Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How safe is the Internet Highway?

Hi Everyone,

Right off I want to apologize for posting my blog late this week. Those who visit here often know I usually post on Sunday’s, but for the last few months I’ve had computer problems due to viruses and an old computer. I finally got a new computer on Saturday, and it’s been a chore setting it up. For the most part it’s up and running even though there’s a lot more work to be done.

On to my question about the internet highway being safe. My answer is not very. The Internet is wonderful in bringing people together all around the world, but in all things there are some who are malicious enough to take advantage of anything good.

What can we do to protect ourselves? There are many security systems, firewalls, etc. that you can install on your computer to protect you from viruses, spy ware, Trojans, and worms. Like my husband says, there’s nothing out there that will catch everything so most of us have more than one security system installed but that’s not a guarantee that something won’t get through.

Every single one of us is in danger. We visit sites all the time and many of them we don’t know who operates them. How many of you are on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.? I’m on all of those, and I can tell you right now it’s dangerous. We want to network with others, so what can we do to protect ourselves?

One thing we can do is not click on links we don’t know where they come from. All right! All right! I clicked on a link that came from a friend, and I thought I was safe. The one thing you must remember is that friend may not know where the link came from. I clicked on a link at Facebook from my friend, but she got the site from someone on MySpace (probably a friend) and neither one of us knew where that link originated. I hope you’re getting the drift now.

None of your friends are going to intentionally give you a virus, but sometimes they don’t even know they have a bug. Some viruses can stay on your computer for a long time without being detected while infecting all of your friends if there anti-virus doesn’t catch the bugger.

Where can you pick up viruses? Just about anywhere. My husband is a ham operator, and he has gotten viruses off the sites he’s visited looking up information on ham radio equipment. Porn sites are notorious places to get viruses, so you guys stay away from them.

I have never heard of anyone getting a virus at Google, but the sites they direct you to for your research can be susceptible to viruses and you’re taking a risk when you go to them. I’m not telling you this to scare you away from all sites because then the information highway would be useless for all of us. Just err on the side of caution and realize that just one firewall and anti-virus checker is not enough.

See you on Sunday when my topic will be credit card fraud.



J Hali said...

Sandy, this post is so imformative. We all need to be careful out there on the internet highway!
Good luck with getting back up and computing smoothly.

Looking forward to your Sunday post. I understand a lot of people were affected at the Orlando RT convention.

Dawné Dominique said...

Sandy, my new computer is like Fort Knox now, but it is still susceptible. Nothing is safe. It burns my cockles that there are people out there with waaaay too much time on their hands and they're malicious enough to create viruses just because they can. Sheesh!

This was a great blog subject, Sandy!

Hugs and smiles,

Sandy said...

Thanks, Joann.

It's going much better. I just need to input a lot of stuff back into my computer. So far, I'm very happy with the virus protector you recommended. It caught a dangerous trojan right off the bat. It probably transfered from my old computer through email. Not sure how that works.

Yes, I heard that. I'll tell you more about that Sunday.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Dawne.

It burns me, too. Why can't they do something productive? They are consumed by hurting others just like serial killers or child molesters, they can't stop.

Christie Craig said...

I hate worrying about viruses, Sandy. I try to be careful but it's so easy to just. . . move the little mouse and click.

Thanks for the reminder to be careful.


Sandy said...

You're welcome, Christie and thanks for stopping by.

It's that moving the mouse and clicking that got me in trouble.

K.T. Bishop said...

Things pop up on our computer all the time. I just eliminate them.... but they still come up.

Marianne Stephens said...

Great advice, Sandy. Read email addys carefully before opening them, and never click on something you don't recognize. I sometimes will Google the site to see what Google says about it.

EmilyBryan said...

I guess I'd better knock wood. My computer's never caught so much as a sniffle. However, I do have a separate computer, which is an internet virgin, that I do my writing on so there's no danger of losing my work in a catastrophic crash.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Sandy,
Sorry to hear about your computer woes. Nothing is worse than being unable to use your computer when you need to write. Right now my printer is on the fritz so I'll be taking it in to get it fixed.
I'll never understand why people want to cause problems for others. You're right, they have too much time on their hands.

Sandy said...

Thanks, K.T.

Those popups aren't the things I worry about. It's the stuff that comes from people I know.

Sandy said...


What a great suggestion. I never thought of Googling a site.

Thanks a lot.

Sandy said...


You're so lucky. I am glad I had my work in progress on my laptop, which I never use for e-mail or Internet use.

Thanks for coming by.

Sandy said...


Thanks for coming by.

Yes, it's a shame that people want to create problems for others.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Hey Sandy

My antivirus usually tells me if a link is safe or not, like on Google results pages. I also have a phishing filter that came in automatic updates by Microsoft. The Microsoft update site is usually a good one for finding updates that help with Internet security.

About the link business, if you really need to see what's on that page, simply retype the address in your browser. Most of the time, the virus is activated by clicking the link, but if you type it in from scratch, there's no way it can hurt you.

Sorry you ahd to go through such woes. Hang tight and keep on building up that new computer.



Sandy said...

Thanks, Z.

I did have automatic updates from Microsoft. I'm going to be more careful.

I'll let my husband know what you said about the link and see what he says before I do it.

It's getting better.