Antivirus software, sometimes known as anti-malware software, is specialist software that is used to prevent, detect and remove malicious software from your computer. It’s important to regularly update it in order to maintain protection from the latest known threats and viruses.
Watch the video below to discover what a computer virus is:
Antivirus software was originally developed to detect and remove computer viruses, hence the name. However, with the proliferation of other kinds of threats, antivirus software can also provide protection from other threats such as browser hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, dialers, adware and spyware.
Free Internet security software
Internet security software delivers premium PC, Mac and Android protection from online threats to your identity, your money and your family. There are a number of products available in the market and some banks offer such software to their Online Banking customers for free.
How do I stay up to date?
One of the best ways to keep your personal computer safe from cyber attackers is to apply patches and other software fixes as soon as they become available. By regularly updating your computer software, you can prevent attackers from taking advantage of software flaws (vulnerabilities) that could otherwise make your system vulnerable. While keeping your computer software up to date will not protect you from all attacks, it makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access. Most companies release software that can be configured to download and apply updates automatically so that you do not have to remember to check for the latest software. According to Norton, taking advantage of "auto-update" features in your software is a great start toward keeping yourself safe online.
What else do I need to think about?
There are a number of other considerations that need to be taken into account when working with anti-virus software. They are outlined below:
Because the Internet is a public network, any connected computer can find and connect to any other connected computer. A firewall is a barrier between the Internet and your own computer or network. Think of it as a highly dedicated security guard who stops anyone coming into your computer if they’re not on the guest list, and anyone leaving if they don’t have permission.
A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually called bug fixes, and improving the usability or performance. A security patch is a change to correct a weakness or vulnerability. Security patches are the primary method of fixing security vulnerabilities in software. Currently Microsoft releases its security patches once a month, and other operating systems and software projects have security teams dedicated to releasing the most reliable software patches as soon after a vulnerability announcement as possible. Security patches are closely tied to responsible disclosure.
Encryption is a way to enhance the security of a message or file. What does it do? Encryption scrambles the content in such a way that only someone with the right encryption code or key can read it.
For example, if you purchase something from a website, the information for the transaction (such as your address, phone number, and credit card number) is usually encrypted to help keep it safe. Use encryption when you want a strong level of protection for your information.
Even for individuals and small businesses, controlling physical access to computers, key information systems and data is crucial to protecting yourself, your business and your customers. Having processes in place to ensure access is properly controlled helps to ensure that the IT infrastructure and the information held within it are kept safe. Businesses should ensure that staff have individual user accounts and that passwords are kept secret. Users should only have the access required to do their jobs and a periodic review should be conducted.
Can I configure my settings?
Can the settings be changed?
Bear in mind that a newly purchased computer may not automatically have the right level of security for you. When setting up a home computer pay attention to configuring security features.
Properly configuring your web browser and email software is one of the most important areas to focus on. Choosing the right level of security and privacy depends on the individual using the computer. Often security and privacy settings can be properly configured without any sort of special expertise by simply using the "Help" feature of your software or reading the vendor's website. If you are uncomfortable configuring your computer yourself, consult someone you know and trust for assistance or contact the vendor directly.
Ten cyber security tips
Norton advises that with a mixture of common sense and knowledge of the risks, you’ll be able to avoid most types of cybercrime. Cyber criminals generally are looking to exploit opportunities as quickly and easily as possible. The more difficult you make that, the more likely they are to avoid you and move on to an easier target.
Knowthenet.org.uk have provided the following tips basic on how you can prevent online fraud.
Treat all unsolicited emails with caution. Be very careful about clicking on any website links contained in unsolicited emails; they could direct you to fake websites which encourage you to provide personal information and/or passwords.
Never open attachments in emails that you’re not expecting – they could contain a virus or malicious code that will infect your computer.
Don’t share files or programs with other users.
Don’t use free software unless you are certain it’s safe. If in doubt, do not install it on your computer.
Install anti-virus software; keep it up to date and run regular security scans
Install the latest security updates for your computer software, also known as patches.
Install a personal firewall and learn how to protect your computer or network with it.
Don’t share personal information such as your address, bank details, telephone numbers, date of birth on social networking sites and other websites that don’t use encryption to secure the information.
Avoid using the same passwords on multiple websites. If you find multiple passwords difficult to remember you can consider using password management software and encryption.
Shred or make illegible any paperwork that contains personal details before you throw it away or recycle it. Criminals can go through your bins to obtain receipts, letters from banks and other sensitive information that they can use online.
How does Cyber Essentials help?
Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks.
The government has worked with the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) consortium and the Information Security Forum (ISF) to develop Cyber Essentials, a set of basic technical controls for organisations to use.
The full scheme, launched on 5 June 2014, enables organisations to gain 1 of 2 new Cyber Essentials badges. It is backed by industry including the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI and a number of insurance organisations that are offering incentives for businesses.
The Cyber Essentials Requirements document sets out the necessary technical controls. The Assurance Framework shows how the independent assurance process works and the different levels of assessment organisations can apply for to achieve the badges. It also contains guidance for security professionals carrying out the assessments.
From 1 October 2014, government requires all suppliers bidding for certain sensitive and personal information handling contracts to be certified against the Cyber Essentials scheme.
Click on the link below for more information on the scheme:
How does Symantec stay ahead in the cyber security world?
To stay ahead you need to get visibility of the threats that are coming. Symantec has a service called ‘The Symantec Global Intelligence Network’ or GIN that enables them to do just that.
This service provides them with global visibility of the threat world. It is the largest civilian threat collection network and it tracks over 700,000 global adversaries worldwide. It scans and monitors over 8 billion emails per month checking to see what is happening, what are the new threats, analysing them and this vital information in turn allows Symantec to provide proactive protection for all our solutions.
In addition to continuously developing the most up-to-date protection, Symantec are fighting at the forefront of cyber-attack investigations. Working closely with law enforcement agencies across the world bringing the cyber criminals to bear.
Watch the following videos for additional information on some of the work that Symantec do: