Virus & Hacker Threats – Should You React?
by onlygujarat on 07/17/2012 - 01:01 pm
Category: Science & Technology
The rapid growth in the usage of the internet in general and the email in particular has also led to the rapid rise of viruses. Almost everyone would have definitely received an email, from a ‘friend’, stating an impending doom due to a virus that has affected the system. Also common are news and advice about dangerous and devastating viruses in circulation. There are cases when such advice in itself is a virus which gets you to delete or modify some very important files to allow Entry for a waiting hacker. How does one react to the threat of viruses and hackers that looms large on every minute spent in the world wide web? Here are some important points to keep in mind.
1.Installing anti-virus programs
If your system is connected to the internet, it is imperative that you have an anti-virus program installed. This ensures that even if you click open a virus or attempt to tamperwith your system in a harmful manner (based on the ‘advice’ you have received), you are warned and saved from damage. For the anti-virus to be effective, it needs to be updated regularly (weekly if not daily).Download these updates only from the program’s website.
2. Being careful while mailing, browsing and downloading
Trojans hide even in banner ads that you click while browsing. It will redirect you to another site and load content. While you are busy and distracted with that content, the trojan will automatically execute and infect your system. There is almost no fix for a trojan. So be very careful and look before you click! Remember that Microsoft does not send virus updates through email. Nor do any other anti-virus companies. Scan all the email attachments before downloading them and be careful as you download games, mp3 files, programs, videos and pictures. There are a host ofwebsites that provide information about hoax emails and they are constantly updated. Check them out before you take any action on some ‘urgent’ email.
3. Using a firewall
Having a firewall is a sure-shot way to ensure that you are not caught between the horns of a dilemma because it warns you when someone is attempting to access your system. This way, you can be aware of the attempts that a virus or any other malware does to invade your system since automated programs are the means through which hackers try to break into systems.
4. Protecting oneself from active X issues
There are many legitimate sites that offer a free scan to check vulnerabilities in your system and automatically set all your security controls. The least you could do is to change your browser settings so that you are prompted before running Active X components. This will protect you in a large measure against attacks.
More than reacting to a virus attack, it pays to be proactive. Very often, there is very little damage control possible once the virus is through with its work. Being informed and extra cautious is always better than suffering from an attack.