How To Protect Your PC When “Dirty” Websites Attack

Thursday, March 7, 2013, AM | 6 Comments

You have done everything that can possibly be done to protect your computer from infections to avoid risky downloads. But just doing that is no longer enough. You don’t have to download a risky file – in the form of a PDF or DOC file or another format – to get infected.

Now, these days, many computer infections occur as people surfing the Internet land on a “dirty” website – a site that can put your personal and financial information into the hands of cyber criminals without ever clicking on any attachments or links.

Report by Symantec

That danger is highlighted in a new report by Symantec, which makes Norton online security products. “Today’s online threats include attacks that can happen silently, without the user’s knowledge,” says company official Dan Schrader.

“Often just looking at a Web page is enough to trigger a drive-by download, where malicious software installs itself on the user’s computer.”

Computer Virus Danger

Dirty websites…

About half of the most wicked websites are indeed “dirty” – containing many pornography and other adult-themed content – but a slight majority were dedicated to seemingly innocent subject matter, such as legal services, deer hunting, figure skating, family photo albums and buying electronics.

More importantly, watch out for those religious websites as well. There may be a wolf sitting there in sheep clothes. Nothing is sacred enough these days.

Here is what you can do about it…

First off, make sure that your Web browser is up to date, because many browsers’ security measures rely on a database of sites known to be dangerous.

Before you visit a website, here are two ways to check it out for free:

  1. Bookmark Norton’s Safe Web, used for the report by Symantec, which manufactures Norton online security products. With this free service, you type a website address in the Address field of your favorite browser and get a red “warning,” yellow “caution” or green “safe” rating before you actually access it.

    When you are in doubt about the “dirtiness” of a website, before clicking on it, test it for cleanness with Norton’s Safe Web.

  2. Download a similar free McAfee’s SiteAdvisor. This product is especially helpful in detecting possible dangers when you do online searches with Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines.

    Once on your computer, it also provides red, yellow or green indicators of a website’s threat level, preventing a potentially troublesome click.

In a Nutshell
There are ways to protect your computer and your Internet surfing so you can work in a safe environment, whether for business or pleasure.

I am sure there are a lot others that you can search for and will be as good as the above mentioned. However, those two are the more reputable companies in the industry.

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