Your Computer Can Be Infected by H1N1 – Here’s How

  • Comments: 7
  • Written on: November 7th, 2009

If you listen to my weekly radio show, have had your computer in to Schrock Innovations, or generally have not been living under a rock for the past ten years, you know that you need to have security software on your PC.

You probably know that you need anti-virus software and you might even know you need a firewall program.

However, Secunia.com reports that many security suites attempt to detect threats when they arrive at the PC rather than preventing those threats by closing the doors they come through.

Your Computer Can Catch H1N1 – Here’s How

Most security software works in a similar way to your immune system. Your immune system sees a new intruder, fights it and defeats it. It then creates a set of detections based on that infection’s signature. Your detections are supplemented by inoculations (definition updates) to teach your body how to fight intruders it has never seen before.

Now imagine that a new intruder comes along and smacks your immune system. Imagine this infection is H1N1. Your body has never seen it before. Your body will probably beat the infection, but there is a chance it could get through and cause all kinds of problems, even death.

To help reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus you are told to prevent infection by reducing the number of infection opportunities – wash your hands, cover your cough, etc..

When is the last time you reduced the risk of being infected by washing your computer’s digital hands with some serious anti-exploit soap?

So Why Don’t We Do That With Our Computers?

We are all told to get our Microsoft Updates and update our security software. While these sound practices help reduce some infection opportunities, Secunia.com reported recently that 28% of the applications on your computer are probably insecure.

That means that common programs that most of us use every day like Flash, Java, Skype, iTunes, and more may be out of date. Software programs are constantly under attack by an ever more sophisticated culture of digital thugs seeking to use your computer for their purposes.

Recently these thugs are finding it easier to attack your insecure programs to gain access rather than your more heavily fortified Windows Operating System.

If you keep all of your applications patched with their most recent security updates, you are in effect reducing the possibility that any viruses or malware infections will find a way into your computer – you are in effect washing your computer’s hands with some really good anti-bacterial soap.

Think You Are Up To Date? Scan and See

I own and run a computer repair company. I read all of the boring stuff online about trends, infections, updates and the like. I would consider my computer to have one of the cleanest sets of hands around.

I decided to run a free scan from Secunia.com to see how many of my computer’s programs are not up to date with the most recent security patches. I was stunned:

outdated_programs

Run the scan yourself and see how your computer does!

Malware Makers Begin Attacking “Under Served” Mac Users

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: August 12th, 2009

For the past few years Apple has had a heyday with ads proclaiming that Macs are inherently free of viruses and spyware because of the superior software they employ.

And for the past three years on my radio show I have said that the reason Mac users don’t get many viruses is because not many people were using Mac.

After Vista’s shortcomings gave Apple an opening to sell a LOT of Macs and their marketshare broke 10% of users in the US.

With more and more people using Macs, attackers are now realizing that Mac users are a very undeserved population. Many don’t run any security software at all because they believe they are impervious to attack.

Do Mac Users Need Security Software?

In short, if you plan on doing anything important with your Mac, you need security software. If you are using a Mac to play games for your 4 year old, then you can probably go without.

Before you pack your student up for college and send that Mac off to class, here is a list of security software providers who have products you can use to protect yourself and your identity.

The Basics of Securing Your PC

  • Comments: 3
  • Written on: November 9th, 2008

So exactly what do you need on your computer to keep you safe on the ever-increasingly dangerous wilds of the Internet?

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