This entry is the last chapter of my URL Investigation and Prevention series and would like end this series with 10 ways on how you can get your computer infected with Malware.
Usually a proper guide will be guiding an individual on how to prevent unwanted things. This entry is special because I want to show you instead the way you can get infected with Malware so that you will know and prevent it from the lessons learned.
1. Simply click on any links. As I had just mentioned from chapter 2, simply clicking on any links without proper investigation will result you in having the risk of accessing either a malicious site or phishing site. Any of those are not good and you stand a high chance to get your computer infected especially if you click on incoming links from unknown user.
2. Never perform software update. Attackers sometimes can make use of your out-dated software which consists of certain vulnerabilities to attack your computer and gain full control of it. A very good example is Adobe Flash player and many of them were listed in the top 10 vulnerabilities of Kaspersky latest quarterly report. Not only Adobe Flash player but also your web browser or any other application that have the potential to go internet stands a very high chance to get infected. As a result, just go on without updating your software and the attacker will find the vulnerability to penetrate where the attacker will then gain full access to your computer and plant a Trojan there.
3. Turning off automatic Windows update. Turning off the automatic Windows update is like turning off a security feature. Do you know that Microsoft was out from the Top 10 Vulnerability of Kaspersky Report due to the solid automatic Windows update engine? Making your Windows update automatically means getting the latest security patch automatically as well. If you want to get infected, just don’t update your Windows and by 2-3 months time, you should be able to see the list of Windows vulnerability that you have.
4. No antivirus installed. If you still do not have any antivirus installed, I would like to know how you can tell if your computer is infected with virus? How are you going to disinfect them? Antivirus today can come as cheap as free and there is no reason for you not to install one. Let’s put it in the way antivirus is like a security guard, do you see any banks operate without at least one security guard?
5. No firewall installed. Firewall is not an antivirus. If you owned an antivirus and treating it like a firewall, then you might be wrong. A firewall is best at preventing and not disinfecting and you can read my post on the firewall and antivirus thing to know more. Firewall today can also come as cheap as free. Since we have security guard as antivirus, firewall is going to be things that can prevent theft such as a solid steel door, CCTV, and good alarm system. As a result, if you don’t have a firewall, you are just welcoming the Malware to your computer.
6. Executing unknown file without scanning. When you download a file from somewhere or receive a file from your friend, do you run a scan on the file before executing it? How sure are you that the file you are about to execute is not malicious? Scanning just one file or two does not hurt and it should be done whenever you want to execute them especially when you just received a file. If you want to get yourself infected, download more files randomly from the internet and launch them without a proper virus scan.
7. Do not have a regular full system scan. Even human body needs regular medical check up from time to time to know the condition of your health. Same goes to your computer that it needs to be scanned regularly so that you will know your own computer is Malware-free or not. Malware today does not have to be active 24×7. Most of them hide themselves and you can’t detect them until you scan your computer. As a result, scan your computer at least once a week to tell the Malware that the hide and seek game is over.
8. Do not read error messages. I realized that there are some users who somehow can read a long error message in less than a second. They are fantastic speed readers, aren’t they? No, they didn’t. They just ignore those error message and click OK without reading them. If you do not know what is going wrong on the site you are visiting, you might just visiting an unsafe site. They might have some security feature turned off and you did not realize because you didn’t read the error message. So now, do you want to spend your one minute to read the error message or juts don’t read them and think that you are too smart to know everything?
9. Ignoring error messages. For some of the users who read error message, they are somewhat stubborn or have no concern about their security at all by reading and ignoring the error message and continue their browsing as usual. This happens commonly when the website is trying to tell y0u that the site that you are visiting has HTTPS connection error. This could lead to either the certificate had already expired or the web address had been compromised. That is why the Certificate Authority revoked the web certificate so that it can warn you all about the compromised event. However, many users just ignore them and don’t give a piece of concern at all on the HTTPS issue and just visit. Do remember that if you are visiting a non-HTTPS site, it means your communication channel is not encrypted!
10. Using cracked software. Lastly, it is about using cracked software. Cracked software is an illegal software. When some hacker cracked the software, he/she might also inject some malicious software into the cracked software. Once you download and install the cracked application, you might have just welcomed a new Malware into your computer. This is not necessary. Software developers who developed the software do deserves a credit as well. As a result, buy their software if you want to use them. Cracking a software just put yourself in danger and increases the chance for Malware to infect your computer.
This is the last chapter of my URL investigation and prevention series and would like to thank you all for completing this series. I hope you will learn something as you read through the series and always stay safe and alert.