Google's Safe Browsing Diagnostic Tool A week ago Google announced the release of a safe browsing diagnostic tool. To use the tool, just append a URL to the end of For example, to test this site, you would enter Google will then return four sets of security information about that page. (1) The current listing status of a site and also information on how often a site or parts of it were listed in the past. (2) The last time Google analyzed the page, when it was last malicious, what kind of malware Google encountered and so fourth. (3) Did the site facilitated the distribution of malicious software in the past?
Understanding Hidden Threats: Corrupted Software Files Malicious code is not always hidden in web page scripts or unusual file formats. Attackers may corrupt types of files that you would recognize and typically consider safe, so you should take precautions when opening files from other people. What types of files can attackers corrupt? Detect How can you detect if your computer has been violated and infected with DNS Changer? An industry wide team has developed easy “are you infected” web sites. They are a quick way to determine if you are infected with DNS Changer. Each site is designed for any normal computer user to browse to a link, follow the instructions, and see if they might be infected. Each site has instructions in their local languages on the next steps to clean up possible infections.
Using Caution with Email Attachments While email attachments are a popular and convenient way to send documents, they are also a common source of viruses. Use caution when opening attachments, even if they appear to have been sent by someone you know. Why can email attachments be dangerous? Some of the characteristics that make email attachments convenient and popular are also the ones that make them a common tool for attackers: Email is easily circulated - Forwarding email is so simple that viruses can quickly infect many machines. Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft Is identity theft just a problem for people who submit information online? You can be a victim of identity theft even if you never use a computer. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses) by stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone conversation, rummaging through your trash (a practice known as dumpster diving), or picking up a receipt at a restaurant that has your account number on it.
How to Tell If A Website Is Dangerous These days it can be very difficult to tell if a site is trustworthy or not. Many nefarious sites are being designed to look respectable. Thus you should always make sure that a site is not dangerous by using multiple approaches. This is especially important to consider before providing a site with sensitive information such as credit card numbers, banking information, your email address, etc... In general you may want to be wary of a site if it asks you for unnecessary personal information, a credit card number, or a bank number when it's not necessary. This could be evidence of them phishing for your sensitive information. Understanding Web Site Certificates What are web site certificates? If an organization wants to have a secure web site that uses encryption, it needs to obtain a site, or host, certificate. There are two elements that indicate that a site uses encryption (see Protecting Your Privacy for more information): a closed padlock, which, depending on your browser, may be located in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window or at the top of the browser window between the address and search fieldsa URL that begins with "https:" rather than "http:" By making sure a web site encrypts your information and has a valid certificate, you can help protect yourself against attackers who create malicious sites to gather your information. You want to make sure you know where your information is going before you submit anything (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information).
Understanding Bluetooth Technology What is Bluetooth? Bluetooth is a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other without cables or wires. It is an electronics "standard," which means that manufacturers that want to include this feature have to incorporate specific requirements into their electronic devices. These specifications ensure that the devices can recognize and interact with other devices that use the Bluetooth technology.
Defending Cell Phones and PDAs Against Attack As cell phones and PDAs become more technologically advanced, attackers are finding new ways to target victims. By using text messaging or email, an attacker could lure you to a malicious site or convince you to install malicious code on your portable device. What unique risks do cell phones and PDAs present? Most current cell phones have the ability to send and receive text messages.
Protecting Portable Devices: Data Security In addition to taking precautions to protect your portable devices, it is important to add another layer of security by protecting the data itself. Why do you need another layer of protection? Although there are ways to physically protect your laptop, PDA, or other portable device (see Protecting Portable Devices: Physical Security for more information), there is no guarantee that it won't be stolen. After all, as the name suggests, portable devices are designed to be easily transported. The theft itself is, at the very least, frustrating, inconvenient, and unnerving, but the exposure of information on the device could have serious consequences. Also, remember that any devices that are connected to the internet, especially if it is a wireless connection, are also susceptible to network attacks (see Securing Wireless Networks for more information).