By Kaito Mori
Take a look at any major news site on any given day. Mosey on over to the technology section and chances are you will see a headline regarding computer viruses, hacking attempts and the latest threats malware is causing. The landscape of malicious software and internet programs is one that is constantly changing. Each year anti-virus software companies like Trend Micro and Norton are faced with the challenge of adapting their programs to both detect and eliminate these threats from user’s computers. While these companies do a fantastic job at keeping a user’s computer environment secure it never hurts to be proactive.
Follow these 5 tips to steer clear of any attempts to compromise your computer:
1. Own Your Inbox and be Skeptical of Every Email: Remember that your inbox is yours; setting up spam and keyword filters only takes a moment but can severely cut down on the number of phishing attempts that you can be a target of. Stop to think if there is any reason why you might be receiving unsolicited email. Have you placed an online ad recently? Is your contact information available through a company profile, website or directory?
2. Question Any Further Action: Emails requesting “further action is needed” are generally ploys to get you to hand over valuable information. If you are truly worried your account may have been compromised, go straight to the source: A phone call will remedy these situations.
3. Be Vigilant of Attachments: Before you download any attachments from an email make sure you scan them for viruses. Malware, Trojans and worms love to come disguised in these files. Once an attachment passes the scan test, feel free to download it to your computer.
4. Check the links: If you receive a link within the content of your email take a moment to make sure it’s as credible as it might appear. With simple HTML code knowledge, anyone can mask a malicious URL behind a seemingly innocent anchor text. Hover over the link and check the URL that shows up in the bottom left hand corner of your screen. If its seems fishy, don’t click it.
5. Explore Your Resources: Don’t forget how valuable of a tool your phone is. If you get a questionable email and are unsure if it is legit or a scam, call the company, drive to the company, send a letter–do whatever you have to do. It is your identity at stake here.
Kaito Mori is a father of three rambunctious children that are constantly testing his ability to keep their home computer safe and secure among the plethora of uses it is subjected to each day. When not being the raddest dad alive, Kaito also works with Trend Micro in an effort to keep other family’s online adventures as safe as his.