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Computer Threats: Fake Updates from Symantec Products

February 21, 2012

One of the fastest-growing methods cybercriminals are using of disseminating malware is through fake antivirus software. Fake antivirus software can either be a program that claims to be antivirus software that does little or no work, or it can actually be a Trojan horse, disguised to actually implant malware onto a computer. The purpose of it is to scare a user and get the payment out.

The reason why fake antivirus software can get around powerful protection is because of social engineering. Social engineering is the term used to describe the act of tricking an unsuspecting person into giving up information or money. Specifically, this is done in the context in the digital world where the trick is done remotely.

Question:

I have Norton Internet Security on my computer, and heard that it was hacked. Now, I’m getting e-mail from Symantec saying that I need to update my security, and the e-mail provides a link. I know you say never click a link in an e-mail, but what do I do about my security?

Answer:

You’re wise to question that e-mail. Hackers did indeed break into the network of security developer Symantec and stole the source code for multiple security programs, including your Norton Internet Security. While that happened back in 2006, the hackers just released new information related to that incident last week, so there is renewed concern.

Now other hackers are taking advantage of the situation and sending fake e-mail with malicious attachments and links. Remember, Symantec programs update themselves. The company will never send you update links or attachments via e-mail. Symantec will also never ask for your personal information.

That e-mail is a fake. If you use Symantec products, you’ll need to watch them carefully for available updates.

For more information on keeping your computer virus free, visit our site at OrangeCountyComputer.com and read our few simple and effective steps for proper security on your desktop/laptop system.

3 New Tips on Keeping Your PC Virus Free, & Helpful Tricks to Create Secure Passwords!

November 14, 2011

Recent surges in identity theft calls for an increase in online consumer identity protection.

Anti-Virus Integration

If your computer gets a virus; it’s not something a little lie-down and a bowl of chicken soup is going to fix.

Note: Computer viruses are similar to real flu virus in which they are always working around the clock to acclimate to new security updates and patches.

That’s why your computer’s anti-virus should always be renewed immediately after your subscription expires to ensure that you have the latest security updates and patches.
And now, a look at how you can have your own back:

Plugin Check

Plugins like Flash, QuickTime and Java can make your computer vulnerable if not up to date. Check and update them regularly with our Plugin Check for happy computers and safe browsing.

Customized Security Settings

Depending on how comfortable and confident you are with your virus prevention, take a look at what your browser of choice provides for you on security settings. You can change these settings to your preference to accommodate for children that share computers with the household etc.

Secure Passwords

Hopefully none of your online passwords are “password.” And hopefully you didn’t just answer, “why not?” And hopefully you’ve chosen as strong a password as possible.

Choosing more secure passwords will help keep your identity safe on the internet. Here are a few tips to start with:

  1. Take a moment to think of a phrase that’s meaningful to you. Use that phrase to create a secure password that you can customize for each website you visit. (Ex: Hihas4ei)
  2. Add special characters. (Ex: #Hihas4ei)
  3. Associate it with a website. (Ex: fCb#Hihas4ei: for Facebook)

While this technique lets you reuse the phrase-generated part of the password on a number of different websites, it would still be a bad idea to use it on a site like a bank account which contains high-value information. Sites like that deserve their own password selection phrase.

The Tech Team at Orange County Computer®, wants to help you protect your confidential financial and personal information from hackers.

We keep ourselves up to date on the latest information on how our customers and keep their information secure. For more tips to keep your information secure, you can visit our site, www.orangecountycomputer.com, call our Tech Repair Center: 949-699-6619, or email us support@orangecountycomputer.com.