is procrastinating when it comes to applying critical updates (for applications such as Windows, Java, Flash, and Office).
- Even if you have a good antivirus application installed on your computer, significant security flaws in commonly used apps might leave you open to attack. For example, V3 pointed out that Microsoft has just released patch MS15-081, which closes several security holes in Office.
- If you choose not to download the update, you will be deprived of the patch, which will leave your machine vulnerable to an assault as well as the possibility of a data breach.
Answering Phishing Emails:
According to the statistics provided by the Get Cyber Safe website operated by the Canadian government, around 80,000 individuals fall prey to phishing schemes daily.
- Whenever you get a phishing email claiming you have won the lottery, that you need to “click here” to avoid penalties from the IRS, or that you need to view a “shocking video,” delete and report it immediately.
- Before clicking on any link, you get through email, be sure the sender is someone you can rely on by checking not just their name but also their email address. Most email providers have spam filters that will capture these communications.
Turning Off Certain Features of the User Account Control:
The User Account Control (UAC) capabilities of Windows may be a nuisance at times, and while silencing the alerts would seem to be a simple method to get rid of them, this is not the case.
- Nevertheless, they are essential since they inform you when changes are being made on your computer and put you in charge of any updates that may be installed. If you turn off the notifications, you are essentially handing hackers a blank check since they can modify your computer without authorization. As a result, they will be able to access your data.
Connecting to Free Public WiFi:
Never log into any of your accounts on a public WiFi network under any circumstances. The security of these networks is often questionable, and worse is that they could be a trap. Because malicious actors know that people anticipate seeing a network named “Coffee Shop WiFi” when they visit their neighborhood cafe for a warm beverage, they set up an alluring access point infected with malware for anybody ready to join it.
- When you sign up for a network, you immediately increase the risk of providing hacker access to your passwords and other sensitive information. Do you need to make a payment on a bill or check the status of your tax return? Do it from home, where you can be sure that your network won’t be compromised.
There are likely more methods to infect your computer with malware than you realize. Recently, we discussed how inexperienced computer usage might result in additional financial expenses. Even though this may be the case, you may often engage in careless actions that place your computer at a higher risk of being infected with malware and contribute to other significant problems.
Not just because of television but also because of online social networks, the society we live in today is heavily influenced by social interaction. Let’s face it: the internet plays a significant role in how we live, and big social networks like Facebook and Twitter can essentially make or break your day-to-day existence. These technical resources are of immense assistance to us, but if we are not vigilant, then we too may become a victim of cyber scams. Hence. It is important to stay alert to stay cyber safe.
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