Protecting Yourself Online - Don't Freak Out!
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Always being online is akin to always cruising through dangerous districts. Chances are you've already discovered that the online world is not as safe and secure as it seems at first. Don't be an innocent victim; be safe by taking preventive measures and stay online 24/7 safely and responsible.
Hopefully reading this article has helped you to understand the possible dangers lurking everywhere. Following the basic guidelines within this article will make you less of a potential target. As always, know what kinds of files you download and run, check their source, and if you have doubts, run them within a testing environment (sandbox). This is more of a professional technique, but if in doubt, ask for help rather than run a risk.
There are lots of forums with experienced communities where people are willing to help out and check whether or not the file that you downloaded contains a backdoor. They either reverse engineer the code to locate malicious lines (if there are any) or simply execute the application within a well-monitored sandbox environment. Generally, these are virtual machines, where the application cannot do any harm.
Furthermore, there are dedicated websites that offer free antivirus and malware scanning with a multitude of antivirus engines. You can opt for VirusTotal and NoVirusThanks (often abbreviated as NVT) services. The beauty of these tools is that scanning a file with 24+ antivirus and anti-malware engines is much more secure than having only one antivirus program on your computer. So whenever in doubt-check the file!
Check out the screen shot below; it shows the result of a scan on Skype's setup file.
The engines that were used to scan the file are the following: a-squared, AhnLab-V3, Anti-Vir, Antiy-AVL, Authentium, Avast, AVG, BitDefender, CAT-QuickHeal, ClamAV, Comodo, DrWeb, eSafee, eTrust-Vet, F-Prot, F-Secure, Fortinet, GData, Ikarus, K7AntiVirus, Kaspersky, McAfee, McAfee+Artemis, McAfee-GW-Edition, Microsoft, NOD32, Norman, nProtect, Panda, PCTools, Prevx1, Rising, Sophos, Sunbelt, Symantec, TheHacker, TrendMicro, VBA32, ViRobot, VirusBuster.
In closing, I'd like to invite you to join our community of technology professionals experienced in all areas of IT&C starting from software and hardware up to consumer electronics at Dev Hardware Forums. Also, be sure to check out the community of our sister site at Dev Shed Forums. We are friendly and we'll do our best to help you.
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