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Dealing with Internet Threats

The Internet is so much fun but it can be a dangerous place, too. There are many threats online and even if you know how to protect yourself against them, you can never be sure you won’t get hurt. But if you don’t know how to protect yourself against Internet threats, or at least the most common ones, you can bet that you will soon get into trouble.

What Are The Most Common Internet Threats?

There are many threats out there and it is difficult to say which one is the most dangerous but certainly adware, spyware, ActiveX, and cookies are pretty dangerous. It is true that viruses, Trojan horses, keyloggers, rootkits, or phishing are more dangerous than adware, spyware, ActiveX, and cookies but since adware, spyware, ActiveX, and cookies are certainly more widespread, we’ll deal with them mainly.

Adware is irritating, while spyware and ActiveX could be more dangerous. Adware installs itself on your computer and shows you ads, ads, ads. Being bombarded with ads is not a security risk but it can drastically slow down your computer. Adware comes mainly as a part of a free bundle, so be very careful what you download and from where.

Similarly to adware, spyware usually also comes with free downloads. Spyware monitors your activities and sends reports to its authors. The reports contain data about your surfing habits but they can also contain passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive data.

ActiveX controls are small modules of code, which are not meant to be destructive but very often they are abused. Programmers take advantage of security vulnerabilities and make your browser execute code, which could hurt you.

Cookies are generally harmless but since they still can contain personally identifiable information, you might want to avoid using them. Many sites use cookies to store data about you and it is quite possible that if you disallow cookies, you won’t be able to use the site.

How to Deal with Internet Threats

There aren’t bullet-proof ways to protect yourself against Internet threats, but here are some must-dos:

  • Watch out what you install. Be very careful when you install free programs and never download any software, no matter if it is free or paid, from suspicious sites.
  • Have an anti-adware and anti-spyware program. An anti-adware and anti-spyware program is mandatory. Get one, if you don’t already have and keep it regularly updated. Some anti-virus programs do protect against adware and spyware but generally you need a dedicated program for each of the pests.
  • Disable cookies (if you don’t need them) or let only trusted sites store them on your computer. In order to protect yourself against cookies, you can disable them in your browser. Alternatively, you can choose to allow only trusted sites to store cookies, or to be asked for approval every time a site wants to send a cookie.
  • Disable ActiveX. ActiveX is too dangerous to be enabled in your browser. So, don’t hesitate and disable it. This could make some sites not working on your computer but it is much better that way than to be attacked with the help of an ActiveX object.

The above steps are certainly not an ultimate protection but if you don’t apply at least them, then you are left totally vulnerable to the dangers of the Net.

Author Bio:- Tina Tedd contributes to various tech sites, such as Tech Net Blogger. She is a freelance technology writer who loves technology and lives for it.

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