Infections in the Real World, Part 5

We’ve talked about infections many times, at our location, in our newsletters, and here on this blog. But you might be asking yourself, just how do real infections act in the real world, without being filtered through a maze of possibilities and opinions that each infection seems to have.

Part 5: The World Wide Web

What Is the World Wide Web?

In a word, the world wide web is the internet. Whenever you click on your web browser to open the internet, you are accessing the world wide web. The internet contains webpages that can provide information and entertainment, or it can contain pages that were created just as a means to distribute malicious software. In a similar vein, websites that are normally safe can be poisoned with malware by unauthorized individuals to infect innocent visitors.

The Real Life Example

Black hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques are the fastest growing threat on the world wide web. Individuals have automated programs that check the news headlines – particularly disasters, scandals, and deaths – and create extremely basic websites that redirect visitors to other websites that are hosting those fake antivirus programs called scareware. Some of these websites are legitimate pages that have been compromised, some of them are small, quick websites put together in a matter of minutes used for nothing more than drive-by downloading the scareware.

How Do I Protect Myself?

Be very careful what you click on, particularly if you are looking for information regarding a breaking news story. Remember, you are the first line of defense when it comes to computer infections! With all major browsers, you can hover your mouse over a link without clicking on it, and near the bottom of the screen, you can see the exact website address it will take you to. If you’re not 100% sure the website is safe, don’t click!

Also, you can fight against redirecting by changing a setting in your browser that will prompt you when a website wants to redirect you to another website. While this may be cumbersome with certain websites, in the long run, it’s best for your protection.

Computer Works would like to thank Sophos for information used to write this article.
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