9. Safe Computing Roadmap
Malware is growing more insidious and sinister day by day making it difficult for anti-malware programs to keep up with the pace, it is important for the users to be more informed and up the ante of their protection shield in order to combat malware more effectively.
1) Use a reputed anti-virus program and firewall to provide the basic protection.
2) Keep your passwords strong and safe. Make use of alphanumeric as well as special characters to increase the strength of your passwords. Moreover, as there are too many passwords to be remembered for various websites as well as online banks, you could manage them with secure open source applications such as KeePass password manager. Never write them down in plain text files or elsewhere.
3) Do not reply to an email, text, or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, and do not click on links in such messages which are mostly sent by phishers. If you want to go to a bank or business’s website, type the url yourself into the browser.
4) Back up important files.
5) Use virtual keyboard while doing online banking. Most of the reputed banks provide this facility. This mitigates the risk of your credentials being stolen by an invisible keylogger or a banking trojan running in the background. In case your bank does not provide one; or if you want to use virtual keyboard for other websites too, there are plenty of virtual keyboard applications available for free download.
6) Before downloading and installing any product on your system, check for its reviews on various internet forums. Especially in case of anti-malware/spyware programs. This is because often they are rogueware, which means that they are actually malicious and create false illusion to the user that they are being protected! Once installed, these programs are very difficult to remove.