How to beat 22 Web security threats

Forewarned is forearmed. We investigate the latest and most deadly tech dangers, and explain how to fight back.

14. Mac malware

No matter what you've heard, Macs are not immune to security problems, including malware that employs deceptive techniques to fool users into installing it.

The fix

If you use a Mac, don't sit back and assume it's impregnable. It's not. You need to keep up to date with security updates just the same as Windows users. Things to watch out for include the automatic updates that Apple releases, as well as the various patches for software that third-party vendors may not automatically alert you to.

15. Fake antimalware

Fraudulently advertised, ineffective antimalware ranks among the fastest-growing types of online scams. Online ads that simulate Windows alert messages tout products such as DriveCleaner, WinFixer, Antivirus XP and Antivirus 2009, warning you that your PC is infected with malware and advising you to buy the named product to fix it.

Some purveyors of these sham utilities embed warning messages directly into the Windows desktop or pop-up messages from a System Tray applet to convince you the problem is serious.

But these scareware tools only pretend to scan your computer for dangerous malware. Instead, they detect either innocuous, commonly used Registry keys or non-existent (or planted) alien files.

Even worse, many of the programs disable key components of Windows, such as the Registry editor or Task Manager.

Or they may deactivate options within the OS's Display Properties settings to prevent you from killing the programs or removing the alert messages.

People are particularly susceptible to these packages because the sneaky sellers charge an apparently reasonable fee.

The fix

A legitimate malware remover - one that independent testing has determined is effective - should be able to take care of the immediate problem of having an adware program that refused to be uninstalled. Check your security software to see if it will do the trick.

But the real fix for this plague may be concerted government action. Late last year the US Federal Trade Commission asked a federal court to step in and thwart some perpetrators of this type of scam. It may be that prison terms or massive fines are the only useful deterrents, and will have to be introduce here too.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags phishingmalwarecyber security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?