Protect your computer against malware, trojans, anti-virus and more
If your computer isn't secure, losing your data could be the least of your worries. Malware is the collective term for any malicious software that might infect a computer, including Trojans, viruses and spyware. The development and spread of malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated, driven by organised criminal gangs for financial gain
Don't become a victim of fraud - learn how to protect your computer from online attacks:
- Trojans : Prevent malicious programmes from stealing your personal information
- Anti-virus : Put your computer on guard against attacks, and cure any infections.
- Anti-spyware : Stop unauthorised software snooping on details such as your passwords.
- Firewall : Control the information that comes into (and leaves) your PC.
- Operating system updates : Make sure you get the security benefits of the latest updates.
- Wireless network protection : Secure your wireless router at home.
- Browser updates : Older, outdated web browsers can seriously compromise your security.
Protect your personal information
Trojans are harmful programs that steal personal information. They can be installed from scam emails or infected websites. The user may not even know that they are infected. Due to their rapidly evolving nature, anti-virus software is often ineffective against Trojans.
What are the implications?
Trojans can detect the passwords typed when logging into online banking and credit card details entered when shopping online. Criminals will then use these details to commit fraud.
When a customer attempts to log in to online banking, some advanced Trojans can introduce fake additional pages or redirect the user to a spoofed website. These are an attempt to trick unsuspecting people into disclosing sensitive information
Keep your computer secure
A computer virus is much more than just an inconvenience. If your computer is affected, your personal and financial information could be compromised - and that's just the beginning. Viruses are harmful programmes that disrupt the way computers work. They can be installed from scam emails or infected websites. The user may not even know that they are infected.
What are the implications?
Viruses are designed to replicate and multiply, spreading between computers. They can cause severe problems, sending out spam email, slowing down or crashing your computer, corrupting or deleting files, and sending confidential information to fraudsters. Viruses may even redirect your internet browser to spoof websites.
Protect yourself from prying eyes
Spyware are harmful programmes that monitor computer activity. They can be installed from infected websites or storage devices connected to the computer. The user may not even know that they are infected.
What are the implications?
Spyware is designed to invade your privacy, gathering information about your computer and internet activity. Spyware can also be responsible for irritating pop-up adverts, slowing down your computer, and sending confidential information to fraudsters.
What can I do?
The most effective protection is to keep your computer's security up-to-date. Many anti-virus packages now come with built-in protection against spyware, so make sure you always have the latest version.
Operating system updates:
Keep the heart of your computer running safely
The latest operating systems - such as Windows XP and above and Mac OS X - can automatically keep themselves up-to-date.
This typically means that you have the option to have updates automatically downloaded as soon as they're available, helping to protect your computer from security breaches. Take the time to review your settings.
You can find out more about updating your operating system by visiting the Microsoft or Apple websites:
It is important to keep ALL software up to date, including Adobe and Java.
Wireless network protection:
Stop fraudsters from hijacking your wireless home network
Many laptops and handheld computers now come with built-in wireless networking. And the most common wireless device that could introduce risk at home is the wireless router used to connect your computer to the internet.
Most wireless routers are delivered without their security features turned on. Leaving your wireless network unprotected could be an open door for nosy neighbours - or even worse - malicious attackers searching for wireless networks to break into. Attackers who access your network could anonymously hijack your internet connection and steal personal information stored on your computer.
How to secure your wireless router at home
If you are not sure how to complete some of these tasks, ask someone with computer experience whom you trust to help.
Refer to the documentation that came with your hardware to find out how to protect the router Make sure that every computer using your wireless router has a firewall
Enable WPA 2 encryption instead of WEP where possible as it is a stronger solution Get Safe Online provides guidance about how to protect a wireless network.
Stay safe with the latest software
A browser is simply the software - such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari - that you use to access the internet.
Browsers are now more secure than ever before, and a big improvement on the versions that were available even 12 months ago.
And, as criminals often seek to exploit security gaps in older browsers, it pays to make sure you have the latest versions and that you have downloaded all the latest Security updates for your system.
How to stay up-to-date
The good news is that browsers are usually free. And if you have configured Windows or Mac OS X to automatically download the latest updates, the chances are you're already up-to-date.
However, you can always get the latest browsers directly from the companies that made them.