Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Different Types of Internet Threats (Part 3)

After you have all your defenses setup and in place, you need to make sure you keep the OS and applications up-to-date with the latest service packs, updates, and hot fixes. If you neglect this part of your security regiment, then you will leave yourself open to all sorts of application attacks.

Some of these attacks will come at you via e-mail or web pages. They can also come at you via applications and other types of files that you download from the Internet.

New vulnerabilities are being found in different applications all the time, so protect your computer by following the advice below:
  • Rule 1: Windows Update is your friend, so use it. This site keeps your OS and Microsoft applications up-to-date. This site requires Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher. (For more information see the following article.)
  • Rule 2: Make sure the Windows Automatic Update feature is enabled. This will make sure that you automatically receive and get installed the latest updates from Microsoft. (for more information see the following article.)
  • Rule 3: As I said in the second part of this article, you need to keep your security software and signatures up-to-date. This also means that you need to keep the applications that you use everyday updated, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Flash Player, Sun Java, etc. (Check out the Google Pack of software it may help you keep some of these applications up-to-date, see the following article for more information)
  • Rule 4: Use an email service that has a spam filter (most free mail services offer spam filtering), or just install one on your email client.
  • Rule 5: Install an anti-Phishing toolbar in your browser, such as the Google Toolbar. This will help protect you against some of the phishing attacks that are out there. Note: These attacks are becoming more sophisticated all the time, and may become too difficult for this software to protect.

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