Simple ideas to avoid being compromised!!!

I have been spending a little bit of time on some message boards.  These are areas where you basically follow conversations that happen on a specific topics.  While perusing these boards I have seen an increase in people saying to ignore links that have been sent by a person or that the accounts they have had were compromised, and to ignore what might have been sent by the person.

This is a very common problem that people deal with.  What i find funny is how some simple adjustments to their behavior would have prevented this from happening.  The question this invites is “How to I keep from becoming a Victim?”

There are some common sense techniques that will help here.

- Email Links: Do not click a link in an email and expect it to be legitimate.  Bad guys do a GREAT job of duplicating a legitimate web sites look and feel. Especially for bank sites

- Passwords: I know I have gone into passwords before but it is worth repeating.  Change your passwords if nothing else when you reset your clocks for Daylight Savings Times.  Do not use forms of your passwords on sites.  This means you have given someone who manages to get your password a very great advantage to learning more.

- Limited User: Windows computers since Windows 2000 have had a concept of Administrator Users and Limited Users.  If you set up a second account on your computer as a Limited User, you will be expected to put a password in to allow your computer to function for many things like installing software.  This is a minor inconvenience, but a major life saver in the event you have a program trying to install that you did not know about.  It means you have to give it permission to work, and if you did not want it installed the installation will stop when you hit cancel.

Image of the Standard User Selection

Choose Standard User

- Updates: Update your Windows Operating System, your Anti-virus, Spy-ware, Mal-ware, and Programs in general.  Many times patches and updates are released because of a security or program flaw.

These are simple ideas that add up to a fairly robust prevention scheme.  There is nothing that is rocket science on these ideas and nothing difficult to implement.

Fixing the problem, “after the fact” is always more difficult than a few minutes of prevention.

Happy Surfing (and hopefully safer too)!!!

1 Comment to “Simple ideas to avoid being compromised!!!”

  1. By BartHopper, April 14, 2010 @ 2:43 PM

    Great advice. Also, if you suspect your computer has a virus, do not continue to use it until it has been inspected by a qualified IT professional. Many viruses will attempt to steal your confidential information or attempt to capture your banking information.

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