Blogging Tips / computer security / social network security / Social networks

Security Threats: Symantec’s Protection Tips

Norton Internet Security product image My partner used a free anti-virus software program on his PC and experienced three occasions where his computer was overtaken and he had to take it to a technician to clean it out. I have always used Norton and have had zero problems.  I  convinced him to take my disc and load it into his PC he has had zero problems since then.

Yesterday while was experiencing some difficulties I downloaded a file containing all the intrusion attempts made on my computer. I was astonished to see how much work my Norton Internet Security has done to protect my computer from invasion.

My surfing habits are safer than most. I don’t visit movie, music or porno download sites.  I don’t shop online  and I’m not a gamer.  Where are these attacks coming from?

Well I read the Internet Security reports linked to below and I found the answer.  United States, China, Brazil, Germany, India, United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain.

In 2009 a shift in malicious activity to emerging countries became more pronounced.  For example, for the first time since Symantec began examining malicious activity by country in 2006, a country other than the United States, China, or Germany has ranked in the top three, as Brazil ranked third in malicious activity in 2009, behind the United States and China, respectively.

Below is a brief summary from Symantec of the ten latest security threats and how to protect your computer.

  1. Is your Web browser the latest open door for computer viruses? Learn how to protect your computer. Web Browsers and Computer Security Risks
  2. If you blog, you know how easy it is to get your message broadcast to friends, family and the world but blogs have security risks too. Learn about blogging risks and how to protect your work and your reputation. Is Your Blog Secure?
  3. Baby boomers joining social networks like Facebook and MySpace in unprecedented numbers makes them the new targets for online scams. Social Networking Safety for Baby Boomers
  4. People tend to place more trust in their “friends” on social networks. Yet, more online users are finding that those connections make them more vulnerable. Not Deserving of Trust
  5. As more people sign up to micro-blog on Twitter, security is becoming an increasingly important issue. Learn to protect yourself from phishing, spam and hackers on Twitter. Tweet Safely: Twitter Scams to Dodge
  6. Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, are also being used in more complex transactions, like signing legally binding contracts. Here’s  what to check for before you sign. What to Know About E-signatures
  7. Work-at-home scams turn job seekers into criminal accomplices, known as “money mules.” Hired for Crime
  8. If your child has an iPhone, then she’s probably connected to the Internet 24/7. Here’s how to ensure safety and security for any iPhone-obsessed child. iPhones, Kids and Security
  9. Smartphones are just as vulnerable to hackers as computers are. Learn about the various risks and how to keep your smartphone protected. Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers
  10. New technologies let you search for nearby gas stations or restaurants from the app on your iPhone or other mobile device, but also let thieves know you’re not at home. Here’s how to stay safe when using location-based technologies.  Stay Safe Using Location-based Services

Discussion Questions:

Which internet security program do you use and are you happy with the protection you are getting?

Do you have any internet security advice  and/or experiences you want to share?

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16 thoughts on “Security Threats: Symantec’s Protection Tips

  1. “If you’re depending on your anti-virus product to save you from an ill-advised decision — such as opening an attachment in an e-mail you weren’t expecting, installing random video codecs from third-party sites, or downloading executable files from peer-to-peer file sharing networks — you’re playing Russian Roulette with your computer.” . . . Brian Krebs

    Hacking is big business now. Check out this interesting report.–There-s-an-App-for-That,news.1311~.asp

    • “If you’re depending on your anti-virus product to save you from an ill-advised decision — such as opening an attachment in an e-mail you weren’t expecting, installing random video codecs from third-party sites, or downloading executable files from peer-to-peer file sharing networks — you’re playing Russian Roulette with your computer.”

      Actually this advise alone provides a lot of serious security bang for the buck.

      ☑ Thou shalt think before clicking, opening, downloading, and installing.

  2. As always, dear Timethief, you are a goldmine of information and reading my mind as I slog down my checklist of worries now I’m trying to get more professional about the blog. In re comments from Phoxis and PMP Guru about operating systems – have you – or anyone out there – seen anything about vulnerability of Mac vs. Windows operating systems? I half think of shifting to Mac when / if I have to get a new laptop but wondered about this. And I haven’t the technical expertise to deal with Linux, I’m afraid.

    Meanwhile, I’ve just upgraded to Windows 7 and on advice from techie-professional friend, switched to ESET after relying on McAfee for years. He said McAfee has had a couple bad slips recently, and after researching all options for his own firm and for the clients to whom they provide network creation and support services, they decided to go with ESET. So far, so good for me – and I did click very very stupidly on a dodgy link in an email and it saved my backside, bless. And yes, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself and will never do it again…

    • You dont need any technical expertise to operate linux. It is a misconception. Only thing you need to do is just get started once, and instead of comparing and getting bad things pointed out, try to love it. You will like it, as i and many of my friends has switched from Ms windows to fedora, and some ubuntu.

  3. @phoxis,
    That’s a good idea but it will take some time. Meanwhile what I would suggest:

    1: Do not watch movies especially Porn online.
    2: Delete any email you received from unknown source.
    3: Stay away from Torrents.
    4: Keep firewall and a good anti-virus and regularly update it.
    5: Stay away from Scams like get $1000, free gifts etc etc.
    6: Be very very careful adding someone to your social media network.
    7: Surf Anonymous, You don’t need to publish your real name, address etc with everyone.
    8: Frequently change your password and always try different and strong password.
    9: When you are away from your computer, Disconnect your internet connection.

    OOOPs , I already made a top ten list to be safe :)

    • @The PMP Guru
      Good list. I’m the hyper-suspicious type who is already doing those things. :)
      re:7 Surf anonymously
      I use a throw away email address and frankly when an email address is required rather than leaving one I usually click out.

  4. Why are you still using MS Windows , and wasting money on it ? Also on an antivirus ? If “I’m not a gamer.” is true then you should switch to some FOSS Operating System.

    • @phoxis
      I have two reasons for still using windows. The first is that I can’t afford to buy anything at this time. The second is what I have works. As for the security program to me it’s a once a year expense that’s worth it.

      P.S. You scared me when you suggested another operating system. I’m resistant to change and I don’t have a clue what FOSS is. Now I’ll have to find out.

    • @timethief
      A Free and Open Source Software gives you the following rights to the.

      [1] The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0)
      [2] The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. So you or any other can read the source code to understand what’s actually happening behind.
      [3]The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2). So you can share any free software to anybody.
      [4] The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. A developer can read the code modify it as he/she likes and redistribute those softwares.
      The free software are under GPL the GNU General Public License, and thus the original developer and the community are protected.

      Note: Here free is used as free means in freedom, and not free of cost.

      But the Operating systems i am suggesting you are known as Linux, and are free of cost, you do not need a single unit of currency to get them, you get the GPL license along the copy, and you can use it for any work you do. So there is no question to affording another OS, instead you will save the cost of windows. And by setting up the firewall rules and updating the linux kernel you do not need an antivirus program.
      If you are resistant to change then you should try a LiveCD that is directly boot an OS from a CD or a USB drive and test it without installing it. Or install a linux os of your choice in another partition, and try it.

      I am running Fedora 12 here at my end, and without any problem, i ran Fedora 10 and Fedora 8 previously.
      Using windows is messy, a lot of error messages, too much money they demand, and there is no drivers preinstalled, and you have to install everything manually + you also need to buy one extra software for almost every work. it is simply messy and i could not work there. Also you can get excellent support in forums and dedicated IRC channels, and get any problems solved in a snappy.

      There are a lot of benefits of using such Free and Open Source Softwares, but you need to have a look to it.

      I request you to check what FOSS and GPL are and get introduced to free and opensource softwares and Operating systems, like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, etc. There are hundreds out there, you need to choose one, download and use thats all. You are already using an Open Source Software : wordpress and it is under GPLv2 license

  5. Hey Timethief,

    I’ve been elbow-deep in networking for the past 10 years, so there’s a lot I already know about network security. Still, I get tricked sometimes. For example, my wife hit a website one night, and our BitDefender security window popped up with a message that read, “This website has placed a corrupted file on your system. Click here to quarantine this file.” We clicked on the button, then BitDefender came up with almost the exact same message again. “Whoa! Wait a minute,” I said. We were really confused until we figured out what was happening. It turns out that the first BitDefender window was NOT a window at all, but it was merely an image of a BitDefender window that someone had cleverly placed on a nefarious web page. When we hit the button to jettison what we thought was a corrupted file, the nefarious web page then attempted to upload a REAL corrupted file onto our PC. Luckily, that’s when the REAL BitDefender sprang into action and stopped the damage.

    Bottom line: don’t underestimate the hackers. They are getting very, very clever these days.



    • @Dan
      That was a close call. I remember this spring an update to BitDefender’s antivirus software crippled PCs running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and 7. But what you describe is downright diabolical and very crafty. There are other image based scams like this too all along the same line. A window pops up and they suck you into clicking so they can download malware into your computer. What possible enjoyment anyone could get from doing this escapes me. But I don’t under estimate them. Thanks for commenting BTW.

  6. Thanks timethief for bringing up an issue that I think people should be more concerned of these days and especially after Google was hacked in China and Google is now banning Windows OS in all it’s offices round about 20,000 Google employees going to shut Windows at the end of this year.
    If google can be hacked, We are nothing and therefore we need to be very vigilant and careful while browsing.
    Thanks for bringing awareness among masses.

    • I agree and my awareness has been heightened. I’ve always been wary of email. Now I’m particulalry wary of social networking sites too. Facebook has become a prime target for scammers, phishers and hackers. Twitter is infested too.

      If you aren’t careful and an attacker can access your computer, he or she may be able to find personal data stored in cookies. You may not realize the extent of the personal information stored on your computer until it is too late and your identity has been stolen.

      I read techjaws

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