Cybercrime prevention can be straight-forward – when armed with a little technical advice and common sense, many attacks can be avoided. In general, online criminals are trying to make their money as quickly and easily as possible. The more difficult you make their job, the more likely they are to leave you alone and move on to an easier target. The tips below provide basic information on how you can prevent online fraud.
Keep your computer current with the latest patches and updates.
One of the best ways to keep attackers away from your computer is to apply patches and other software fixes when they become available. By regularly updating your computer, you block attackers from being able to take advantage of software flaws (vulnerabilities) that they could otherwise use to break into your system.
Make sure your computer’s Antivirus & Malware is up to date.
Keep in mind that a newly purchased computer may not have the right level of security for you. When you are installing your computer at home, pay attention not just to making your new system function, but also focus on making it work securely.
We recommend to install a commercial grade package such as Trend as it is not as resource hungry like Norton, Kaspersky or McAfee.
Choose strong passwords and keep them safe.
Passwords are a fact of life on the Internet today—we use them for everything from ordering flowers and online banking to logging into our favorite airline Web site to see how many miles we have accumulated. The following tips can help make your online experiences secure:
- Selecting a password that cannot be easily guessed such as your date of birth, childrens or pets names, be at least 8 characters long and have a combination of upper and lower case, symbols and numbers.
- Keep your passwords in a safe place and try not to use the same password for every service you use online.
- Change passwords on a regular basis, at least every 90 days.
Protect your personal information.
Exercise caution when sharing personal information such as your name, home address, phone number, and email address online, the following list contains some advice for how to share personal information safely online:
- Keep an eye out for phony email messages. Things that indicate a message may be fraudulent are misspellings, poor grammar, odd phrasings, Web site addresses with strange extensions, Web site addresses that are entirely numbers where there are normally words, and anything else out of the ordinary. Additionally, phishing messages will often tell you that you have to act quickly to keep your account open, update your security, or urge you to provide information immediately or else something bad will happen. Don’t take the bait.
- Don’t respond to email messages that ask for personal information. Legitimate companies will not use email messages to ask for your personal information. When in doubt, contact the company by phone or by typing in the company Web address into your Web browser. Don’t click on the links in these messages as they make take you to a fraudulent, malicious Web sites.
- Steer clear of fraudulent Web sites used to steal personal information. When visiting a Web site, type the address (URL) directly into the Web browser rather than following a link within an email or instant message. Fraudsters often forge these links to make them look convincing. A shopping, banking or any other Web site where sensitive information should have an “S” after the letters “http” (i.e. https://www.yourbank.com not http://www.yourbank.com)/. The “s” stands for secure and should appear when you are in an area requesting you to login or provide other sensitive data. Another sign that you have a secure connection is the small lock icon in the bottom of your web browser (usually the right-hand corner).
- Pay attention to privacy policies on Web sites and in software. It is important to understand how an organization might collect and use your personal information before you share it with them.
- Guard your email address. Spammers and phishers sometimes send millions of messages to email addresses that may or may not exist in hopes of finding a potential victim. Responding to these messages or even downloading images ensures you will be added to their lists for more of the same messages in the future. Also be careful when posting your email address online in newsgroups, blogs or online communities.
CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan. CryptoLocker propagates mainly via infected email attachments, when activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives, with the private key stored only on the malware’s control servers. The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment is made however it is recommended NOT to pay the ransom as it only encourages more infections.
Although CryptoLocker itself is readily removed, files remained encrypted in a way which researchers considered unfeasible to break.