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Cyber Shopping Could Cost You A Bundle

There has been an alarming upward trend in infections on SLAC computers in the past several days. We suspect this is related to holiday "cyber shopping" on SLAC computers.

Attackers have set traps for the holiday cyber shoppers. You don't want to get caught in these traps! Your computer could become infected and your personal information stolen. Please keep the following in mind year round, and especially during the holiday season.

• Always keep your operating system fully patched. (Patch Windows operating systems here.)
• Keep your antivirus software up to date. (Symantec definitions can be found here.) Run a weekly full antivirus scan as well. The full scan is to find viruses that might have infected the system before the definitions were updated to detect them.
• Get your firewall up. A firewall helps make you invisible on the internet and blocks all communication from unauthorized sources. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection.
• Beware of e-cards as they can contain viruses and other malware. Reading all your e-mail in plain text can help here too!
• Do not shop from someone else's computer, including public systems.
• Do not shop via public WiFi hotspots. Attackers set up their own hotspots in public areas (including airports) that look like the real ones.
• Beware of spoofed sites, and look for the lock symbol to ensure the site uses encryption.

The Federal Trade Commission's Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping Online offer additional tools.

These two Cyber Security Awareness Month articles are also applicable to cyber shopping: Tools, Training, Useful Websites and Using Browsers, SSL and Domain Names

Above article appeared in Dec. 6, 2007 SLAC Today.

Owner: SLAC Computer Security
Last Updated: 07/22/2010
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