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Let’s say you have this friend…

Jeff Platt
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The Internet is a vast sea of exotic voyages, where the world can be your oyster via the click of the mouse. Let’s say you have this friend, and sometimes “your friend” likes to dock his or her preverbal ship in some “unsafe” harbors to enjoy the fruits of fantasy. But just like traveling sailors, your friend’s computer can catch diseases (viruses and malware) from visiting sites that are NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

Sites that aren’t safe for work have become notorious hosts to an array of viruses and malware that slip aboard while your guard, I mean your friend’s guard, is down. An article on The Guardian, “10 ways to beat Cryptolocker,” gives helpful tips for the novice Internet surfer on how to avoid being the victim of a hostile virus take over.

Externally back up your data. Kokua Technologies offers Lifeguard for backup and disaster recovery. With all Lifeguard plans, your data is automatically mirrored offsite. People sometimes think that if the “computer is backing up my data for me, why would you need a service like Lifeguard?” Backups are useless if you don’t have a method for recovery. We not only keep your files safe but we will bring you back up to speed, exactly where you left off.

Save important files and images in the Cloud. Cloud based programs, like Dropbox, Flickr and Picasa are all programs that you can save photos, documents and other important files on. That said, a service like Dropbox is connected to your system, so if you, I mean your friend, gets malware, the files on Dropbox could be affected. Flickr and Picasa work a little differently as they aren’t continuously attached to your computer, so putting your pictures on those services provides protection for your photos.

Update your operating system with the latest security patches and use reputable anti-virus software. Kokua Drumbeat IT management plans come with complete anti-virus protection and ongoing management. We keep your systems patched and up to date. All Drumbeat plans also include professional anti-virus software with the latest definitions installed. It’s a little peace of mind that your technology is protected and secure.

Sometimes the most dangerous sites are not the obvious ones. Yes, avoiding the sleazier Internet sites (remind your friend!) is a good start, but some sites are wolves hiding in sheep skin. Symantec’s 2011 Internet Security Report found that that hackers target religious sites at a much higher rate:

“…religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than [NSFW] sites. We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business.”

So, raise the sails, batten down the hatches and set course for Internet adventures. But always have a life raft (for your friend!) just in case of leaks.