Holiday Cyber Security Guide

While holidays are a great time to relax -when it comes to Internet and mobile security, it's important not to drop your guard.

F-Secure, a company dedicated to protecting consumers and businesses against computer viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks, have given us the top five reasons why holiday security is more significant than ever:

1. Phishing for a good deal:

Cheap airline prices are driving sensible shoppers online in search of a good deal. When looking for affordable holidays, many people are misled by online scams, phishing cons claiming to offer great deals - such as ten days' room and board in Fiji for just $300 - are luring unsuspecting bargain hunters into entering personal credit card details which are then exploited. Captured criminals confirm suspicions that phishing gangs are earning millions of pounds every month with their scams.

2. Watch out for 'snap-happy' emails:

It might seem natural to return from holiday and upload photos to share with friends, but when a 'friend' sends an email to check out their pictures by clicking on a web link, be very wary. Virus writers are constantly on the look out for an easy 'in' with the unsuspecting public. What looks like a photo email could really activate a malicious virus that infects your PC and possibly turns it into a 'spam zombie' or disables your PC when you open the attachment. This approach is similar to the recent spate of SPAM that contained 'funny.zip', which was actually a Trojan.

3. Beware of mobile malware:

For many people, the need to stay connected means taking their mobile phone on holiday. Whilst mobile viruses are becoming more common in Australia, in some countries they are more prevalent than others. Malware like Commwarrior costs money by sending expensive MMS messages from the infected user's phone. This cost is all the more dear when phones are abroad and you factor in pricey roaming charges.

4. End-of-term surfing:

With the kids at home, they can spend increasing amounts of time on the web, so ensure they are safeguarded against any malicious content. Not only will children be more susceptible to the usual offenders like spam and viruses, but they may also be more likely to fall upon websites with offensive or inappropriate material. To protect against this, users should install parental controls on their PCs, allowing them to switch to different settings, providing varying access for adults, teenagers and children. This access can be time and content restricted so that (for example) children may have access between certain hours in addition to being restricted to specific 'clean' web sites.

5. Syncing up:

The summer air will get people moving, and when more and more people are roaming between home, work and holiday destinations, they may be putting themselves at risk. Downloading and uploading files between home and work PCs can breed threats, and viruses can be spread inadvertently if you don't have the right software in place. This summer, the desire for music on the move and photo sharing could leave unsuspecting users at risk.

F-Secure was founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland, and has been listed on the Helsinki Exchanges since 1999. For the latest news on real-time virus threat scenarios go to  http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/.

 
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