Computer Newbies forum


cyber attacks

by Needssomehelp / March 29, 2013 1:13 AM PDT

So much in the news about foreign cyber attacks!
Exactly what can we do to protect ourselves??

Please use very "simple" terms....thanks!!

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All Answers

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Learn As Much As You Can...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 29, 2013 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: cyber attacks

First, if you're a single home user, there's not much to worry about a foreign country attacking you specifically.. That said, there are a number of scammers on the internet, from foreign countries, which DO have a potential to effect you. Hacked websites, email spam, malware scams, etc. can effect you directly. I've put just a few things to do and watch out for below. Others in these forums may have other ideas.:

1. Install an antivirus/antispyware program on your computer. If you're connected with other computers on a network, enable a firewall on your computer to avoid infection from other machines on the network... and keep your protection programs current.. Know what they do and how they work. If you're using a router, enable that firewall also.

2. Keep your version of Windows current by installing Windows Updates and Service Packs as they become available.

3. Be sure, when you're on the internet, to NOT click on everything you see. Don't visit dodgy sites and don't use cracked software.. And if a popup appears, don't "Click Here" like it says.. and that includes popups that say your computer is infected..

4. Don't use P2P software sharing programs as they are a major method for spreading malware.

5. Don't open attachments in your email unless you're POSITIVE it's a safe attachment.. One of the most common ways of infection is an attachment in an email from a friend or relative.. Their computers can be infected too.

6. Remember, there is NO free lunch.. If you receive something that looks too good to be true, avoid it like the plague.. It's how the Nigerian scams go started..

Hope this helps.


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I also use tools like
by itsdigger / March 29, 2013 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: cyber attacks

WOT (Web of Trust) to warn me of bad sites also Adblock Plus to block those pop-ups. Make sure you use healthy passwords and don't give them out to friends or even family.

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An additional tip for you
by mchainmchain / March 29, 2013 8:55 PM PDT
In reply to: cyber attacks

Grif warns not to click on attachments. Reason for that there is a common trick is to disguise a malicious file as a normal file when it is not.

Example: Word uses the file extension .doc

A malicious file may use Mary.doc.exe, It is the .exe extension that makes the file not a Word document but an executable file, and therefore malicious. It can and will run as a program on your computer if opened or double-clicked.

Normal system settings do not show the file extension of a file. Normal system settings have the file extension hidden from view. So a Word document "Mary" would only show "Mary" under normal circumstances. You would see the program icon for Word and think everything was ok, and then, oops!


Control Panel>Folder Options>View Tab>untick "Hide extensions for known file types"

Now "Mary" will be "Mary.doc" when set to display known file extensions. So, if you should ever see an email attachment that says "National Republican Society.pdf.exe", you will know you should not click on that in the future.

You would also be able to see Mary.doc.exe if that were to ever happen and avoid clicking on it.

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