In the digital age, clever thieves no longer steal handbags or crack cars: they are targeting the data and money of Internet users. The number of people affected has increased, as has the amount of damage. Attackers today know many tricks to get data or money. From hijacked PCs redirecting Internet traffic to hackers, to blackmail viruses blocking the PC, to data collectors spying on privacy, the creativity of crooks is amazing. But you can fight back. This article contains the best tips.
This Helps Against Viruses
Install anti-virus software: If you use your PC or Mac without anti-virus protection, you are negligent. Using online banking with a virus-contaminated PC, for example, plays right into the cards of cybercriminals. Therefore, the first commandment is: Never access the Internet without appropriate security software. Programs that always perform well in tests: Kaspersky Internet Security, Bitdefender Internet Security, and McAfee Internet Security.
Always update operating system and programs: Internet fraudsters often use software bugs or security holes to access protected data. Regular updates for the operating system and all programs used are a must. You should make sure that you only ever download new programs and updates from the vendor sites so that you do not accidentally install malware.
Always keep your browser up to date: With almost every update, manufacturers eliminate errors and close security gaps. Browser updates should therefore always be installed immediately when the program displays them. This is the best protection against dangerous websites that computers want to infect with malware. You have to know that:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge have usually updated automatically via Microsoft Update.
- Chrome updates itself every time you start it. To check the browser manually for new updates, just click on the menu button with the “three items” to the right of the address field, then on “Help” and “About Google Chrome”.
- Firefox also automatically updates itself on startup. To check: Press the Alt key and then “About Firefox” in the “Help” menu at the top. Here you can find information about the currently installed version as well as a button for the manual online update.
Use only a few browser add-ons/plug-ins: Some browser add-ons are very practical, but can also be very dangerous. The popular Adobe Flash PlugIn, for example, always has large security gaps, which is why many browsers no longer provide or even support this extension. With Web-of-Trust, a plug-in designed to show the trustworthiness of the website, a mass of personal user data was recorded before the scandal was published. Many plug-ins also often pose a greater security or data protection risk. Therefore, do without as many extensions as possible and only load them from trustworthy sources.
This Helps Against Phishing
Rule number one: Banks, payment services, and other companies NEVER ask for passwords, credentials or other personal information by email or phone. Anyone who heeds this rule is actually already on the safe side. But people are people. It can well happen that one is not really at the thing or does not look exactly. And that’s it. The following rules are important.
- Be suspicious: Banks, payment services, and other companies never ask for passwords, credentials or other personal information – neither by email or by phone.
- Do not click on the link: If you think there may be something true in a warning message, you should not click on the link in the e-mail, but log on to the service manually in a new browser window and check for yourself whether something is wrong.
- Do not open any file attachments: Never open attachments of e-mails of unknown origin without hesitation. It makes no difference whether the files are apparently harmless, such as images, documents or other files.
- Don’t answer that: Never respond to phishing or spam: In this case, the Cybergangsters know that the email address is actually being used. This will hail even more spam and phishing emails.
This Helps Against Adware
Check regularly installed programs: Many advertising programs can often be easily removed from the computer using onboard tools. Like this:
- Windows 7: Open “Control Panel” via Windows + X and click “Uninstall a program”.
- Windows 10: Open “Settings” via Windows + i and click on “Apps”.
Now it is necessary to sort the list of installed programs by date, for example by clicking on “Installed on”. If you find new additions at the top of the list, you should uninstall them as soon as possible.
Practical Adware Killer Adwcleaner
A recommendable alternative, especially for more stubborn adware, is the free software AdwCleaner (https://toolslib.net). It is very easy to use: After starting, just confirm the license terms and then start the search in the main window. A short time later ADWCleaner lists all adware, toolbars, browser hijackers and other unwanted programs. Then just click on “Delete” and the tool will remove all the malfunctions and restart the computer.
This Helps Against Blackmail Viruses
Make regular backups: Remember – if you have a current image of all data, you can’t be blackmailed. If you make regular backups, you can use it to restore Windows and all files completely in an emergency. Important: The backup copies should be made on external hard disks. However, these should not be permanently connected to the computer. Because some viruses, especially encryption Trojans, can also scan and infect all connected drives.
Check attachments: When retrieving emails, it is taboo to open suspicious file attachments. This is especially true if the office files are from an unknown sender. In this case, the e-mail should immediately end up in the trash.
This Helps Against Cryptominer
Ad blocker: Ad blockers, such as eBlocker, help against the sneaky sucking off of computing power. The Plug & Play eBlocker requires no software installation and is ready for use in a few minutes. It then offers all-round protection against all kinds of advertisements.
Browser extensions: Browser plug-ins such as No Coin are also helpful.
- Installation in the Chrome browser. Click here on “Add” and “Add extension”. A new orange symbol appears at the top right of the browser, recognizable by the pickaxe symbol.
- Installation in the Firefox browser. Click here on “Add to Firefox”, “Add” and “OK”. A new orange symbol appears at the top right of the browser, recognizable by the pickaxe symbol.
How to use the extension: By default, No Coin now blocks all elements hidden on web pages that want to misuse your computer to dig. No further action is required.
This Helps Against Data Snooping
Data economy: One in four PC users over 55 years of age publish private data such as their postal address, e-mail address, telephone number or even information on illness and relationship status on the Internet. Criminals use this information for a variety of scams such as the grandson trick, in which the scammers pretend to be relatives and ask for money. Programs collect e-mail addresses for sending advertising and fraud emails. Data collectors use the information to create data profiles about you. Important: Disclose as little private information as possible on the Internet. Address, e-mail address, and telephone number have no place in public forums, for example.
Check internet pages: Since 2003, Internet sites in Germany where visitors can enter personal and sensitive data have had to encrypt data traffic. Pay attention to the “https” in the address line of your browser (https://www.amazon.com). In modern browsers, security symbols such as locks or green dots signal secure encryption. If this is not the case, never enter confidential information such as payment data or passwords.
Use data collector blocker: Instead of preparing every single device for secure surfing, eBlocker does this job in no time at all. The device is simply docked to the router via cable and supplied with power – ready. From now on, it reliably protects all devices from any snooping services. Independent tests have confirmed the excellent features of the eBlocker: It effectively prevents the creation of user profiles, reliably blocks any form of Internet advertising and conceals personal information.
Always think: It can happen to anyone. Criminals today do not decide on the importance or amount of the bank account, but rather specifically search for victims whose PCs have security gaps. Anyone who thinks they are not personally a worthwhile target is on the wrong track. Cybercriminals are interested in everyone’s data and money. But with the right behavior and comprehensive protection that eBlocker offers, you can surf with complete peace of mind and security.
Please note that this article was originally published by the former eBlocker GmbH. The contents may be outdated. Today, eBlocker is free of charge and available as Open Source. Check out the new eBlocker Open Source Project.