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12.4 Staying Safe

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    Learning Objectives

    After studying this section you should be able to do the following:

    1. Articulate ways to protect yourself and others from malware

    • (Shawn Newton)

    • Operating system updates aren’t usually for show, they are patching something that doesn't work or they are sent out in the attempt to protect users from flaws that can be exploited by those who want to get into or affect your system. For example Windows recently urged it’s users to update their systems as soon as possible because of the fact that they had a glaring flaw that was exploitable.

    • Another smart way to protect yourself is by installing MalwareBytes, this program actively protects your computer in real time by pointing out sites you are attempting to visit as security threats before you visit them.  Alongside that feature it also takes initiative in finding viruses and malware by using machine learning.

    • Good ways to protect yourself from Social Engineering attacks like Phishing is to be blatantly suspicious of unsolicited communications from sources you are unsure of.  Double-check the source of any email you are sent, especially if they are requesting sensitive data.  Attempt to call the person back before transferring any information to avoid being the victim of a Spoofing attack.

    • Avoid downloading files you aren’t completely sure about, double-check everything!  

    • Other safe Browsing habits include most of what we’ve gone over alongside, not reusing passwords, keeping your browser up to date and not reusing the same password for everything.  

    • The first step of maintaining a security and preventing from hacker getting into individuals computers is to have a strong, complex, and secure passwords. Hackers have a hard time with complex passwords because if the password consists of at least 8 characters with numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special characters then the chances of them getting into your personal information is extremely slim. There was a study done that showed if a password have 6 character with all lower case letters then it can be broken under 6 minutes. 

    • Firewall is a security guard that will protect your computer. “It creates a barrier between the computer and any unauthorized program trying to come in through the Internet.” 

    • Another way to protect your computer is by installing antivirus software. This software helps protect the computer from unauthorized software that is a threat. Virus, keyloggers, Trojans are some examples of unauthorized software.  It also prevents future attacks of viruses too.

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      Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): A comic from XKCD, a popular techy-nerdy comic strip. (CC BY-NC 2.5)

    12.4 Staying Safe is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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