Opening attachments from unknown senders is
the riskiest thing you can do. Research shows
that email attachments remain the number one
means by which worms and viruses propagate.
Installing unauthorized applications such as
file-sharing tools (uTorrent, Azureus and other
Bit Torrent clients) - Illegal downloads, like
email attachments, are simply another means by
which "bad" files get on your computer.
Disabling security tools.
While trouble-shooting slow applications, many
users will turn off their anti-virus and/or
firewall. The problem is they forget to turn
them back on!
While most people may know not to open email
attachments, many don't realize that dangers can
lie in the body of an email too. HTML mail or
mails that contain embedded photos are just as
dangerous. Embedded images and PDFs can contain
malicious code that is harmful. So be sure not
to open any unsolicited/suspicious mail.
Surfing questionable sites is always
dangerous. You will find, more times than not,
that porn, gambling and sites that host illegal
content are the same sites that install
malicious software on your computer.
Giving/lending passwords - Don't be too
trusting of friends and colleagues. Keep your
username and password to yourself. Exposing it
means you're exposing salary, banking details,
health info, etc.!
Browsers are quickly becoming some of the
larger vulnerabilities in computing. Adware and
spyware are written specifically to exploit
Internet Explorer and Firefox. So avoid surfing
sites that you don't already know and stick with
the ones you trust.
Wireless networks are a huge risk because
they are shared. The guy sitting across from you
could be a hacker, stealing your password. Make
sure you leave the firewall turned on and avoid
sending passwords through the air. Only use
encrypted wireless networks as they offer higher
levels of protection.
Filling in web forms and registration pages
- There may be nobody behind you watching you as
you type. But that doesn't stop a keylogger (a
program or device that logs all your
key-strokes) from collecting your information.
Try to keep all sensitive material on your own
machine (the one that you maintain and protect),
and keep it off public computers.
Be cautious when using social networking
sites. Sites like MySpace and Facebook are a
dream for thieves and stalkers. They allow
anyone the ability to gather information about
you that may aid them in stealing your identity.
Think twice before you post any sensitive or
damaging information on these sites.