Most Americans Wrong about Computer Security

Oct 2, 2007: 1:54 AM CST

computer.jpgI don’t make it a habit of posting links to sites or discussing content that does not relate directly to trading, but I felt I should pass this on to readers and traders who – invariably – are using a computer to read this article or trade the markets.

A recent article at Yahoo stated that Most Americans were Wrong when asked “How Secure is your Computer,” when they were confronted with simple tests about computer safety.

Specifically, the poll asked how many people used anti-virus, or anti-spyware software and 87% of poll respondents said they used anti-virus software.

Of those, about 50% had updated the anti-virus software in the last month, and 55% of respondents had enabled anti-spyware protection.

The author stated that the creators of viruses are no longer sending out ‘cute’ hacks that do harmless things (or even harmful things) to a computer, but rather programs that steal your identity or sensitive financial information.

The author recommends frequently updating both anti-virus and anti-spyware programs

Note: spyware programs are easily acquired through sometimes normal internet activities and downloads, and can be insidious to your computer or personal information, yet they are usually very easy for an anti-spyware program to detect and remove.

In addition, try to run anti-virus scans and anti-spyware scans monthly if not more so.

The standard tips apply, such as never open suspicious emails, never download and run suspicious programs (especially from unknown senders), do not download music/mp3s or illegal programs, do not ever share your password or private information unless you know the site is secure (indicated with a “https” and usually a ‘lock’ in the top or bottom of your internet browser), etc.

All it takes is one virus, or one improper download to wipe out your system. It can happen to the best of us if we’re not careful.

It seems like now that the target is personal information which – when stolen – cannot be undone as easily as a “format C:” or a reinstall of Windows or Linux (or MacOS).

Bottom line: be careful out there – not just in the markets, but while enjoying your entire internet experience.

Comments Off on Most Americans Wrong about Computer Security

Comments are closed.