Are you being safe online?

It doesn’t matter how much you use the web it is important to remember to always be on your guard.  If we roll the clock back to a time before the internet we had to find out information the hard way.  Researching in the library knocking on doors basically interacting with people.  Due to the social interaction we all had a valued skill, self security.  We could tell if a person didn’t seem quite as they should, we could detect a scam from a distance.

Now let’s roll the clock forward a bit, welcome the internet at first there was a slow up take in its use but as time moved on and search engines became more reliable it was easier to find information.  With a click of your mouse or keyboard information was in front of you.  Now before I go on this is not a bad thing I use the internet everyday but what happened next is alarming.

We became click happy, click it there, click on that it looks good, client code over there not sure if it’s relevant but it can’t be bad it on the internet!  Just what happened to us we no longer question what we are looking at we just click.  This is where the cyber criminals now enter how easy is it to trap a person in a scam who it not really paying attention.  Would a user just click on a link or a picture without really questioning what they are doing? Answer yes and that’s where the criminal has left a nasty bit of code in the form of malware, a virus or even ransomeware.

This is where you hope for their basic concept of security and that they have an antivirus and firewall.  However I have personally had to go and sort out a few machines where there was no security or definitions were so out of date it was truly worrying.  Whilst taking care of the infected system I got to know the user and found out that they are aware of the big bad world and criminals but they never though browsing the internet would cause such a problem.

It was at this time I decided to explain some of the basics when it comes to internet security.

1st make sure you have a firewall or all-inclusive real-time scanning antivirus

2nd keep it up to date if.  If it says it needs to update let it. If it doesn’t force it to at least once a week.

3rd As you browse keep an eye out on the bottom of your browser screen.  As you hover over a link it identifies where it’s going to take you.  The biggest thing to keep an eye out for is for the link to end .exe or .dll as these can download malicious software to your computer.  Should you see anything. Like this and you’re not downloading a program don’t click on it.

4th Only download programs from trusted sources such as online stores like Microsoft, adobe, be careful of software sharing sites.  Not only can the content be dangerous but also illegal.

5th Any link on a website can be dangerous so can images.  Should you end up on a website full or random ads be careful how you move around the screen. If in doubt get out.

These are just 5 basic rules to keep you out of trouble but there are more skills you can adopt but they all come down to having sense and questioning your own actions before you click.  So are you being safe online?

Mozilla disables Flash by default in Firefox

Mozilla disables Flash by default in Firefox after Hacking Team documents reveal the 37th and 38th flaws in plug-in this month

Firefox now blocks Adobe Flash by default following the discovery of yet more zero-day vulnerabilities in the browser plug-in.

Two ‘critical’ flaws (CVE-2015-5122 and CVE-2015-5123) have been uncovered in files retrieved during the attack on controversial surveillance tools developer Hacking Team and have yet to be patched by Adobe, which expects to make updates available later this week.

Mark Schmidt, head of Firefox support at Mozilla, announced on Twitter that all versions of Flash were now blocked by the browser until a fix is made available.

Read more at http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/firefox-flash-mozilla-block-172462#Yg4cDo98YZCQMqxR.99

Keep Your Computer up to Date

It has recently been in the news that a piece of software on Samsung computers stops Windows from automatically checking for Windows Updates.  This has highlighted a number of concerns from some of my clients and so here’s a checklist I would recommend you do at least once a month regardless of the built-in automatic settings.

  • Windows Updates – these are normally released on a Tuesday but may not have been available when your computer checked for any one ones.  On Windows 7, Vista go to your start menu and all programs and Windows Update should be in the list of programs.  If you can’t fins it try searching for Windows Update or its program name wuapp.exe.  Windows 8 users use the charm bar and PC settings, Update and recovery, Windows update.  Or again search for Windows update or wuapp.exe
  • Anti Virus Software – check antivirus has a different update frequency of when new virus definitions are released but if you open the Anti-Virus program window Update Now should be clearly visible.  I have also found right clicking on the protection icon allows an update now option.
  • Adobe Flash Player – used in a number of internet browsers and if prone to attack as it is so widely used.  Adobe do keep their product up to date and I find the quickest and easiest way to check to see if you are up to date is to go to get.adobe.com/flash

Hopefully this will keep you more secure, as always if you are in need of help please get in touch.