How Did My Computer Get Infected?

Malware. Keyboard

Written by:  Bob Salmans – IIT Lead Engineer

So you think you’re a safe web surfer?  Did you know that your computer can get infected with malware simply from visiting a website?  That’s right! You don’t have to click on a link or download a file to get infected.  How on earth could this be you ask?  Simple: vulnerabilities in your web browser plugins.  Those handy little plugins make your life easier and make it easier for vendors to put information in front of you via web advertisements.  Recently several reputable websites had advertisements running on their sites which exploited a browser plugin vulnerability and were able to successfully infect millions of computers with malware and in some cases hold the entire computer for ransom.  Sounds scary?  It should!

So the million-dollar question is, “How can I protect myself?”  Before answering that, you’ll need to remember that security isn’t a one trick pony.  You need to think of security as a layered approach.  In order to protect yourself, you should make sure all of your plugins, third party software packages, and operating system are being updated regularly.  Some examples of these third party software packages are Flash, Java, PDF viewers, etc.  Once you’ve updated those, you’ll want to consider using an ad-blocker within your browser.  The Ad-Blocker will prevent those annoying ads from possibly infecting your computer.  Next, you should be using a web content filtering solution to filter out known malicious web sites.  Lastly, make sure you have a reliable anti-virus installed on your computer and it’s up to date.

Remember: security is best implemented in a layered approach and Integrity IT offers services to keep these layers up to date.  As busy as most of us are these days, this could be one less thing you need to worry about. Want to know more about our security services? Give us a call at 859-253-4284 or click here to discover how we can make your life easier! Also, we suggest you watch our previous webinar to learn about OpenDNS, which is a service that provides cloud-delivered network security!

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