Internet Security

There are lots of Internet Security products available. These are my recommendations.

It won’t happen to me, right? I have a really clever password – passw0rd – no one will guess that – I use it everywhere. Never go to ‘dodgy’ sites – apart from that joke site that keeps sending me spam. They won’t clear out my bank account like what happened to my mate Bob – he’s an idiot. Nah, won’t happen to me.

Sorry, it probably already has. People think that it won’t happen to them; that they will be okay; that it only happens to other people. Sorry, bad things do happen to good people.

Using the same password on every site – no matter how clever the password – is the worst thing you can do. Any password that can be pronounced is useless – and swapping letters for numbers, like 0 for O or ! for i, is better than nothing, but the hackers know all about that.

To make a good password use a phrase to create an abbreviation, for example “no hacker will ever steal one dollar from me” becomes “nhwes1dfm!” or follow this How to choose a strong password.

And use a different password on every site. If there are too many to remember (I have over 500), use a password manager like KeePass.

So you don’t go to ‘dodgy’ sites? Well you don’t need to. Hackers love to compromise legitimate sites. They know that you are suspicious of a site like ‘its-a-scam.ru’ so they will break into some innocent site and corrupt it as you are more likely to trust ‘your-local-cafe.com.au’.

No one is safe – to be safer install decent security software.

There are lots of products in the market. Many of them are useless. Look at the products market share – if no one else is using it, then it will be for a reason. I have found the Microsoft products to be very poor performers. For home users the commercial products are a waste of money as the free product often perform better anyway.

Have a look at Choice – Antivirus software review.

I recommend Avast Anti-virus and Comodo firewall. Both are free, through the paid version of Avast is excellent and a fraction of the price of some of its competitors.

Recently I conducted an evaluation for a security solution at work. All the big names were asked for quotes, some couldn’t be bothered responding, others wanted silly money. In the end we chose Avast (with Comodo a very close runner up). One of the deciding factors was that the Avast Boot Time Scan was one of the few tools that could reliably detect root-kits.

Of course you are not using Internet Explorer. You are? What’s your credit card number? Everyone else knows it so you can tell me too. Seriously – use something else – anything else. I prefer Mozilla Firefox, but Google Chrome is also excellent.

And the number one security tool – common sense. If it’s to good to be true, it’s a scam. Do not reply to spam – ever – even to say ‘don’t send this’ – you will only get more. Don’t order magic pills from China. No Rwandan prince wants to send you his millions for safe keeping. Bill Gates won’t send you $5 if you ‘Like’ his post. And if you’re stupid enough to send these crooks money then I have a bridge for sale.

Be sensible and stay safe.

 

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