Beware of virus and malware that mimic security warnings! Tips on securing one’s computer

My computer got infected by a virus last night, and an article over at PlesaeHelpMe, a website that offers real-time computer help simply hit home (disclaimer: I worked on this website). The article is entitled Ways to Secure Your Laptop- Tips & software, and offers loads of tips on how to secure one’s computer, from the basics to the extreme. I have had some misses, but overall I think my “security” set-up is pretty decent.

  • Install Antivirus – I use McAfee antivirus
  • Install Anti-Spyware – McAfee antivirus takes care of this
  • Keep Your System Updated – This takes a lot of time, so I had this turned off. Guess I’m going to have to start updating more often!
  • Set a System Password – Check!
  • Password Protect Your Windows User Account – Check!
  • Keep Your Firewall Turned On – Ugh … I turned this off for development purposes, but forgot to turn it back on!
  • Beware of Pop-up Security Fakes – Need to keep an eye out for this one
  • Encrypt Sensitive Data – Never thought of this
  • Back Up Important Data – I’m guilty of this too
  • Kid’s Computing – This is kind of hard to control
  • Consider Insuring Your Laptop – Check!

Physical Security

  • Don’t be too obvious that you have them – Interesting. I carry my laptop around in a huge bag, and in the Philippines, security normally frisks people entering malls and supermarkets, thus exposing my “baggage”
  • Bio-metrics – Check!
  • Lock the Laptop – Check!
  • Track Your Laptop Anywhere – I am not exactly sure how this can be accomplished. The article mentions software solutions, but links to none.
  • This article also brings up a very good point.

    Beware of Pop-up Security Fakes

    This is a one awesome tip. There are a lot of malware and virii posing as anti-malware / anti-virus software.

    The virus that infected me last night appeared like it was some sort of anti-virus and pretended to scan my computer. The thing is, I had McAfee anti-virus installed and I know it looked nothing like this. The thing was all over my computer. It probably got through my computer because I disabled my firewall last week and forgot to turn it back on.

    I had a difficult time removing it. When I rebooted my computer, I received BSOD, even in Safe Mode. I feared permanent damage. I eventually booted into Last Known Configuration and it worked. I was scared!

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