10 Quick Fixes for the Worst Security Nightmares
Sidestep Social Engineering
The most dangerous crooks use clever marketing to get you to do their dirty work for them and infect your own PC. Lots of social engineering attacks are laughably crude, with misspelled words and clumsy grammar, but that doesn't mean you should dismiss the danger. Every now and then, a well-crafted attack can slip past your defenses and
To fight back, turn to a simple but powerful tool:
A lack of warnings doesn't guarantee a file is safe, but it does give you pretty good odds. Use VirusTotal to check every e-mail attachment and download you're not 100 percent sure about, and you'll avoid insidious social engineering.
If using VirusTotal starts to become a habit (not a bad idea) and you want to make sending files for scanning to VirusTotal really easy, download the free VirusTotal Uploader.
Get the Jump on Fast-Moving Malware
Traditional, signature-based antivirus software is getting snowed under by a blizzard of malware. Attackers try to evade detection by churning out more variants than security labs can analyze. So
One promising approach uses behavioral analysis to identify malicious software based solely on how it acts on your PC. But your antivirus software
PC World's ThreatFire review
Note: If you use the AVG Free antivirus program, hold off on trying ThreatFire until PC Tools releases a new version. The current 3.5 version conflicts with AVG, but PC Tools says it's working on a fix.
Fix 6: Rescue Your Inbox From Spam
Spam filters are getting better, but some junk still makes it through even the best of them.
Such an address is something you create every time you encounter an online shopping site, forum, or other service that requires you to enter an e-mail address. If that address gets flooded with spam, you can terminate it. That's a better system than the alternative, creating a free Web mail account that you use only for purchases and Web signups. With a single separate account, you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and cancel the whole account if it gets too much spam.
Yahoo Web mail users can opt for the $20-a-year Plus service, which includes the AddressGuard disposable e-mail service (among other benefits). With it, you can click a bookmark to create a new, disposable address for any given site in about 10 seconds.
Gmail users can simply append "+ whatever" to their regular e-mail address before handing it out, but if that address starts to receive spam you can't simply turn it off.
For everyone else,