Category: Digital Threats

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Without installing a top antivirus software, your computer is at risk for viruses, malware, hacking, and all kinds of suspicious activity. So if your device isn’t protected, how can you know if you’ve got a computer virus?

 

Here are the 6 most common symptoms of an infected computer:

 

1. Slow speed

Both the internet and your computer itself will significantly slow down if you’ve got a virus. This can happen because the attacker has uploaded a large application or multiple malicious files to your computer, bogging it down with excess data. It can also be that the purpose of the virus is to slow down your system enough that the hacker can obtain your private information.

 

2. The Blue Screen of Death

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Especially on older systems, the Blue Screen of Death would appear when crashing to inform you that there is a technical error. This error is typically caused by malware altering or overloading the computer and preventing it from starting up properly. These days, the actual blue screen is less common, but if your computer or any specific applications are regularly crashing, you are most likely dealing with an infection.

 

3. Low disk space

If you’ve never had a storage space issue in the past and aren’t excessively downloading or creating files, you shouldn’t have any problems with this. So when you get a message telling you your disk space is low, be suspicious. This is possibly due to the unwarranted loading of files or applications onto your system by hackers and viruses. Some people incorrectly attribute this to an antivirus software. However, that will not be the culprit here, especially if you use a cloud-based system like Panda Global Protection.

 

4. Excessive toolbars

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

When you install something from an unknown source, it can result in the addition of toolbars and extra search bars to your default browser. These are usually just a front for the real, malware-carrying application that is being transferred to your computer.

 

5. Strange messages or pop-ups

6 Symptoms Of An Infected Computer

Pop-ups are a normal part of surfing the web. Most websites will have pop-up advertisements on them, but this doesn’t mean you should click on them without caution. And if you’re getting pop-ups and unsolicited messages on the device itself without the browser being open, it’s likely due to a virus.

 

6. Disappearing files

If you ever think to yourself, “Hey, where did my files go?” this is a huge red flag for a computer infection. Your files will never just hide themselves on their own. The most probable explanation is that your computer has been the target of an attack. Hopefully, you will have a backup plan to retrieve your lost files, but if not you should be looking up data recovery software reviews to find something that will assist you if this sort of thing ever happens with your device.

 

The best way to prevent ever having to diagnose your computer with a virus is to be proactive. Install an antivirus or security software to your computer, tablet, and cell phone to ensure you never have to deal with this problem again.

If you’re worried about the content of your emails potentially being a source of viruses or malware, read our related post: 4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

For businesses and individuals alike, search results can reveal a lot. Just as you wouldn’t want someone saying negative things about you to the people in the neighborhood, you don’t want negative comments to be posted or ideas to be formed about you (or your company) based on information that is available to internet users worldwide. Protect yourself and ensure your digital exposure is a positive one by understanding what aspects make a difference.

 

Here are 4 things that can affect your online reputation:

 

1. Social media posts

Even if you, yourself, are careful with your privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, you have little to no control over what is posted about you by others. If you run a company, this can mean Facebook reviews by consumers. If you’re an individual, it means that video of you killing the beer pong competition at a frat party last weekend may have been posted by a party-goer for everyone to see. Look out for these posts so you can take action towards addressing any issues or having the offending items removed.

 

2. Published content

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

For companies especially, publishing content such as blog posts or press releases can help stifle any negative search results. Using a software such as SEO Powersuite will help you to build links that positively affect your ranking, as bad links are also a major source of a negative internet presence. For the average Joe, anything that you publish to your blog or submit to other sites is recorded. Make sure the things you post are things that you will still be proud to have representing you years down the line.

 

3. Public record

Have a felony? Filed for bankruptcy? These details are public information that can be found by anyone with an inkling of solid googling skills. There is no real way to avoid these aside from not doing them in the first place. If they’re already out there for the world to see, you’ll want to work on managing your reputation to hide the results from immediate view.

 

4. Photos

4 Things That Can Affect Your Online Reputation

Search engines don’t only show written results for you or your organization. There’s also an images tab, which shows any photograph even remotely related to your name. Even if you aren’t the one that posted the image, it may still have a tag or keyword associated with it that links back to you or your company. Sometimes, these photos are even linked to spam that can erase data from your computer when you click on it, which is even worse since you are now associated with malware.

 

The first step in preventing this issue from arising is to make sure your devices are protected by reading reviews for data recovery software and choosing one that’s right for your system. The second step is contacting the domain hosts and getting them to remove the harmful content. If that doesn’t work, your best bet is always to do a little bit of SEO recon to bury the negative images with positive or neutral ones of your own.

 

Your online reputation has a lot more weight in these times than it ever did before. In fact, it may even be more important than your reputation amongst the small circle of people you know personally. Remember these ideas when you are doing anything online to ensure your search results are ones that you would be proud for your grandmother to see when you teach her all about “The Google.”

Related Post: How To Safely Browse The Internet

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

 

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

 

Stalkers are not always simply hidden shadows in the night. The evolution of technology has made it easier for stalkers to achieve their menacing goals. It’s important to be informed about this issue in order to defend yourself against potential threats.

 

Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from cyberstalkers:

 

1. Hide your personal information

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

Social media sites encourage you to share as much of your life as possible with your “friends.” It might be nice to be able to instantly look up someone’s birthday or check out where their new job is located, but just remember that everyone now has access to this information.

To best protect yourself, you should hide this information using your account’s privacy settings. The people that need to know that information can just ask you in person. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

2. Use security software

Security programs have a ton of features nowadays. Not only can they prevent your computer from getting a virus, but they can tell if a website is threatening, check your emails, and even monitor your children’s Internet usage to protect against malware, ransomware, and cyber bullying. Look at some antivirus software reviews to see the different options and decide which is appropriate for your needs.

 

3. Stay logged out

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

It may be easiest to keep all your accounts logged in to your computer and cell phone for quick access. However, quick access for you also means quick access for attackers and cyber stalkers. Log out of your account when you’re done with it and always keep your passwords to yourself. Don’t share them with someone else or save them in a publicly accessible document.

 

4. Avoid catfishing scams

When you’re finally ready to meet up with the person of your dreams after talking for a few weeks on dating apps like Tinder or Sugardaddie.com, don’t throw all caution to the wind for love. Be smart. Don’t give out your personal contact and social media information unless the other person reciprocates. Also be sure to video chat with them via Skype or FaceTime before meeting in person to ensure they are who they claim to be and are not pulling a catfishing scam on you.

 

5. Never send sensitive information

5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

Your banking information and social security number are for your eyes only! If your bank needs access to your account or asks you to send them sensitive information, always confirm with their customer support service before giving it out. No matter how forgetful you are, no one else in your life (including your family members) should know what your debit card pin number is. Giving that information to anyone allows for it to be stolen by a cyberstalking third party who is spying on your every electronic move.

 

Cyberstalking is a real and serious crime that occurs every day to people around the world. Don’t let yourself be one of them. Stay vigilant, keep your personal information personal, and good luck out there.

 

 

Related post: 4 Safety Tips For Meeting People From An Online Dating Service

4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

4 Signs For Recognizing An Email Scam

Email phishing, the practice of scamming users with a fake email in order to obtain private or secure information, is not always caught by your provider’s spam folder. Each year, attackers improve at avoiding the various firewalls and safety nets that are meant to prevent them from achieving their malicious goals. You can no longer rely solely on email providers to do the work for you. It’s important to be vigilant about the various hints that suggest an email may be from a false source.

 

Here are 4 signs for recognizing an email scam:

 

1. Poor spelling or grammar.

Reputable companies always do their due diligence when it comes to hiring employees. Spelling and grammar standards are high, especially for the individuals that write their content or deal in customer service. Any legitimate email from a reputable company will be flawlessly edited. Of course, human error is always a possibility, but if mistakes are frequent or flagrant the sender most likely is not who he says he is.

 

2. Asking for money or personal information.

Any company you hold an account with knows your personal information and will not solicit this (or monetary compensation) from you via email. Sometimes attackers will pretend to be someone you know, like a family member needing money for an emergency or a friend sending a funny attachment that actually contains ransomware. Ransomware can hold your entire computer hostage, so without a data recovery program like Acronis True Image or DDI Utilities you will be unable to regain access to any of your files. Never give out this information or click on anything that you are unsure of without contacting the sender directly through another method. If it’s your bank, call the customer service line to verify. If it’s your family member, call them first to ensure they are the one who sent you the message.

 

3. Irrelevant email address.

The email address of the sender is another clue to the validity of an email source, but an often overlooked one. Be sure to check that the address is relevant to the company. For example, an email from an employee at Microsoft will have an address of personsname@microsoft.com. If the address is something irrelevant like microsoft@money4u.net, it will definitely not be from someone at that company.

 

4. Unsolicited and unfamiliar contact.

If you ever get an email that makes you think, “Hm, I can’t remember registering for this” do not ignore that feeling! This is a common first sign for an email scam that many users brush aside. If you don’t remember signing up for it, you probably didn’t, and you should use that feeling to prompt you to be alert for other signs of phishing. It is rare for a company to make first contact with a user. It’s even rarer for said company to link to an external site asking you to download something or provide personal information, so beware of this!

 

Thousands of people every day lose personal data from their computers by falling prey to these vicious scams. Check out some reviews for data recovery software to find a program that will help protect your files in case your “scammy senses” fail to tingle.

 

Good luck and stay vigilant!
Related post: 5 Types of Digital Threats To Beware Of And How To Prevent Them

The Importance Of Updating Your Phone Software: Why You Need To Regularly Update Your Apple or Android Device

The Importance Of Updating Your Phone Software: Why You Need To Regularly Update Your Apple or Android Device

The Importance Of Updating Your Phone Software- Why You Need To Regularly Update Your Apple or Android Device | Digital Security World

A recent study on mobile device threats shows that 98% of Android users and more than 35% of iOS users do not update their phones to the latest available software version as frequently as they should.

 

Are you one of those people? If so, then you are compromising the health of your phone and the safety of your valuable data and information!

 

Here is why you need to regularly update your Apple or Android phone software:

 

The #1 reason to update is SECURITY.

 

With every software update comes change(s) that will improve the performance of your product by fixing minor issues that have been found and deemed possibly penetrable by threats. Hackers thrive off their ability to enter any system weaknesses in an effort to take advantage of the data and information they can receive from it.

 

The Importance Of Updating Your Phone Software- Why You Need To Regularly Update Your Apple or Android Device | Digital Security World
This woman sending a text message to somebody via her iPhone may not be safe is she’s sending an iMessage on an outdated software!

 

For example, this Refinery29 article shares how “researchers discovered a flaw in Apple’s encryption scheme” which leaves iMessage senders vulnerable to attackers. By not updating your phone as regularly as the software is updated, you are ultimately risking the security of your device even by sending a text to somebody.

 

How do you solve this issue? Turn on automatic updates for your apps. Install an antivirus software that will protect your phone. Stay up to date on viruses, scams, and other digital threats that are currently circulating the web by reading news articles and blogs. Whether you receive that annoying notification telling you that a new version of your iOS software is available for update or you receive a popup that indicates there’s an Instagram or Facebook update solely with “improvements or bug fixes,” don’t wait — update!

 

Stay safe out there on your phones, and be sure to come back to Digital Security World for more cybersecurity news and tips soon.

 

Related Post: How To Safely Browse The Internet (INFOGRAPHIC)

5 Types Of Digital Threats To Beware Of & How To Prevent Them

5 Types Of Digital Threats To Beware Of & How To Prevent Them

5 Types Of Digital Threats To Beware Of | Digital Security World

It is a known fact that computers or smartphones must undergo regular maintenance in order to work properly. However, this is not always done, and those who disregard their devices run the risk of damaging or destroying them as a result.

It is key to protect against the various threats that lurk in the digital world and pose serious threats to our valuables and the important information stored within them.

 

Here are 5 types of digital threats to beware of and how to protect against them:

 

1. Viruses

Viruses are the most common threat known to tech users. There are tons of different types of viruses too, including resident, direct action, directory, macro, etc. But like most of these digital threats, the most effective way to combat these pests is to prevent them from affecting your computer in the first place!

The easiest way to protect against viruses is to install antivirus software to your device. You can find the best antivirus software reviews just by performing a quick Google search or by going to a reputable review site.

 

2. Malware

As stated on Norton’s website, malware is just an abbreviation for “malicious software” — which encompasses any type of software that attempts to discreetly access and infiltrate your device.

This is another reason why installing software is so important — having an anti-threat software running in the background will actively seek out files, sites, and programs that attempt to damage your computer without your knowledge. (Speaking of Norton!) Norton Security Deluxe is one of many types of products that will protect you against digital threats, including viruses, malware, spyware, and more.  

 

5 Types Of Digital Threats To Beware Of | Digital Security World
Digital threats are not limited to viruses, malware, hackers, phishing, and scams.

 

3. Hackers

Whether they’re looking for credit card numbers or personal info, hackers are extremely successful in stealing your information and using it to their benefit — and they achieve this through entering weaknesses in your firewall, level of protection, or even by tricking you into clicking on something that seems legit (but isn’t).

Always use caution while surfing the web, and make sure your computer programs are up to date to patch up any weak access points hackers may try to get through.

 

4. Phishing

Speaking of pretending to be legit, this brings us to our next point: phishing. Phishers are well versed in the art of fraud by sending fake emails that may look reputable, but are crafted by somebody seeking your credit card info, passwords, or social security number.

Again, always be careful online, especially when receiving emails that appear “phishy” or inauthentic.

 

5. Scams

Congrats! You’ve just won an all-expenses-paid trip to Bermuda! All you have to do is send a $100 deposit to reserve your room in a FIVE STAR SUITE. Make sure to send your deposit by FRIDAY or else your room will be given to someone else.

It’s your lucky day! Sounds amazing, right? Well, you may know this is fake, but unfortunately a lot of people, including the elderly, fall for popular scams similar to this all the time.

Most email platforms have pre-installed anti-spam protection so that spammy emails will go straight into the folder and never be seen. But when it comes to phone calls, your knowledge is your only protection. If you don’t recognize a phone number, don’t answer and let the call go to voicemail. You can always ask a friend or run a phone number or email address through an online reverse search engine before calling or writing back.

 

It’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

Thanks for reading. Happy web surfing. 🙂

 

Related Post: 3 Easy Ways To Protect Your Data