We hear about online attacks almost on a daily basis and the targets are usually (in the media at least) large sites like CNN, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.
Did you know that your machine could be an attacker without you even knowing it? How could this happen? Because you most likely have lax security hygiene:
- easy to guess passwords
- visit on shady websites
- load "weird" attachment
- or more
This means your home machine could already be part of a botnet used by bad actors to target companies or organizations with whose view they don't agree with.
What can you do?
- If you even suspect your home PC may be infected, restore it to the original factory default and start from scratch
- All modern PCs come with a firewall built in and turned on by default but make sure it is turned on
- Install a "good enough" antivirus program (such as the free Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast). Then make sure it updates daily and scan's your PC completely weekly
- Once a month, use one of the free online antivirus scanners to perform a check with another software. Good free online options include;
- Uninstall any app you don't use as these may have vulnerabilities that can be used to exploit your PC
- Only install software from trusted sources (file-sharing, grey sites or ad-ware supported sites are a bad idea)
- Don't open attachments from people you don't know. Don't click on links from emails.
- Buy a real router and don't rely on the one provided by your Internet Service Provider