10 Most Dangerous Things Users Do Online
from Tech & Learning

1. Clicking on email attachments from unknown senders

Are there any users left out there who don't know they aren't supposed to open email attachments from strangers? Even with today's new range of exploits, email attachments are still the most likely means of contracting viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other infections. And because these attachments usually contain applications or executable files, they have the greatest potential to instigate the complete takeover - or destruction - of a home computer or a district.

2. Installing unauthorized applications

There are lots of free file-sharing utilities that let users share documents, software, and music. But this freedom has its cost. These applications can increasingly be the source of new viruses.

3. Turning off or disabling automated security tools

The disabling of carefully-evaluated, state-of-the-art security technology might be the most dangerous thing that users regularly do.

4. Opening HTML or plain-text messages from unknown senders

Many experts now believe that HTML mail poses a threat that may eventually be as serious as the traditional email attachment. HTML text - and increasingly, images - can be infected with spyware, and in some cases, executable code.

5. Surfing gambling, porn, or other legally-risky sites

The best way to make sure these sites are not being accessed is website monitoring and blocking software, even though some users are able to get around it. Check out the free blocking software

6. Giving out passwords, tokens, or smart cards

About one in three people still write down their computer passwords somewhere near the machine, either on a piece of paper or in a text file on a PC or mobile device, the researchers said.

7. Random surfing of unknown, untrusted Websites

Internet Explorer 7.0, which was released by Microsoft recently, and the new upcoming Firefox 2.0 are expected to help browser security - at least until attackers start cracking them.

8. Attaching to an unknown, untrustworthy WiFi network

You don't know whom you are connecting to. A hacker can use a sniffer and grab your user name and password, for instance, or infect you with a worm.

9. Filling out Web scripts,  forms, or registration pages

Users are more likely to get hacked if they use the same username and password for most every site they visit — a habit that puts their personal data in jeopardy, as well as their entire family.

10.Participating in chat rooms or social networking sites

Enter chat rooms or social networking sites with caution. Attackers can find out who you are, where you live, where you work or attend school and lots of times what you look like; all of this simply by viewing your shared connections. Even if the chat room or social networking site is available only for "friends." An attacker can still access information.

Taken from an article from Tech and Learning, an online resource for technology whose mission is to help school technology professionals manage Instructional Technology more effectively and efficiently and to drive educational innovation. http://schoolcio.com/ShowArticle/932

 
 
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