Thursday, 5 June 2014

Security for home users.

Security has been in the news again recently following the eBay and Spotify security breaches, Cryptolocker and now GameOverZeus.  There are many things you can do to protect yourself while using your devices on the web.

1 Ensure you your home wireless is secured  with WPA2 encryption and your device has a firewall.

2 The use of malware removal tools such as the one provided by or : both of these have a free for version for home users.  Either of these should be run on a weekly basis.  Malware gets on your device whether you like it or not,  in the shape of cookies that track your activity to ensure that the adverts they send to you are relevant to the things you are searching for.  These are mostly benign, but irritating.

3 Ensure that your antivirus subscription is up to date or use one of the free versions provided by Avast, Avira or Comodo, for example.  A web search for Free Antivirus will give you links to the main ones. Many of the anti virus manufacturers have versions which are free for home users. Make sure you have the ability to schedule a regular scan of the whole device on a monthly basis and a quick scan of the most commonly infected areas every few days.  Most of the free versions will allow a schedule to be set for at least these two things.

4 Ensure all the passwords that you use for your main accounts across the web are unique passwords and not repeated for more than 1 account.  One of the ways to achieve this and be able to remember the millions of passwords is to use a password manager such as LastPass or KeePass.  You only have to remember one master password and all the rest are saved to your account and can be used across a range of devices.

There have been increasing reports of malware on android devices and these should also be protected with one of the many apps available from the play store again there are free versions available from the top security manufacturers.

As always,  be suspicious of any emails and/or spam you receive from Banks, or emails purporting to come from large or government organisations, HMRC.  These are often just phishing emails trying to fool you into thinking you are logging into your account with them and in reality you are actually passing them your login information.

Finally, if you get a phone call from someone who tells you they work for Microsoft and they are getting reports that your computer is infected ... put the phone down!  They just want to open up your device, gain access, infect your computer, get information useful to them and charge you money into the bargain! 

Stay safe of the Web!

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