Let’s face it there is a monstrous pile of garbage on the Internet, doing more harm than good. It is content we don’t approve of, advertising, social and marketing agendas, hidden spyware and tracking, malicious infections, scams … and the list goes on and on.
So you say you have antivirus protection, keep your computer up to date with the latest security, make purchases only when the site is secure, and you clean your system and browser regularly. Great, you are on the right track! But is that really enough? Let’s see…
- Antivirus protection is similar to having a doctor that oversees your health, cures you when sick and provides preventative measures to maintain your health. Just because you have one, doesn’t mean you’re immune. With that said, it’s better to have one than not.
- Keeping your system updated is extremely important. Just like a well-built castle, your computer requires high strong walls to keep out those you don’t want in. They will try over and over again, testing your walls for weaknesses. Castles, as your computer, will eventually fall if not updated, secured and maintained – be vigilant.
- Making online purchases or accessing online accounts is common these days. Most sites use an encrypted method to secure the connection. A lock symbol appears, indicating a secure connection, telling you that any information entered will be securely passed and received. There are many levels of security, the higher the stronger and the lower the weaker. Some computers and browsers are limited in this capacity – stay current with the latest operating system to maintain stronger security.
- Purging unnecessary and collected data your computer obtains will help maintain your privacy. Think about how much information about could be obtained by going through your garbage. A lot can be learned if you don’t take precautions. Dump it before someone gets it, and do it frequently.
Still feeling confident? Let me challenge you with something to think about. Do you know what actually occurs when you visit a website? You should, so let me share a quick breakdown of what generally happens.
When you go to any website, you are actually making a request to have all the information associated on that page to be directly delivered to you. It is delivered to you as one or more packages. Your computer opens each one. As each package is delivered, it is stored on your computer and displayed on your computer screen for you to see and interact with.
Sounds harmless enough, but how many of these packages did you receive and where did they all come from? Most people assume all the packages came from the same place source – not all the time. Unless the site is secure, it’s a gamble.
Imagine sorting through your daily email. Do you get spam, or is it filtered out? Do you trust and open all the emails? Now, do you trust your antivirus to protect you enough to open emails received? Most likely you don’t, or try not to. The packages delivered to you from websites are the same. They can come from anywhere (any number of websites) and can do any number of things.
It’s definitely something to think about. With over 30,000 websites a day infected, not to mention internet marketing and advertising that follows us everywhere, the chances of stumbling across something is pretty good. Be safe.
What can I do? I recommend having some kind of Internet filtering solution. Look for something that blocks these garbage sites from communicating with your computers BEFORE it sends packages to you! As with anything, there is no perfect solution – but it’s a good first line of defense.