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A computer virus is part of a type of software called malware. Viruses embed copies of themselves in host programs, and use these to spread from one computer to another.
Viruses aim to interfere with your computer’s system and ‘go viral’ – spreading to other computers. Depending on their severity, they may cause annoyance, disrupt operations, access your email and use it to get on to other computers, delete or corrupt files or software, steal information and even erase your hard drive. If your computer starts to behave oddly – freezing, crashing, running slowly or taking longer than usual to respond – you may have a virus.
So you’re the proud owner of a Mac. Congratulations.
Chances are you think its operating system, OS X, completely guards against viruses and other malware and that you don’t need Internet security software. But is this really the case? Read on to find out why it’s a good idea to bolster your Mac’s own protection with a comprehensive security solution.
But I thought Macs were safe…
A Mac running OS X is indeed more secure than a PC running Windows, but that doesn’t mean Macs are completely immune to threats. The Mac’s sandboxed operating system makes it harder to crack, but it’s not unhackable and remains vulnerable to risky user behaviour.
We’re only human and have a natural tendency to trust others – particularly those in positions of authority. This is true of our behaviour on the Internet as well as in real life. Unfortunately, this quality makes us vulnerable to the tricks of creative cybercriminals. Scareware is a common method such crooks use to defraud us – taking advantage of our trust, our lack of technical understanding and our need to feel safe.
And it can be very persuasive. Just recently, the fake AntiVirus for Android™ app was downloaded from the Google Play Store more than a million times before being discovered and removed.
The best way to protect ourselves and our families from these scams is to be aware of them and know how to deal with them.
Want to know how to spot scareware and avoid becoming a victim? Then read on.
Mobile banking is convenient, simple, fast and flexible – allowing us to access our accounts 24/7 and on the go. We can pay bills, move funds, buy stuff, check our account balance, deposit money and request emergency cash without even setting foot inside our bank’s physical building. With our smartphones and tablets, we can carry our virtual banks in our pockets wherever we go.
But along with this convenient money management comes added risk. Criminals previously had to physically break into banks directly to take our money. Now it’s easier for them to target us, the customers, instead – aiming to defraud us, steal our identities and siphon funds from our accounts.
If you use mobile banking, you need to protect both your phone and your financial information from hackers, identity thieves and malware. We’ll show you how to do this simply with these five tips for safer mobile banking.
My beloved iPhone5 used to be chockfull of digital detritus: apps I’d used once or twice, gazillions of family photos that I’d already copied over to my laptop and to Google drive, fuzzy videos, unopened emails, unplayed games and a virtual library of forgotten files saved to my home screen. They were all gobbling up memory, draining the battery and putting the brakes on my phone’s performance.
Familiar tale? If so, don’t despair – it’s easy to fix.
Whether you have an Android, iOS or Windows device, don’t delay – do yourself and your phone a favour and start uncluttering right now. In a few simple steps, you’ll have a better and faster phone.
Webcams are great fun. They allow us to talk face to face and in real time with family and friends who live a long way away, hold work meetings with colleagues around the globe, and make videos to post online. Plus you can see each other’s facial expressions and other non-verbal body language cues, making for a much better communication experience than a text chat or ordinary phone call. They’re also widely accessible, as they’re cheap, small and simple to use and are usually pre-installed on laptops.
What’s risky about webcams?
Webcams may feel private – but they’re not. If the person you’re talking to via webcam records you, they can share the video (or any stills they take) with other people, post the content online, share it on Facebook, or email it to someone.
We do love our mobiles, and our passion for them is on the rise. According to eMarketer, over a third of the world’s population will own a smartphone by 2017. But we’re not the only ones with a desire for these devices. Cybercriminals, too, have an appetite for mobiles: the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) shows that 38 per cent of smartphone users became victims of cybercrime in 2013.
The phenomenal growth in use of smartphones and tablets, along with our sometimes not-so-smart attitude to security, means that our mobile devices are easy and plentiful targets. As well as containing masses of valuable personal data, our mobiles are the perfect way for cybercriminals to get at us.
Most kids love playing online games. No surprise there – they’re fun, entertaining, encourage creativity and are often educational. They’re great to play with existing friends, and offer the opportunity to make new ones too. Online games allow kids to chat to and play with or against an enormous number of other players anywhere in the world, across all borders of time, language, geography, age and culture.
Unfortunately, gaming is also enormously appealing to hackers and others of ill repute, and holds privacy and security risks that need to be faced. It’s therefore important for you and your children to identify and understand these risks, and learn how to handle them. Following the practical tips below will help you and your kids to have some age-appropriate and safe fun while gaming online.
Is your computer behaving oddly? Have your settings changed? Perhaps you’re being pestered by pop-up ads, even when you’re not surfing the web? Or maybe your computer is running slowly, freezing more than usual, or programs are frequently crashing? Sounds like you may have picked up spyware or other unwanted software.
Spyware isn’t just a potential nuisance – it can also pose serious security and privacy risks. Malicious spyware aims to track your online movements and harvest and exploit your private information, such as credit card details and account user names and passwords. It may also change your home and search page settings, install unwanted add-ons, redirect you to offensive sites and even make changes to your computer’s registry.
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No one can prevent all cybercrime or identity theft.
The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of NortonLifeLock Inc. LifeLock identity theft protection is not available in all countries.
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