September 25, 2007

Attention : Spyware Detected

Last night, I was having some trouble with my computer and I ran the spy ware software to see if I had something on my computer. It usually detects a couple of malicious software with low to medium risk, and I delete them. But, yesterday it showed something that really scared me.

I had some Trojan on my computer that collected user names and passwords, and sent them to a pre-specified email account. Just the thought of someone having all my passwords scared me no end. I think I got my warning to use the Internet with as much care as possible. It simply isn't safe enough.

But it gives an illusion of safety. You are sitting at your desk in the safety of your home, what could go wrong? A lot. Internet is being promoted by one and all. Most organizations have a website now where any transactions related to that organization can be carried out. We can buy stuff online, pay our bills online, fill examination forms online, etc. etc. Doing all these things online, is easier for both the user and the supplier, and saves a lot of time. But is it safe?

And the answer to it is a big no! But, one can not avoid using the Internet, so one has to find a middle way, and that is to handle the Internet with care. Like most things, a little awareness and caution can go a long way in saving you from any unnecessary trouble.

Some of the tips that I have come across while surfing the net are : Changing your passwords every now and the. Though this point is stressed quite a few times, we often ignore it (at least I did, but not anymore). Avoid clicking on any links that you are not sure about. Never open any emails from people you don't know, however interesting the subject might be. These days it is not necessary to download anything to get your computer infected, just clicking on links can do the job. Avoid giving out your email id or any other personal information in forums and chat rooms. One can never be sure who is sitting on the other computer and with what intentions.

These are the only ones I can think of for now. If you have any tips and suggestions about how to use the Internet carefully, leave a comment with your tip. If we get enough comments, I will do a follow up post incorporating all the helpful tips that we have. Let's make the Internet a safer place.


Wally Banners said...

excellent article blue ty!!

LJP said...

That is scary stuff. Some good free spyware checkers are Spybot and Ad-Aware. Also if you surf with firefox you can install add-ons for protection from malicious sites :-)

stev said...

agreed with spybot & ad-aware

other common tips at the spurt would be:
- ensure passwords are strong (non-english dictionary words + use special characters)
- a firewall is a necessity in today's net world
- if you perform online transactions, get a card with a low limit or useless an online wallet

stay safe & surf the friendly net! ;)

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