Browsing the web with any browser, be it Windows Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google’s Chrome, or any number of other offerings is a dangerous proposition without protection. Regardless of how safe your browser of choice claims to be, (and all of them claim to be safer than their opposition) flaws are continuously being found in all of them and therefore updates and patches must be downloaded and installed frequently.
The same goes for Email (Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora) and multiple other email clients that folks use. An important thing to remember with Email, regardless of which email program you choose to use, is to disable the Auto Preview function of messages you receive. While very handy to have a preview box at the bottom or the side of your email application that shows the email without you having to double click to view it, the problem is that auto previews will almost always automatically activate any virus or trojan which may be attached to the email you’re reading. And don’t fall into a false sense of security about online email alternatives either.. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and so on provide the exact same dangers as client software you might be using on your own computer.
Instant Messaging / Blog Sites
These are arguably the most common ways that computers get infected with Virus’s or Trojans. Instant messengers (where you chat with people online in real time) like Microsoft’s Windows Live, Meebo, Yahoo Messenger and similar, are a magnet for the unsuspecting user if not configured correctly. If you need to use tools like this, always ensure you go through the settings to make sure your online profile is not public and that you must approve people before they can see you online or begin communicating with you. Ask for help from someone that knows before just jumping in.
Public Blog Sites like Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, and a myriad of others are becoming increasingly popular these days and while the sites themselves are quite safe to browse, there are many dangers assosiated for new players. Public Blog sites make it extremely easy for inexperienced users to setup a free online presence for themselves on the web. Not setting up one of these accounts for yourself correctly though, can expose you to not only Virus, Trojan and Spyware infections, but also a very real threat of identity theft, depending on the type of “real” information you’ve provided about yourself that you may have mistakenly made publically available. Forwarned if forarmed – just be careful and make yourself aware of all the dangers before leaping into the unknown.
For a list of recommended Virus and Spyware protection utilities that we suggest and reasons why, click on the following link.. Recommended Security Applications