By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
DNSChanger Prompts 7 Reminders about Staying Web Safe
July 9, 2012
The massive scare over the DNSChanger is yet another reminder to be diligent to keep your computer safe. According to the FBI, an Estonia group was able to surreptitiously capture at least $14 million by replacing advertisements on computers of unsuspecting Internet users with their phony ads.
About 50,000 U.S. computers among 250,000 systems worldwide were believed infected with the Trojan. Most of the damage was in the U.S., Germany, Great Britain, India and Italy.
The FBI warned about the issue for months after shutting down the Estonia ring closing the DNSChanger system, which eliminated Internet service on those computers. In fact, a few months earlier the FBI said Internet criminals pose a bigger threat than terrorists.
Such cybercrime, means the dangerous implications are many, especially for businesspeople and individuals who use online banking. Of course, it’s important to guard against criminals who want to steal your money by accessing your personal information.
At first, it was only big bank customers being attacked. Now, cybercriminals have victimized credit unions and their members.
Reminders to stay safe:
Links – Don’t ever click on a link allegedly emailed to you by your financial institution. Never respond. That means not forwarding your credit and debit card numbers, user ID or passwords. Criminals, or phishers, will direct you instead their site that looks like your bank’s Web site. That’s how they grab your sensitive information.
So, if you want to logon to your bank, simply type the bank’s address in your URL. Look for the “https” designation and the padlock icon in your browser. You should be nervous if a popup appears. Sign out right away.
Start clean – Because search engines save the pages you visit to make for faster surfing, delete all activity via your control panel. In other words, clear out your cache. Especially, if you use Windows, make sure your browser has a fresh security update. Make sure your antivirus software downloads the latest security update, and then run a full-system scan.
Don’t allow your browser to save your user names and passwords. Malware can easily find it.
WIFI – Never use a public terminal or WIFI for sensitive information. Be very careful if you live in an urban area where your WIFI can be accessed by others.
Private, not public – If for financial or other logistical reasons away from your home or office and you have no other choice – use a portable operating system. Use a Linux-based OSes flash drive, such as open source Ubuntu to create a disc. It can be converted to a startup disc for a mobile Ubuntu.
Use bank’s on-screen keyboard – If you use your bank’s computer terminal, it’s best to use the on-screen keyboard. That will insure your password can’t be stolen by others using this machine.
Passwords – Create strong passwords. It’s best to use a random selection of letters and numbers. Don’t store your user IDs and passwords on your computer. Change them regularly.
Mobile banking – Don’t succumb to your bank’s propaganda about mobile banking. Why?
See these three columns:
- Identity fraud is escalating in smartphones and social media
- Androids have security issues, too
- Our mobile-banking warnings about Sscurity prove prophetic
From the Coach’s Corner, here are other tips:
“Cyber terrorism could also become more attractive as the real and virtual worlds become more closely coupled, with automobiles, appliances, and other devices attached to the Internet.”
Columnist Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?