Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cyber Criminals and Internet Security

Today internet has become one of the most essential parts of the human life. Any small or big information that needs to be known is got in a fraction of seconds over the internet. Why Internet? – Because internet is a vast source of data and information. So let it be a shopping, banking, education, games, email or anything else, people just login to their computers, connect to the internet and source the information by just logging in to their online accounts. Just a small wonder, the prefix “www” we type in the address bar itself says “world Wide Web”, which says World Wide Information resource. So to safe guard the vast information resource, cyber security had been made the essential part of the internet, by the internet security industry.

Internet security industry as a whole compromises of internet security tool & applications, software and hardware development, new government rules and regulations, website security, network security and all the other things that is related to the internet. There are so many internet users prone to cyber attacks and become victims of identity theft. That is because people are not aware about the cyber criminals, waiting around in the internet to capture their data. So there is a need to educate the people about Information Security, and the enterprises, banking industry, Shopping portals, email service providers and all who have an online source have started alerting their customers, and their website visitors stating what needs to be checked while logging in to their accounts and so on.

How do cyber criminals act?

Cyber criminals pose to be “Phishers” or “Hackers”, who try to intrude into your network to gather all your personal and confidential details, for the sole benefit to acquire financial related information. To capture your data, cyber criminals, try to run spy bots- in a user’s computer by combing some spyware programs along with some freely available software. Once the user downloads and installs the software, the spyware also gets installed without the user’s knowledge and starts capturing all the information in the user’s computer and transmits the information to the third parties who we term as Cyber Criminals. So with the information the cyber criminals receive over the network, are used illegally to access the account of an unknown person, and take the necessary data, finance etc and elope. Finally the person who lost his money recognises that his identity is stolen. Not only the cyber criminals uses spywares, spy bots but also adware, viruses, worms, Trojans, Rootkits, key loggers and so many possible ways to hack a computer over the internet.

How to shield your computer from Cyber Criminals?

As the identity theft has increased today, the internet security software and hardware providers have been bringing many advancement to erode the activities of cyber criminals by providing latest internet security suite which include Anti-virus, firewall, antispyware, adware removal tools, parental control, backup, privacy control and many more computer security tools to shield a computer. Not only that many web services security companies along with webhosting companies provide measures for securing a website, and to prove its identity, and more over with antivirus solutions to protect the user’s computer, while uploading the relevant files to make a website live. Also many internet security forums, and consumer security forums, corporate, banks, educational institutions and all other people who are engaged to do business online has started creating the awareness to the consumers / customers, so that they won’t fall prey the phishers or hackers.

As a part of internet security awareness program, being a part of K7 Computing, I would like you to suggest K7 Computing Total Security, an internet security Suite, for you to have an enhanced and advanced protection for your computer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adware, Spyware, Firewall, Antivirus, System Monitor, Privacy, Parental Control Software – A Glossary

A form of advertising that is being integrated in most of the free software’s. They are usually commercial banner ads or popup advertisements, which slows down the system process. Adware gets installed without the user’s knowledge, when the user downloads certain free software for his own purpose.

Adware Remover
Adware Remover or Ad-ware removal tools are kind of internet security tools which prevents and protects a user from adware’s getting installed without his/her knowledge, while downloading free software’s over the internet. An Adware removal tool is also known as Adware Blockers.

Spyware is a form of software that gathers the computer activity and information secretly and transits to third parties when a user surfs the Internet. Spyware gets downloaded and installed automatically without the user’s knowledge.

Anti Spyware or Spyware Removers is software that is developed to detect and remove spying software being installed in a computer. Notably most of the spyware removal tools are developed in a way that it not only eliminates spy bots but also malwares, key loggers, root kits, browser hijackers, worms, Trojan horses, and other potential computer viruses.

Malware is termed as Malicious Software. Any software that is designed to disrupt a network, in the form of viruses, worms, Trojans, or any other illegal programs is termed as Malware.

Key Loggers
Keyloggers are programs that are being installed invisibly in a user’s computer without his /her knowledge to record the entire keyboard / keystroke activity, and pass it on to third parties, online thieves such as phisher or hackers.

Root Kits
Rootkits are small programs designed to steal passwords, and other confidential information from a computer, without the users’ knowledge. These Rootkits captures the user’s personal and confidential information and transfers it to hackers.

Firewall is also known as hacker intrusion prevention system or access control software. A firewall monitors the system traffic and alerts the user when there is some suspicious network that tries to gain access to the computer. There are two types of firewall – Hardware Firewall & Software Firewall.

Antivirus is a software program, which scans, detects, and prevents a computer from potential virus attacks. Nowadays most of the Antivirus software comes not only with Virus protection tools, but also with adware protection and spyware prevention tools.

System Monitor
System monitor are application that are being installed in a computer, to monitor the entire performance and activity of a computer, and alerts the user when any miscellaneous application is trying to change the computer’s security settings.

Privacy Control
Privacy control provides security for the users by providing him/her a security space to store all his personal / confidential details such as passwords, social security numbers and so on, which can be accessed only by the specified user.

Parental Control
Parental Control is a feature mostly used by parents, to block certain illegal, porn, gambling and other insecure websites, while their children surf over the internet. Nowadays privacy control and parental control features comes along with any internet security suite software’s.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Greetings! Happy Diwali Wishes! Have a Safe & Secure Diwali

The festive season has begun in India, now it’s the festival of lights – Diwali. People have started getting so many diwali greetings and product discount offers over email. Keep in mind this is the time for business and purchases, and also a hacking ground for phishers. When you receive an email stating, that you have won a lottery or get heavy discounts and you are interested to purchase, see if the website is secured with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. And also I wish you need to have an updated trusted version of desktop security products like anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam and so on. Because if a phisher tries to send a fake email or email with virus, Trojans, it would be quarantined or blocked by the help of internet security desktop products installed in your computer.

And people who wish to do physical shopping be aware that there might be pick-pockets/ thieves in crowded areas, who steal your wallet. If you have got debit cards, credit cards in your wallet and you wallet gets stolen, be sure you call the concerned back customer care to block your card. And also don’t reveal your password or the three digit secret pin behind your credit card to any one, because that may lead to misuse of your card.(Might be a person who sees the card number and hears the pin, then he may use it in online shopping portals easily). Have a Safe and Secure Shopping and enjoy your festive season.

Wishing you all a Very Happy, Safe and Secure Diwali (Deepavali) :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Parental Control, Privacy Control Software – Is that really necessary?

The answer for parental control is YES! Nowadays most of children in the age of 3 itself start using the computers, for game or fun. Recently I visited one of my friends house, and was surprised to see that his 6 year old son, came from the school, and asked “Dad, Is the computer ready?” and my friend replied “Yes”. And his son threw the bag, went had his biscuits and sat in front of the computer, switched on, and asked “Where are the games?” As my friend replied, as the computer crashed, all those gaming software being installed were lost. The little boy without hesitating, said ok, and just opened the IE (Internet Explorer) browser, typed in the address bar, and was searching, free games. Within a fraction of minutes, he just went into a website and downloaded the software, installed and started playing the games. Here is how the problem starts, the kid he knew only to download the software, whereas he is not aware of the prevailing internet security threats or any other thing. So the parents should set an access control to the websites they enter. So the access control software we term as Parental Control.

Parental control or privacy control is an essential feature because, the parents can set some rules stating that the children can access only specified sites and block access to pornography etc. Most of t he children they come to the gaming sites to play some online games, the thing is suddenly a window pops up with porn picture or so, and even asking to download a new game, which may consist of some viruses or Trojans in it. So the children unknowing as an entertainment download them with an interest to play a new game. So parents need to concerned about their child’s online security, have some restrictions. Also it’s a responsibility of a parent to have an internet security suite which has privacy / parental control feature in it, and also the suite will have virus removal tool, with firewall – to stop unauthorized traffic entering your network.

There are a few internet security software companies like K7computing, providing advanced level of parental control in its Total Security – internet security suite. K7 Total Internet Security Suite has a privacy / parental control with features, where you can allow and block websites and also allows the user to set a timer, from when to when the internet can be accessed. This is very useful for parents, who have children spending time in the online internet games for long hours. The parents can set the time to grant / restrict access to the internet to their children between two specified time. Say for example, Grant internet access between 1 PM to 3 PM only, so after 3 PM, the internet will get disconnected. This is an advanced feature in K7 Total Security.
Also it is good to advise the children not to download anything without their (parents) knowledge so the computer won’t be affected by any miscellaneous operations. Also I wish you read an general instruction about mobile security ,which we need to be aware of being a mobile phone user.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Measures for safe and Secure internet and computers

The world is now connected to the internet, and almost 65% of the world population has started using internet as the mode for communication, banking, shopping and so on. In olden days all the official and personal data are being hand written or type-written in papers. So if an thief wanted to steal the data he needs to come, break the door and steal some confidential data and use it. So there were security guards and burglar alarm being placed to prevent, protect and safeguard from theives. But now the paper age has gone and computer age has boomed with recent technology developments. Since the invention of internet in 1957, when the soviet union started sputnik 1 its first satellite to beat the United States space, the internet age started. The invention of the internet made an easy choice for the theives, who we term as hackers (Online theives) steal the data from computers using the internet gateway. So to safeguard against data theft, we need to prevent and protect our computer from such kind of phishing and pharming attacks. I wish you can download your free trial version of Total Internet Security Suite, to check how it works and safeguards your computer.

So what is the security measures that needs to be taken to prevent identity theft?

As said earlier, in olden days we used security guards to protect an theif entering our office, likewise we need to have an protection software i.e. access – control software to be installed in the computer to prevent an hacker entering our system/network. So proactively an Desktop Firewall software needs to be installed which functions as a hacker intrusion prevention system. The firewall alerts the user whenever some one is trying to access our computer. So its our choice to allow, deny or block access to our computer network.

If at all, an thief enters in our office in disguise, showing an fake identity to the security guards, and once the security guards, knew that a thief has entered the office showing a fake identity, they will need to get alert and start detecting and prosecute the theif, and leaving him behind the bars. So comparitively if a user unknowingly allows, an application to enter into the system, and comes to know there is some changes happening in the computer automatically without the user‘s knowledge, the user needs to get alert on the issue. As the hackers, phishers try to get into the system writing some mailcious Software program ie. Malware or by using spyware, virus, trojans, worms etc to fetch the confidential data from the users computer on the backend. So inorder to detect and quarantine an unwanted program from our computer, an anti-virus software needs to be installed. An anti-virus software functions as a detection and virus removal software. Also some antivirus software comes with a Spam control option, where it would actively stop you from receiving spam mails, by blocking them.

Like having the burglar alarm, security guards and cops to safeguard your premises, its always good to have internet security suite as a computer security program, to prevent unethical hackers, known and unknown potential viruses and so on to have a safe and secure internet access in our computer. To prevent and protect is always better then cure. So its a good thing to have a computer security software, which acts as a protection, prevention, detection and cure tool. The recent IT trends has been giving so many technologies such as wireless internet access, laptops and so on, which is misused by the phishers causing serious internet security breaches. Though the internet threats are increasing day-by-day, as a user we need to be aware about internet security threats and protect ourselves from getting into the prey for phishing and pharming attacks.

Yuvaraj :

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