5 Min Security Tip: Put Your Security Mask On

Solution and mouseEach Internet computer user has the power to improve his or her security for free, in less than 5 minutes and without downloading anything.

Much of our vulnerability to malware and identity theft begins with the choices we make when using our computers to travel the Internet and even managing our email. We make choices when we visit websites, when we backup our computers, when we open our email, and when we click on links. Choices that might well get our computers infected with malware, our bank accounts cleaned out, our identity stolen and our credit ruined. Most of the malware that wreaks this havoc depends on computer users’ curiosity, ignorance of vulnerabilities, and lack of discipline, to infect computers and commit their damage.

So, what is this security tip? And why is it free and available? It’s your attitude while using your computer. Let me repeat that…It’s your attitude. You need to have an attitude that causes you to be distrustful of every email you don’t know who it’s from and/or didn’t expect to receive. This attitude causes you to distrust every link offered to you. This attitude causes you to have a healthy paranoia of being infected with malware and worse if you’re not very, very careful.

That’s easier said than done for most people because most people are inherently nice, curious, trusting and friendly…not the best attributes for staying safe. So, here’s where the security mask comes in.

Most people can “act” like they have the necessary attitude. Think of having a security mask that transforms you to have the attitude whenever you mentally put it on. Picture the mask having a furrowed brow, distrustful eyes, a nose for sniffing out trouble, and a mouth with a sinister smirk. Then you can act like a person who’s distrustful, and paranoid…perfect for making better decisions about clicking on links and visiting questionable websites. Oh, and the security mask helps you to trust your intuition, your gut feelings about potential danger.

It make take some practice, but armed with an attitude via your security mask and the knowledge that your decisions are part of the problem, you’ll improve your computer and Internet  safety very quickly. See the following articles for additional information on safe use of the Internet:

Your Internet Use: Safe or Risky?
Email Hoaxes: How To Spot One
There’s No Magic Computer Security Switch
Seven Steps to a Secure Computer

Educate yourself on Internet security best practices by reading the above articles, and then design your mask in your head, empower it to give you the attitude you need, and by all means use it to make yourself a safer computer user. Put your security mask on.

Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.

Please comment on this article; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you enter your email address in the Email Subscriptions box on the right column of this page, I’ll send you an email when a new article is posted. I don’t share your email address with anyone…no one; I hate spam too. Please share my site with your friends and family. Thanks.

Remember, personal computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,

Paul

paulsinternetsecurity(at)yahoo.com

I’m also on Twitter, @PaulsInternet.

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and FreeByte.com

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5 Comments

Filed under Education, General Discussion, Internet Security, malware

5 responses to “5 Min Security Tip: Put Your Security Mask On

  1. There is also danger in being too careful and missing out on a lot of what cyberspace has to offer. Take a walk on the wild side. Even if you push the wrong button or click the wrong link and your computer explodes, you’re still OK as long as you have a backup.

    • redBug,
      Thanks for the comment. But, I disagree with you. We can still “experience a lot of what cyberspace has to offer”…if we use the proper security practices. By your comment that you’ll be okay as long as you have a backup; I see that you don’t understand how some of the malware works. For instance, the Zeus Trojan will clean out your bank account, how will having a backup help that? Backing up your computer is a great thing to do, but it won’t stop an attack on your bank account or keep your identity from being stolen. I write this blog to help people be safer on the Internet, sometimes zealously, but it’s to help keep people like you safer.
      Paul

      • Paul,
        You are quite right. Your point is well taken. Everybody should be concerned with cyber safety. It’s good that people like you point this out. It is, however, possible to be too concerned. I actually know a few peeps who won’t own a computer and who won’t go online at all for fear of what might happen. I know some others, only a little better off, who go online but are afraid of exploring much. It would be good if beginners had virtual machines with which they could explore and experiment to their heart’s content without fear, knowing the virtual machine could be easily reset if needed. And, being beginners, they should not, of course, dabble with online banking or other such things until after they have made enough relatively harmless mistakes to learn what’s what. Making mistakes is a good way to learn, as long as the mistakes don’t cause much harm.
        I’ve been computing since the days of the Commodore Vic 20. I’m relatively safe.

  2. Pingback: Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 31, 2013 | Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

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