What’s Your Internet Downloading Style?

“Hackers are attacking PCs with Internet access every 39 seconds”  – James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland
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Based on recent poll results, it’s pretty clear that the majority of voters, that is, 58% of you wait for feedback from trusted sources before you update your browser. But how do you decide if a “trusted source” is to be trusted? What should you look for?

How to Tell If you’re Downloading from a Trusted Source – A Couple of Ways to Know

1)      Make sure that the Web site is legitimate and reputable. 

Verify that an anti-virus program has checked the files on the download site. If you have any doubts, don’t download the file at all.

If you download software from the Internet, be especially vigilant of free software, which often carries adware or other potentially unwanted content along with it. Always read the privacy policies and end-user license agreements (EULAs) for software you install, regardless of the source.

Be especially wary of:

  • Screensavers
  • Games
  • Browser add-ons
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) clients & torrent sites
  • Any downloads claiming to be “cracked” or free versions of expensive applications, such as Adobe® PhotoShop® or Microsoft® Office.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Avoid downloads from non-Web sources altogether. The chances of downloading infected software from Usenet groups, IRC channels, instant messaging clients, or P2P is very high. Links to Web sites seen in IRC and instant messaging also frequently point to infected downloads.  Avoid obtaining your software from these sources.

2)      Look For the 4 Types of Trust Marks

  • Reputation (e.g. Better Business Bureau)
  • Privacy (e.g. TRUSTe)
  • Secure Sockets Layer (e.g. Verisign SSL)
  • Security/Vulnerability Scanning (e.g McAfee Secure™ service)

Did you already click that link?

If you are experiencing popups, crashes or freezes, then you may have already downloaded malicious files to your operating system.  Every time you install or update a program on your PC, you re-arrange the elements of your operating system, potentially disrupting the stability of your computer.

If you suspect malware on your computer, you need to do 2 things.

1)      Remove the malware.

2)      Replace corrupted and deleted files.

To detect and remove malware, get Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool to get rid of any malicious software on your PC right now.

The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool removes specific, prevalent malicious software families from computers running compatible versions of Windows. Microsoft releases a new version of the tool on the second Tuesday of every month, and as needed to respond to security incidents.

Additions are made each month to address the latest threats.

Click here to see a list of which malware this tool cleans.

If you are still experiencing crashing and freezing, then you may need a total repair of your OSScan for major damage to determine how deep the malware has penetrated.