The dark side of the web

Congratulations on reaching week twelve of learning 2.1.

This week we are looking at the dark side of the Internet and specifically how to be a street-wise Internet user.

Malware is defined as computer software that is malicious in nature. It is generally understood to be software created to disrupt, damage or collect information from you without your knowledge.

An example of malware that is disruptive is popup advertising. You have all seen the annoying ads for pharmaceuticals, mortgages or legal services that popup as you use the Internet. They are easily controlled by enabling the popup blocker in your browser.

Trojans and worms are examples of malware that can damage your computer. These programs get into your computer by attaching themselves to programs or files that are frequently downloaded. They can also attach themselves to web pages and email messages. Once in your computer, they can release a virus or gather up information and send it back to the hacker that wrote it. Reputable anti-virus software packages will effectively block worms and Trojans.

Keyloggers, spyware and phishing scams are examples of malware that is designed to collect information about your or from you, without your explicit knowledge. Once they have gathered your information, usually usernames and passwords to your financial accounts, they allow criminals to access your accounts and help themselves. Defending against keyloggers and spyware can be done primarily by not opening email attachments from unknown senders and using one of the commercially anti-spyware products. Websites that off "free" software or music downloads are great places to get infected with spyware - try to avoid them.

Phishing scams are much more difficult to defend against because their target is you and not a computer component or system. The hackers that create phishing scams are using psychology and social engineering to gather the information that they need. As a result, you have to be very aware and almost suspicious of every email you receive and website that you visit.

You can see a current state of virus and other threats here.

Blog points
Have you ever been the target of a phishing scam? Did you recognize it as a scam right away? What tipped you off? Blog about your experiences with malware or phishing attempts - do not provide any information which may lead to a phishing attempt.

Which web 2.0 tools would you like to find more about?

Before you finish please fill in this evaluation of this course.

Congratulations on finishing this course. There is just one more thing to do. Add this blog to your rss feeds as we plan on adding posts about other tools of interest in the coming weeks.

Ellen and Mylee

14 comments:

Wallerawang Branch Library said...

Norton 360 Security from Symantec, I believe is the best all round security software.I also run Windows Defender as well,to double the defence!

Common sense will tell you that if it's too good to be true then it is a scam! Too many gullible people in the world.

Sarah said...

I have loved this course. Thank you so much for making it possible and also commenting on our blog entries and creating such a great course that has proved very useful to me.

Kim said...

The problem with many social engineering attempts is that they are often targetted in order to create fear, this often leads to the person being targetted becoming agitated and hurriedly trying to fix the situation, thus leaving themselves open to the perpetrator.

I didn't enjoy this course as much as the first one, I didn't find it as interesting, this is mostly due to my own online inclinations. As the Web Design resident for my library not all of the tools that could be used can be integrated into our website, which can be disheartening at times. But I am going to run with what I can get working if I can get the permission to use it.

pls@slnsw said...

Kim
Thank you for letting me know about your thoughts on the course.

Ellen (PLS)

Wayne@MTO said...

I really enjoyed this second installment and must say I found it more interesting than the first. Some of the topics covered in this one were new to me and I also found it great to see the developments in some areas from last time.

PamL said...

Thanks team! I appreciate all the hard work that went into this course.

Looking forward to Learning 2.2 ;)

pls@slnsw said...

PamL
I am really glad that you enjoyed the course - you may have to wait a while for the next one.

Ellen

Kris said...

I enjoyed learning 2.1 a nice opportunity to learn more about the web. I did enjoy the RSS feeds.

Kris said...

I enjoyed learning 2.1 it has given me more insight of what can be done using rss feeds, delicious and creating a mashup

pls@slnsw said...

Kris
It is great to hear that you enjoyed this program. There are some really interesting and useful tools to learn about.

twinsplusone76 said...

Have enjoyed this 2.1 training, but need to make time to keep using the tools. I found that i had to go over some of the information from 2.0 because i had forgotten a lot of it.

bloggersbeware said...

I still don't use rrs feeds, as I don't use my computer as much or as efficiently as I should. I have enjoyed this course and found I could get through it faster because I have more knowledge. Even if I didn't remember things, I was aware of them and could recall different things about the lessons. I use Kaspersky security system. I find it very efficient and unlike other systems is very stable with constant updates. With this system, my computer seems to be protected. Like everyone else I wish I knew how to completely block spam from entering my computer.
thank you Mylee and Ellen for a great course. I wonder what else is out there to learn on the web.

pls@slnsw said...

I am really glad that you enjoyed learning 2.1 - watch out for updates on the PLS blog http://blog.sl.nsw.gov.au/pls/

Ellen

Wendy said...

Like someone else said - Norton 360 is great. But common sense is useful too. Some people are so gullible.