One of the easiest ways for someone to steal your information online is through something known as a Keylog. This can be installed on your computer in many different ways (malware, virus, API, webforms), but in end it will have the same effect, the keylog will track all of the keystrokes you enter on your computer. Just think about the information you enter on your computer everyday: emails, passwords, banking information, the list gets scary very quickly. These keylogs can easily be in a fake advertisement on a website that you think is trusted. It may be a legitimate site you always use, maybe the sites advertisements aren't monitored regularly. There are hundreds of ways that your computer can become infected, which is why it is so important to stay safe online.
With that said here are 5 ways how you can easily stay safe online:
- Make sure your browser isn't too outdated
Whether you are using chrome, Firefox, internet explorer or safari make sure your flash player is updated and you have installed all updates. Using the latest version of your web browser and keeping your browser up to date are two of the best ways to prevent trouble online. In most cases, the latest version of a web browser contains security fixes and new features that can help protect your computer and your privacy while you're online.
- Create different passwords
Whenever creating a password for a non-crucial site make sure to not use the same password as important sites (especially your email account). Make sure your passwords are complex people often use a list of dictionary words or a brute force program that tries every combination. To give you an example, the most common passwords are 123456, password and abc123 (you can find a complete list of the most common passwords here). These passwords would be cracked almost instantly by a regular desktop computer using a brute force program. On the other hand, a 6 digit password using letters, numbers, capitals and other signs such as a period, would take a computer using that same program 96 years to crack. So if any of your passwords are on that common list, change them! You can also test your passwords here
- Do not store important passwords on your computer.
A virus can install a password unpacking program to steal all of the your saved passwords in a few seconds.
- Whenever logging in
When logging into an important site like a bank account make sure you don't have other tabs open. Some anti-virus companies will put out add-ins to detect and prevent key logging from occurring, but attackers can usually find a way around those add-ins.
- Regularly scan your computer
Virus scans on your computer are crucial, most people don't really monitor their virus scanners activity. When was the last time it ran? When was the last update? Most anti-virus programs have an auto-update feature, make sure you have this enabled and don't ignore the updates for 6 months at a time! If you need a free anti-virus software we suggest Avast! It packs a punch for a free program.
Written By: Vic Braga
Cloud Support Engineer, TOSS C3