Stay Safe Online

Virus checkers are FAR from perfect – users need to be careful!

As soon as AV software picks something up (which may take a week or more after its first seen in the wild), the creators can make a small change to the virus effectively resetting the clock.

Advice for users:

  • Don’t open attachments from unknown sources. Reply – ask if they’ve sent you it.
  • Even if from a known sender, be careful – Does the email look/feel like one the sender would usually send?  i.e., all capitals, use of particular language, etc.
  • Think about who the sender is – i.e., why would Barclays contact you if your account is with Santander?
  • Think about the message content – i.e., why would a mobile number registered in America be trying to send you a picture message to your work email address?
  • Avoid websites not work related. Many sites, including legitimate ones, are compromised daily and are used to send malware to machines. This happened to AVG (the anti-virus people!) in the last few days. If they can’t stop this sort of thing, what chance have we got?
  • Avoid sites like Facebook etc at work. Although the sites themselves are fine, they are often used to spread viruses. Junk disguised as something interesting from a friend etc.
  • Avoid “funnies” at work. Often these have a malicious payload, so as well as a funny video or PowerPoint, you get a virus at the same time.
  • Avoid file-sharing sites.
  • Keep number of devices you plug USB drives in to a minimum, and where possible, don’t use these on 3rd party sites where you’re not aware what state a machine is in.
  • If you notice any odd behaviour/windows/programs on a PC, or “corruption” in any files, let us know immediately. If we aren’t contactable straight away unplug the machines network cable.
  • Careful with links/buttons on such windows. They may do the opposite of what they say!
  • Viruses rarely work “cross-platform” i.e, a Windows virus won’t work on an Android phone. With this in mind, say you receive a mail you’re not sure of, it may be possible to give it the once over on your phone before opening it on your PC.
  • Remember you’ll annoy the boss if their machines are out of service…
  • …more so if data is lost.
  • The same advice stands at home. There you won’t lose all your company’s data, but you might lose important personal docs/photos etc. Always be careful what you’re clicking on.

In future viruses will almost certainly get worse – both to remove, and in their demands! Note that it’s not always possible to remove viruses remotely. Visits may be required, people may be without PC’s and access to certain data may not be possible.

Also if we don’t check your sites backups, please ensure you do yourself regularly. Something like this NEEDS a backup to fall back on. Virus + no backup = No documents, no accounts, no payroll…… no nothing.

Download our handy poster to stick next to your PC

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