By Doctor Security
There are times when you learn about something new in the world of online threats that makes you wonder if it’s all worth it. This is one of those times: an attack on your reputation, which could seriously ruin your life.
Maybe you saw the news a few weeks back, maybe you didn’t…But you absolutely need to be aware of this malware threat because ignorance is not going to be accepted as a defense if you get caught with inappropriate images of children stored on your PC.
Yeah, that’s right. The creeps out there who are trading and saving illegal images have figured out a way to protect themselves from prosecution by storing these despicable photos on other people’s computers…without their knowledge, of course.
“Oh, my God!” was my initial reaction to this news. How is this possible? Well, it turns out it is pretty darn simple for criminals to gain control of your PC and use it as an unsavory repository without you knowing it. All you have to do is visit the wrong website (sometimes that’s enough) or click on the wrong link and you could have a virus downloaded to your computer that allows "them" to store unwanted information on your hard drive.
Imagine your horror if IT at work investigates your account activities and comes across a stash of illegal files. Yeah, it could get ugly. And this is no personal doomsday fantasy scenario. It actually happened to real people. Innocents have been fired and spent their life savings on trying to defend themselves and their reputations. Read more about it here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-19518_3-10394352-238.html.
And guess what? The actual criminals will try to use the same defense: “it wasn’t me, it was somebody else or it was a malicious virus.” So right about now you maybe think, “I’m going to shut down my PC and throw it out the window and go back to the days of typing on an IBM Selectric and using envelopes and stamps.”
It’s a quaint notion, but reality is not going to let you do that…So here’s what you need to do in addition to being diligent about keeping your anti-virus software updated. You need to be sure you have security software that is comprehensive and safeguards against malicious websites. Take a look at ZoneAlarm’s ForceField. It's software that protects your browser from attacks and blocks “drive-by-downloads” that silently download malicious software without your knowledge.
It’s your reputation. You need to protect it just like you would your financial information.