Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Independence Day, Keep Cyber Crooks at bay
India, August 14, 2012: As we celebrate 65 years of India’s freedom in the physical world, the virtual world confronts us with rising attacks by cyber criminals robbing us of the freedom to operate freely on the internet. With 12.1 crore internet users*, the internet continues to be the primary cyber-attack vector for Indians. This is corroborated by the latest McAfee threat report which indicates that the average spam volume in India from April 2011 to March 2012 stood at an astonishing 60,000,000 and 250,000 new bot senders were also discovered in India through this period. So, while India has been quick to adopt the internet for activities such as online bill payments, bank transactions, shopping and so on, the lack of user awareness on the dangers while on the internet makes them an easy target for cyber crooks. Naive internet users are ‘Phished’ and cyber criminals are rewarded with unauthorised access to credit card details, personal information and various other important data. Additionally innocent children are ‘stalked’ as they fall victim to strangers in the guise of friends.
On the occasion of Independence Day, Venkatasubrahmanyam Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering – Consumer and Mobile, McAfee India recommends some of the best practices to minimise your risk on the internet and keep cyber-crooks at bay.
1. Transfer your PC best practices to ALL of your Internet-connected devices. Install up-to-date security software on your PCs AND other mobile devices. According to McAfee’s Global Unprotected Rates report, India was the 10th least protected country with 17.32% of consumers without security protection software installed on their PCs.
2. Do not reveal your passwords to anyone. Also construct STRONG passwords that include a combination of capitals and small letters, numerals and special characters that are difficult to decipher. Change your password periodically.
3. Use ‘safe search’ technology: For example, use McAfee SiteAdvisor for computers or SiteAdvisor Mobile for smartphones to avoid running into dangerous websites. These can tell you if a site is safe to click on when it shows up in your search results even BEFORE you enter the site.
4. Always be very careful when responding to email and clicking on links embedded in email- especially if the sender is not your contact.
5. Be intelligent, stay safe! Be wary of phony websites, emails, texts and pop-ads offering ’too good to be true’ deals or offers. Be extremely careful with what you download. Poorly written applications are a source for exploits and malicious applications can create havoc on both personal and digital life.
6. Regularly back-up the data on your smartphone or laptop and consider deleting any personal information that isn’t necessary.
7. Don’t let your apps remember your user names and passwords: Also make sure you don’t store credit card information or passwords on websites. If your smartphone or laptop is lost criminals can easily access these accounts.
8. Educate your family and pay attention to your children’s online activities.
9. Never divulge personal and banking information on the Internet.
10. Especially control the information you divulge and what you post on Social websites. Remember your posts are stored forever.
11. Turn off the geo-tagging feature on your smartphone before posting photos on sites like Facebook to avoid your location information falling into the wrong hands.
12. Check your settings in Preferences of social websites and control the information you want to send or disclose. By default most websites reveal almost everything that you do on that website to everyone.
13. Use lock, locate and wipe software for mobile devices when your device is stolen as appropriate—Software such as McAfee Mobile Security not only includes lock, locate, and wipe capabilities, but it also offers antivirus and anti-spyware protection.
In a nutshell – STOP, THINK and then CONNECT. It is a combination of discipline on the internet and the right technology that you employ that will give you the freedom you desire on the internet.
*According to the Internet World Stats
About McAfee
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. 

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