How to Defend Against Penetration Attempts
There are many reasons someone or some organization out in the Internet might want to penetrate your
Windows computer. Here are a few examples :
- To secretly install software that steals your passwords or financial information
- To enroll your computer as a bot that secretly sends out junk email or spam
- To implant software that tracks your personal web surfing habits
- To destroy programs or data on your PC
Your goals are to:
- Prevent installation of malicious software or malware
- Identify and eliminate any malware that does get installed
- Prevent malware from sending information from your computer out into the web
- Prevent any other secret penetration of your computer
Act Safely Online:
Practice safe web surfing. Handle your email safely. Follow these tips to reduce the chances that outsiders
can penetrate your computer:
- Don’t download free screensavers, wallpaper, games, or toolbars unless you know they're safe.
These often come with embedded malware. If you just can’t pass up freebies, download them to a
directory where you scan them with your anti-virus and anti-malware programs before using them.
- Don’t visit questionable web sites. Hacker sites, sexually explicit sites, and sites that engage in
illegal activity like piracy of music, videos, or software are well known for malware. You could get hit
by a drive-by -- a malicious program that runs just by virtue of your viewing a web page.
- Don’t open email or email attachments from questionable sources. These might install malware on
your system. Dangerous email attachments often present themselves as games, interesting
pictures, electronic greeting cards, or invoices so that you will open them. (If you get too much junk
email, reduce it with these free programs.)
- Don’t click on links provided in emails. These could direct you to a legitimate-looking but bogus web
site designed to steal your personal information. Companies that protect their customers don't
conduct business through embedded links in emails!
- Before you enter your online account name and password into any web site, be sure the web page
is secure. The web page’s address should start with the letters https (rather than http). Most
browsers display a closed lock icon at the bottom of the browser panel to indicate a secure web site
- Don’t give out your full name, address, phone number, or other personal information in chat rooms,
forums, on web forms, or in social networks.