Today the most common problem found with people who use the computer to browse the internet is that they unknowingly invite Spyware, Adware, Trojan and Virus into their device.
When users try to explore World Wide Web for research, shopping, communication and to enjoy videos, there awaits a trap which users are not cognizant of. As a result, users regularly encounter pop-up advertisements appearing all the time, changed settings, Web browser showing additional components which users have not downloaded, but slow the performance of the computer.
Common traps through which malicious viruses find entry are email spamming, chat rooms, browsing unknown websites and download of free stuff. Even though, the users have anti-virus software installed in their computer, clicking the pop-up gives direct access to malicious software.
Some of the most common malicious software found on the Web are spyware, Adware, Virus and Trojan horse.
The term spyware, in general refers to a spy. It usually tries to obtain information about secret or confidential data without the permission of the holder of the information. Spyware is software which generally tries to collect information from the user’s internet connection without their knowledge for advertising purposes. This type of software is a mixed bundle of freeware or shareware programs that can be easily downloaded from the internet. It will function as a transmitter which transmits all the information in the background to someone else without the user’s knowledge.
There is not much difference between spyware or Adware, but the Adware can be defined as a separate program which gets installed at the same time as a shareware or programs identical to shareware. Once installed, it continues to generate advertising even when the user is not running the desired program.
A Virus software can reproduce itself and will cause great harm to files and other programs on the same computer. Without human assistance, a true virus cannot spread to another computer.
Speaking of Trojan Horse, this program contains malicious and harmful code which apparently can do its chosen form of damage such as running the file allocation table or hard disk. Also Trojan horse can be distributed as part of a computer virus.
Mentioned below are 15 steps to avoid malware while browsing the Web:
- Don’t use a single password and PIN everywhere. No one uses same key for house, car, office, briefcase and deposit box. Generally, most of the people use different keys. Suppose one uses the same PIN everywhere, then an opportunity is being created for a thief to unlock every door.
- Do not login (into) third party applications that ask for email logins. Third party applications are programs written to work within operating systems, but are written by individuals or companies other than the providers of the operating system.
- Do not click on pop-ups that appear while browsing the web. Those pop-ups may contain malware which can be automatically downloaded to the PC. Pop-up ads are a form of advertising intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses.
- Do not be lazy to update your antivirus software. If antivirus software is not updated, then you are leaving your computer open for all kinds of malicious attacks from the minute of expiration of the software.
- Do not click on the phishing mails, which shows that you have won something or saying that your account is at risk, which generally creates a sense of urgency. A Phishing mail usually asks for information’s such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. No banks or trusted organizations will ask their users to do that.
- Do not forget to delete system’s cache, passwords or history. Easiest place for a malware like software to hide in the system generally tends to be in the temporary folders where browser cache, passwords or history is stored. If one fails to check this, then the possibility of identity theft and stealing of bank and email information’s are inevitable. If possible try to reset your browser frequently.
- Do not open a fraudulent email or spam mails. Clicking on a fraudulent email will allow the cyber criminals to easily access your computer. Also never access any account information like bank info through email links which can allow access to your account information. Also ensure to have a back up for emails like how you keep record of important hard copy documents. Make sure that all the attachments are scanned before opening them.
- Do not forget to log out of any account that you have logged in, especially when you are at a cybercafé.
- Do not download free stuff like screen saver, videos and pictures from other websites. Downloading free stuffs from unknown website can dangerously harm your computer. Suddenly the computer begins to slow down as malicious software’s come along with those downloads. And always access safe websites to download useful information or data.
- Do not allow an unknown person in your social networking accounts like Twitter and Facebook. Social networking websites have become a craze in the modern generation. Hence, protecting one's identity and account is really important with increasing threats on the Internet.
Recently Facebook accounts were hacked as the Website didn’t use the “HTTPS” protocol when it comes to transferring data. Instead they just used the general HTTP protocol for password transfers. But now, it has been taken care of and Facebook continues to implement HTTPS protocol in their Website. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http). HTTPS allows secure e-commerce transactions, such as online banking. So it is better to avoid using unsafe Websites that do not come with the term https.