August 28, 2008

BitDefender Offers Computer Security Tips in Response to Major Consumer Magazine Report on E-Threats

In response to a leading US consumer magazine's recent article indicating that U.S. consumers lost nearly $8.5 billion dollars to e-threats, BitDefender has released its top ten tips to secure computers against spam, viruses, phishing and spyware.

According to the article, the damage caused by these e-threats is decreasing, and BitDefender, a leading provider of internationally certified security software, believes constant vigilance is required by consumers to continue to ensure their computers' safety.

BitDefender offers the following security tips for computer users:

1. Don't assume anything. Take some time to learn about securing your system.

2. Acquire and use a reliable antivirus program. Select an antivirus program that has a consistent track record. Checkmark, and TuV are among the most respected independent testers of antivirus software.

3. Acquire and use a reliable firewall solution. Again, independent reviewers are the best sources of information for helping consumers determine reasonable choices. Some operating systems come with a firewall which only filters incoming traffic. Use a firewall that can control both incoming and outgoing Internet traffic.

4. Do not open e-mails from unknown or distrusted sources. Many viruses spread via e-mail messages so ask for a confirmation from the sender if you are in any doubt.

5. Do not open the attachments of messages with suspicious or unexpected subject lines. If you want to open them, first save them to your hard disk and scan them with an updated antivirus program.

6. Delete any chain e-mails or unwanted messages. Do not forward them or reply to their senders. These kinds of messages are considered spam, because they are undesired and unsolicited and they can overload the Internet traffic.

7. Avoid installing services and applications which are not needed in day-to-day operations in a desktop role, such as file transfer and file sharing servers, etc. Such programs are potential hazards, and should not be installed if not absolutely necessary.

8. Update your system and applications as often as possible. Some operating systems and applications can be set to update automatically. Make full use of this facility. Failure to patch your system often enough may leave it vulnerable to threats for which fixes already exist.

9. Do not copy any file if you don't know or don't trust its source. Check the source of files you download and make sure that an antivirus program has already verified the files at their source.

10. Make backups of important personal files (correspondence, documents, pictures and such) on a regular basis. Store these copies on removable media such as CD or DVD. Keep your archive in a different location from your computer. For greater protection, use an online backup service, which routinely backs up your data and stores it remotely.

Lastly, BitDefender recommends that, when selecting a security solution, consumers should look at the way it detects viruses. Many use "signature-based" detection, which introduces a time lag from when a threat is introduced into the wild to when an update is available to protect your information. During this time lag, information is vulnerable. Others use "heuristic" protection, which has the capability to identify newly released threats by emulating their function inside your computer without allowing it to endanger your information. A heuristic-based solution offers the best protection for today's computer environment.

"BitDefender believes that articles like this, especially in prominent consumer magazines, help keep the spotlight on the evolving world of e-threats," said Bogdan Dumitru, CTO for BitDefender. "But being aware of e-threats is not enough -- computer users need the support of IT security experts like BitDefender, who are developing more effective security technologies and communicating the steps we can take to secure our computers."

About BitDefender(R)

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since our inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information is available on our security solutions' site.

SOURCE: BitDefender