The Internet today is filled with huge amount of malware activities and one small mistake can make you fall prey to them. These mistakes often end up in infection of the PC or exploit online accounts (bank accounts, credit cards, etc.) of the user. The activities you need to avoid online are as follows:
Not dealing seriously with passwords
Everyone knows that passwords are important. Yet most of them fail to create or maintain them properly. It might be because of the ignorance on the importance or on how to maintain them properly. Whatever may be the reason, the most common blunders to avoid while dealing with passwords are:
- Creating easy-to-crack passwords
Hackers use ultra password cracking technologies. Not creating longer and complex passwords, is actually equal to helping the hackers crack in to your account.
- Easy to guess password recovery options
Many websites use security questions to help people recover their password in case they lose it. Using simple questions like birth date, pet’s name which are either easy to guess or are visible openly on your social networking account, is another major blunder to avoid while dealing with passwords online.
- Using the same password for multiple online accounts
Same passwords for all online accounts are as safe as the weakest passwords. If one password is cracked or stolen, the chances for hacker to procure other online accounts of the user are high.
Getting lured into fascinating or controversial news
Malware authors know that people naturally are more interested in fascinating news or controversial rumors, and plan new attacks that are targeted specifically towards this crowd. This is called SEO poisoning. It’s estimated that more than 10 percent of search results for Google’s highest-ranked web sites are malicious sites.
Failing to update Microsoft Windows OS / Java / Adobe Reader / Adobe Flash
Updates are provided for software in order to patch-up security vulnerabilities in them. Especially, Windows, Java, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash remain the most exploited software applications due to their vulnerabilities. Failing to update these leaves the PC potentially vulnerable for malware attacks.
Opening an email attachment / Clicking on a link in an email – from someone you don’t know
According to a recent report released by Symantec, spam now accounts for 78.6% of all email traffic in US and 75.7% of all email traffic, globally. Opening email attachments from unknown user may deploy malware into your PC. A link on a spam email may direct you to a spoofed website.
Checking the “Remember Me” box in public PCs
This option saves cookies and login details of the user in the browser, until he signs-out manually. Thus, if the user checks back into the site later anytime, he doesn’t require to provide login details again, to access his account.
However, while using public PCs, enabling this option is equal to providing your login details to the any user of that PC, who can check back at any time and access your account.
Leaving Facebook privacy settings unchecked
Facebook is recently in the news for hacking of its CEO’s fan page. The most popular social networking site, Facebook, has many users who are not aware of its security features or privacy settings. Your personal information will be available for everyone to see if you leave privacy settings unchecked on Facebook.
Using BitTorrent sites to download copyrighted content
Downloading illegal software from BitTorrent sites can expose your computer to Trojans and Spyware.
Playing free online games
There are many malicious websites online that lure users by providing free online games. Don’t play online games on unreliable websites. Also be cautious when asked to download free games.
Connecting to unknown wireless networks
Many people log into unknown (private) wireless networks at public places like airports and hotels. These networks can be potentially harmful. Always be sure that you are logging into known (private) wireless networks only.
These are the most dangerous online activities. Proper awareness and efficient precautions are required to stay away from committing those mistakes and stay safe and secure online.