Tutorial How to avoid malware

Jack

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#1
A. Prevent malware with smart online behavior

The single biggest factor in preventing a malware infection on your PC is you. You don't need expert knowledge or special training. You just need vigilance to avoid downloading and installing anything you do not understand or trust, no matter how tempting, from the following sources:

From a website: The internet is a dangerous place so try to stay away from sites offering commercial software serial numbers, keygens or other hacked material.
Download programs only from reputable websites that have confirmed the software is malware free.If you are unsure, leave the site and research the software you are being asked to install. If it is OK, you can always come back to site and install it. If it is not OK, you will avoid a malware headache.

From e-mail: If you're not familiar with the sender, do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. Some viruses replicate themselves and spread via email. Stay on the safe side and confirm that the attachment was sent from a trusted source before you open it.

From physical media: Your friends, family, and associates may unknowingly give you a disc or flash drive with an infected file on it. Don't blindly accept these files; scan them with security software. If you are still unsure, do not accept the files.

From a pop-up window: Some pop-up windows or boxes will attempt to corner you into downloading software or accepting a free "system scan" of some type. Often these pop-ups will employ scare tactics to make you believe you need what they are offering in order to be safe. Close the pop-up without clicking anything inside it (including the X in the corner). Close the window via Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl-Alt-Delete).

From another piece of software: Often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as a toolbar or other programs. Be very careful what you agree to install. Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

From illegal file-sharing services: You're on your own if you enter this realm. There is little quality control in the world of illegal software, and it is easy for an attacker to name a piece of malware after a popular movie, album, or program to tempt you into downloading it.
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B. Prevent malware with the right software

1. Keep your Operating System, Software, and Drivers Up-To-Date

It is essential that you keep your operating system, software, and drivers updated with the latest hotfixes, patches, and security releases from the manufacturer on a regular basis.
Make sure that the Windows Updates are turned on and that you have the latest security releases and patches for your operating system.
Let Windows automatically check for security updates. Windows 7 is using this setting out of the box - just make sure it's really turned on.
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting home users. Their entry points are vulnerabilities (certain code errors or bugs) in popular third party (non-Microsoft) programs, which are exploited and used as a gateway to compromise PCs and access confidential data such as passwords, online profiles, and bank details.
The only solution to these types of attacks is to apply security updates, or “patches”. Patches are offered free-of-charge by most software vendors; however, finding all of these patches is tedious and time-consuming, so you can use a free software update monitor check if your programs are up to date.

2. Build up your malware defenses

The Internet is not a safe place if you go online without securing your computer, in order to avoid any malware infection is important that build up a solid malware defense system.
This is a list of components that should be part of your security configuration :
  1. Antivirus Engine
  2. Firewall
  3. Behavior Blocker
  4. Host Intrusion Prevention System
  5. Virtualization Software
  6. Site Advisor
  7. On-demand Scanners
You can build up your malware defenses with our help by starting a thread in our Security Configuration Wizard forum.

3. Secure your browser

  • Consider the use of an alternate Browser, such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera, which are not susceptible to the same vulnerabilites of Internet Explorer 7 and 8 or update your Internet Explorer to the latest version.
  • Disable unnecessary plug-ins in your web browser. This will help keep you safe from malicious scripts and activeX exploits
  • Use available add-ons to improve it's general security.
  • Take advantage of your browser's pop-up blocking, download screening, and automatic update features.
You can start a thread in our Security Configuration Wizard forum and we will help you secure your browser.

4. Back up all of your data

Because your information could be lost or compromised , make regular backups of your information so that you still have clean, complete copies .
Back up all your important documents, personal data files, photos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), autorun (.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml ) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them.
Determining how often to back up your data is a personal decision. If you are constantly adding or changing data, you may find weekly backups to be the best alternative; if your content rarely changes, you may decide that your backups do not need to be as frequent. You don't need to back up software that you own on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM—you can reinstall the software from the original media if necessary.
We recommend that you use free special software to back-up your data :

5. Use a Limited/Standard User Account (LUA)

With Windows 7 working as a standard user has become more convenient than ever. There's no reason not to work with restricted permissions, what makes a giant leap in your computer's safety. The way Microsoft found to keep security, comfort and function in balance by integrating User Account Control (UAC) that seamlessly, is one of the benefits Windows 7 offers.When using a Limited/Standard User Account , your user profile might still getting compromised, but not Windows 7 basic operating system in the background. Even your profile got hit, all your pictures, MP3 files or documents can be restored easily by logging in to another account that is not yet compromised.
  • To change your account type go to : Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Change your account type
  • To create a new Limited/Standard User Account : Start > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Manage Accounts > Crate New Account

6. Be anonymous

Remain as anonymous as possible. Do not give out your full name, address, phone number, or other personal information to anyone you do not know or who doesn’t have a legitimate need for it.


7. Avoid using peer-to-peer programs and stay away from warez , cracks or keygens.

Avoid using peer-to-peer networks because they are common carriers of malware and virus infections. Files downloaded from P2P networks are often embedded with viruses and spyware. In addition, you give permission to other Internet users, including hackers, to access files on your computer when you use P2P software.

8. Exercise caution when downloading files from the Internet

You must be careful when downloading free software available on the Internet. Freeware is often laced with malicious programs, which if given entry may cause severe damage to your PC and steal your personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Download programs only from reputable websites that have confirmed the software is malware free.(e.g. Filehippo, Softpedia, Cnet)

9. Be careful where you surf

The internet is a dangerous place so try to stay away from sites offering commercial software serial numbers, keygens or other hacked material. Avoid such things by installing a site advisor :
These are free plugins that append site security ratings to search engine listings and sites.

9. Do not open email attachments from unknown sources or files sent through an instant messenger

If you're not familiar with the sender, do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. Some viruses replicate themselves and spread via email. Stay on the safe side and confirm that the attachment was sent from a trusted source before you open it.

10. Avoid dangerous search terms

McAfee had their researchers comb through thousands of popular keyword searches. After analyzing the frequency with which they found malicious software at each link they compiled the results. Surprisingly the common "bad" searchs that people associate with a guarantee of getting malicious software like searching for pirated software or pornography rank fairly low on the risk scale. Apparently the people behind malicious sites like to
cast a wide net and use things like lyrics to popular songs and free
screen savers to lure people in.
Read McAfee report : The Web's Most Dangerous Search Terms [PDF]

11. Choose strong passwords.

Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters and contain a combination of letters (uppercase/lowercase), numbers, and special symbols (!,@, #, &, %,*)
Please read our guide "Secure passwords guide"
 
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Hungry Man

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
656
#2
I would have to disagree. The single most important aspect of your security is the policy enforced by your operating system followed by the policy enforced on the application level, and then perhaps (if ever) followed by the user.

While safe practices are certainly helpful I would not consider them a "core" necessity. If the policy is strong enough it should be unnecessary for the user to exert any "common sense" whatsoever.

My opinion.

As for practices like strong passwords, absolutely. That's good advice.

The fact is that (on Windows and OSX) we don't have the policy there (and we can't) so these practices are necessary. Therefor, A+ guide! hehe =p
 

Rui Belo

New Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
1
#5
I would have to disagree. The single most important aspect of your security is the policy enforced by your operating system followed by the policy enforced on the application level, and then perhaps (if ever) followed by the user.

While safe practices are certainly helpful I would not consider them a "core" necessity. If the policy is strong enough it should be unnecessary for the user to exert any "common sense" whatsoever.

My opinion.

As for practices like strong passwords, absolutely. That's good advice.

The fact is that (on Windows and OSX) we don't have the policy there (and we can't) so these practices are necessary. Therefor, A+ guide! hehe =p
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The only part of your comments that made sense to me was your closing remark at the end;
. . . . “The fact is that (on Windows and OSX) we don't have the (protective) policy there (and we can't) so these (safe user) practices are necessary…”.

While I can agree that policy enforcements at the OS and application levels would help, the real world implementation of such at a truly workable level for the masses is just wishful ideology (as your closing line above implies). And I could certainly add my own to that ideological wish list.

To suggest that if the “…policy is strong enough it should be unnecessary for the user to exert any "common sense" whatsoever.” is like suggesting that if we disconnect the user from the internet then no brains are required and all problems are solved. Neither is going to happen.

But this might be what you were saying anyway, so please forgive me if I misunderstood your delivery (sometimes I can be a little slow :).

As Jack’s (Stelian Pilici?) opening statement so honestly and correctly says, “The single biggest factor in preventing a malware infection on your PC is you (the user).” Good or bad, that’s the common real world reality.
 
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Likes: Svoll
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
31
#9
I always only download freeware from the Windows Store only though it doesn't provide a wide array of apps & games. It's a simple way of avoiding malware that get into PC by doing downloads.
 
Likes: Parsh

Parsh

Level 24
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Dec 27, 2016
Messages
1,326
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Windows 10
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Default-Deny
#10
I always only download freeware from the Windows Store only though it doesn't provide a wide array of apps & games. It's a simple way of avoiding malware that get into PC by doing downloads.
Another nice thing you can do (perfect complement to avoiding non-Windows store executables) is to use a Standard account against an Admin account and you can avoid majority of Windows vulnerabilities that can be exploited by other files getting into your PC from other sources.
...not to undervalue the need for an anti-executable and/or an AV.
 
Joined
May 16, 2017
Messages
42
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Bitdefender
#11
what will happen if i make my antivir exclusion for warez crack and keygen but my anti exploit keep run without exclusion?
its still vuln ?