There is a lot of advice out there in regards to what many people believe are the “best practices” of computer security and maintaining your computers health but what about the “what not to do”? What we are going to talk about here is an invented family of “What Not To Dos”.
The – What Not to Do Family
The hypothetical “What Not to Do’s” is a family that thinks they can get by without any spyware and antivirus protection and also does not update their computer with the latest patches. They follow all the best practice rules – opposite of the way they are supposed to.
They family unknowingly opens attachments from individuals they don’t know, like Mother “What Not to Do” who receives an email from someone that she doesn’t know. Although the subject line says I love you, the email still comes from an un-trusted source. Unknowingly, by opening the “I love you” email mother “What Not to Do” has opened a virus/worm that makes awful changes to the family computer. The virus then starts a worldwide computer virus pandemic by sending a copy of the “I love you” email to everyone in her address list. Nice! The lowdown about her worldwide pandemic can be found by searching Wikipedia.org for “I love you virus”
Father “What Not to Do” thinks that updates are not necessary for the family’s computer. He uses at computer at work and now prides him on being a computer expert at home. Father “What Not to Do” never updates his computer at the office so why should he when he’s at home? What Father doesn’t realize is that every night after he leaves the office, the office computers automatically update themselves with the latest operating system patches. The computer guys at his work have set this up so the company will stay safe from viruses, worms and spyware that try an attack their corporate computers.
Little Jonny “What Not to Do” is a computer buff. Jonny is always on the computer when he gets home and is constantly downloading free music to feed his stylish little mp3 player he got for his birthday. Instead of using iTunes or another reputable program to buy his music, Jonny uses BearShare. Jonny doesn’t care that BearShare may be harmful to his family’s computer; Jonny is only concerned with downloading as much music as possible. He is also absent to the fact that he is illegally downloading the music because all the music he downloads is commercial music. 2500 mp3 files at $.99 a song… That’s… $2475. Hey, that dollar amount counts as a felony little Jonny.
In every case and in every instance of their day-to-day lives the “What Not To Do” family involuntarily does something to harm their computer. They may think that they are safe but come to realize they are not when one day they find that Father “What Not to Do’s” identity has been abducted. The culprit? A computer hacker in a foreign country who made his way in to the family’s computer through back doors left by a spyware program he designed.
The “What Not to Do” family may have been invented but everything described in their actions is true and happens every day to families and people all across the world. Operating system updates, spyware blockers and antivirus programs are essential tools to keeping your family safe. Use them! It will cost you much less down the road than you think you’ll save now by not using them.
Below are a few ideas of what not to do:
Do not open attachments that you are not familiar with.
If the subject line looks strange do not open it. If it is from a friend stop and wait until you talk with your friend to make sure they themselves sent the email.
Do not use P2P or “peer to peer” sites for downloading music, video, games, software, etc.
Do not open or install files sent via instant messenger from anonymous people.
Below are a few ideas of what to do:
Scan attachments with a virus scanner or anti spyware programs before downloading it.
Never turn your antivirus or spyware blockers software off for a long duration of time.
Never turn off your firewall.
Update your computers operating system.
Don’t be like the “What Not To Do” family. Look into getting spyware blockers and antivirus protection. We’re on the internet together.