To make this simpler, let's pretend your computer is a home. And a virus is much like a fire. It starts small, easily contained but it can spread. Especially when it goes unnoticed. Free antivirus software is a small fire extinguisher. It'll put out those small fires and keep the problem under control. Paid antivirus software is like the fire department that's keeping those small fires under control and puts it out. But you shouldn't rely solely on antivirus software. It is one piece of the security puzzle as it can only protect against threats it knows about.
Hardware firewalls also help with an additional layer of protections against hackers, viruses, worms, identity theft, security breaches via instant messaging "holes," access to offensive web content and more. AntiAd and Anti-malware is also designed to help provide advanced protection from known Data-Mining, aggressive advertising, parasites, scumware, select Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijacks, tracking components, pop-up advertisements, reduced computer performance or in the worst case the loss of private information and identity theft.
To put it another way, all of these risks are like thieves, trying to get into your home. So with hardware and software firewalls, what do you need? A hardware firewall is much like a moat around your home. It'll stop most big threats from getting in. The better your moat, the more sophisticated attacks it can handle. It can't look inside and see a problem, but it can help stop breaches.
Sometimes things can get in through other means. The firewalls are the safes and locked doors within your home. They'll protect your important files in case something does get in. But if all of that fails, a backup plan or disaster recovery plan can be like your insurance to get everything back up and running should the worst happen.
But let's say that someone turns off all the alarms and ignores the fire extinguisher. These systems can't help then. That's why you, your staff, and the people who use your network are always the most important piece of your security system. So here are a few tips to remember:
- Be careful in opening any email attachments, even if you know who sent it
- Watch out for psychological ploys: Cries for help including a money transfer, sudden windfalls such as prizes or inheritances, too good to be true offers, etc.
- Don't click on links in emails that you are not familiar with, enter URLs yourself
- Use commercial protection software, such as Trend Micro and Symantic
- Attachments are the most frequently used hacking/phishing method, so don't open attachments from unknown sources and attachments that may not have been scanned for viruses
- Always treat attachments on e-mails with caution, especially those ending with extensions such as .exe, .bat, .com, or .zip. These can more likely be viruses.
- Don't open any email attachments from unknown senders
- Don't open, forward, or reply to any spam or suspicious email containing generic text like "Review the attached file", or "see file for details" or "for your review", as they likely contain malware.
- Use similar skepticism when surfing, using Facebook, or downloading anything.
- Ads often try to look like the download button, but they are often marked as ads in fine print.
- Also be sure to look out for:
- Unusual sender emails (The domain isn't the same as company name)
- Newsletters you didn't sign up for
- Double file extensions
- Unsolicited emails
- Texts from unknown senders
Lastly, watch out for "spoof" emails. These are emails that look like legitimate senders, such as UPS, Nordstroms, Fed Ex, etc, but send attachments that are spyware and viruses that will be unleashed into your system. So if you are not 100% sure, call the sender to see if they sent it.
Cycrest is your home protection specialist working to help block out viruses, malware, and hackers from crippling your network and hurting your bottom-line. But there are some ways that the alarm can be turned off from within and the door left wide open. So if you aren't sure if something is a virus or risk, give Cycrest a call and we'll be happy to let you know.
Cycrest Systems, Inc: "Providing Stability and Increased Productivity to Your Organization," all with our "One Call…Total Service" approach.