Let’s be clear that having anti virus software alone is not going to keep you and your data 100% safe. These are just a few guidelines to keep you safe and to also help you know what signs to look out for.
People use the Internet for various reasons. Most of us will use a browser such as Google to search for a restaurant, for online shopping or maybe to find directions to a location. The net offers a world of other services like our email, cloud backup, online banking. Sadly the internet also has a dark side where criminals want to steal our data, our money and even our lives.
What are the dangers?
Let me start by telling you that computer viruses are now only a small part of internet dangers. Whether you are aware or not you have most likely experienced one of the following attempts to infiltrate your privacy. Malware, ransomware, phishing (pronounced fishing) , spoofing or spamming are the most common methods criminals use.
Are Apple Mac’s Safer?
OK, first things first. Microsoft Windows PC’s seem to fall foul of attacks far more than other machine types. However! be warned that no electronic device is 100% safe. People often think Apple Mac’s don’t get attacked but this is simply not true. iMac’s, MacBook’s, Apple Mac’s whatever we call them don’t use a system registry like Windows machines while their individual programs are self contained. This in effect help’s protect them a little more by closing off some of the roadways, so to speak. But do not assume they are immune from attack because that is simply not true!
What do I need to keep my computer safe and is Windows Defender enough to protect me?
Well since the introduction of Windows 10 (now Windows 11) Windows Defender has very good security protection but we would still advise that higher level security would be beneficial especially for users who do online banking or purchases online.
Beware of fake Security Software links!
Ad hoc google searching for Security Software Software is in itself a risky strategy. The internet is flooded with fake McAfee scams and also many machines are being hit with fake McAfee phishing hacks.
So the question may be “should I avoid McAfee?” The answer is “No” certainly not. McAfee in our opinion has come back into favour since it now uses far less computer resources than some other products. The legitimate link for McAfee is here but if you’d like a big discount then we can sort this for you inclusive of a remote installation.
What other security products would we recommend?
There are many excellent tools out there such as Bitdefender , F-Secure, Trend Micro and many others. What we would warn you about is not to use Free Antivirus Software as in our opinion such software is inadequate and also they often pop up with constant upgrade links which at the very least is annoying. On the other side of the coin we would like to make you aware that you can also have an overkill of applications. Some providers, especially one who we can’t mention will sell security with so much payload that your computer can become sluggish. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Windows itself does a better job than many of these applications by performing defragging and the like. In fact SSD drives which we find in most modern machines don’t even need defragging and all it does is wear down the lifecycle of the disk.
What about Russian security software such as Kaspersky?
This is a difficult question to answer but due to it having headquarters in Moscow we shall no longer recommend the use of this software as we don’t want to see tax dollars going into the Putin War machine. We are also following advice from Governments on this one.
The software itself is in our opinion excellent however we would advise against at this time
Keep your Children Safe – Watch out for the signs – and it’s not just Children at Risk!
If your children seem to be keeping you away from what they do on the internet then you may wish to talk to them about the dangers. Of course we cannot keep youngsters away from technology completely because this would limit their ability to advance in the future. What we would advise is still to be vigilant because some of the dangers we have seen are beyond comprehension.
My own Mother was the victim of a Romance Swindle and it was only due to my I.T skills which saved her from losing everything she had. This is not even to mention her emotional meltdown thereafter.
What to keep an eye out for
Keep an eye out for things you don’t recognise. Do not install unknown software if it pops up out of the blue suggesting you have a virus or that your data will be encrypted if you don’t pay a ransom. Beware of excessive chatting with strangers and even be very cautious on dating sites because parasites love to live off people emotions.
What is the Dark Web and should I go there?
Danger Alert! stick to the internet as you know it. It’s all you need
Yes we have been on the Dark Web but only for purposes of evaluation. In years before the Web much of what is today found was hidden away in news groups and within we found depravity beyond most peoples imagination. Nothing has improved in fact we have only one word for it. EVIL!!!
Even by just a curious visit on the Dark Web you will be inadvertently directed to some horrendous sites. I shall not go through in detail what is there but if you are a parent it will make you cry for hours. If you hate drugs you will be disgusted. If you want to buy anything illegal, I mean anything. It is an anonymous web but if those who think they are completely safe from authorities or scammers then think again. On the face of it there is a “criminal code” but then the nature of the beast takes no prisoners.
All-round I.T services for business and the general public. Founded Selby, North Yorkshire, February, 1997