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CyberDefender Issues List of the Top Ten Most Dangerous Online Activities, Including Tips for Safe Browsing

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CyberDefender Corporation (Nasdaq:CYDE) ("CyberDefender"), a leading provider of Internet security software, utilities and remote technical support services that maximize online safety for consumers, today announced a list of the top ten most dangerous mistakes consumers make on the Internet – and offers tips on how to stay safe online.

"Many beloved technological advances owe their very existence to the Internet – like social networks, online auctions and multiplayer games," says Achal Khetarpal, Director of Threat Research at CyberDefender. "However, the Internet is also behind the rising threat of cybercrime. Using security software should be everyone's first step, followed by safe browsing habits and professional help. The tips included in this document will help you stay safe, but if something goes wrong, remember to seek assistance from CyberDefender's LiveTech remote support service before spending hours in front of the computer."

The Top Ten Most Dangerous Online Activities according to CyberDefender researchers:

1. Checking the "Keep me signed in" box in public PCs

NEVER, ever, check the "keep me signed in" box when you aren't using a personal laptop or home desktop.

How to avoid it: Make sure to uncheck the "Keep me signed in" box on any public computers used. You should also go into the browser tools and clear the cache and cookies.

2. Failing to update Microsoft Windows OS / Java / Adobe Reader / Adobe Flash

Java / Adobe Reader / Adobe Flash are often exploited and may lead to malware infections. Failing to update these widely used applications can leave users vulnerable.

How to avoid it: Enable automatic updates and install them immediately. Update all three pieces of software as often as you can.

3. Searching for celebrity gossip

Malware authors know that people naturally gravitate towards the latest celebrity gossip, and plan new attacks that are targeted specifically towards this crowd.

How to avoid it: When searching on Google, use  instead of the common, which will send your search request through an encrypted SSL connection. CyberDefender has found that doing so reduces the risk of being infected from search results (aka SEO poisoning).

4. Using BitTorrent to download copyrighted software/film/TV shows

Avoid torrent sites at all costs – even if they are safe (not malicious), some of the ads found in torrent sites can compromise your computer's security.

How to avoid it: Stick to official downloads/streams such as iTunes, Hulu/Hulu Plus, Netflix and legitimate websites. Downloading illegal software can expose your computer to trojans and spyware.

5. Opening an email attachment from someone you don't know, or clicking on a link in an email from someone you don't know

Attachments and links are the quickest way to run into malware. All it takes is one mouse click to open the doors to viruses and Trojans. When you do know the sender, be wary of links and attachments; in the event your friend's PC was compromised, email messages coming from that machine will carry malicious attachments/links of its own. 

How to avoid it: Keep an up-to-date security suite running at all times. Never open attachments or click on links on messages sent by someone you don't know. Even if you know them, make sure the spelling, tone and style of message is legitimate before opening any attachments or clicking on links.

6. Online gaming (free to play, social games on Facebook and beyond)

Playing games online is usually safe, unless it's on an unknown website that requires users download software on their machines. Never play online games on untrustworthy websites, and always be cautious when asked to download anything.

How to avoid it: Play games only on trusted websites. If trying out unknown sites, make sure security software is running.

7. Leaving Facebook privacy settings wide open and exposing personal info to everyone on the web

Leaving privacy settings unchecked on Facebook leaves personal information available for anyone to see. This information can include your email, birthday, phone number, and more info that can be used for identity theft.

How to avoid it: Carefully review your privacy settings on Facebook. Err on the side of caution – don't let "friends of friends" see your personal information. Use "check in" modestly, and refrain from alerting everyone on Facebook of extended business trips, out of the country stays, or other opportunities where you may not be actively monitoring your home, bank accounts or credit report.

8. Connecting to unknown wireless networks

In public places, like airports and hotels, be careful about logging into unknown (private) wireless networks. Bad guys can eavesdrop as you use your computer, "imitating" a real, safe environment, and have full access to your computer.

How to avoid it: Be sure to log into only official wireless networks. If not 100 percent sure, go for paid access or avoid going online until you find a safe network.

9. Using the same password for every single online account

It's hard remembering different passwords, so no wonder many of us use the same one for everything. But if that one password is cracked or stolen, your entire online life is suddenly ripe for the taking.

How to avoid it: Keep different passwords. Several easy methods of remembering multiple passwords include using certain passwords for different purposes. Keep email and social media passwords separate, for example. Or you can use a password management system.

10. Trying to get a free iPad, PlayStation 3 or similar gadgets (scams/phishing)

Oldie but goodie: there's no such thing as a free lunch. Giving your information to enter a contest to win supposed free prizes is the oldest trick online.

How to avoid it: Avoid any kind of giveaway that's not supported in a big way by a known brand, even if it happens to be an online brand (like Zappos, for example).

About CyberDefender

CyberDefender is a provider of Internet security software, utilities and remote technical support services that work together to ensure maximum safety for consumers in a digital world. The company develops and markets antispyware/antivirus software and a remote, live technical support service. In addition, CyberDefender offers identity protection and computer optimization services. With millions of active users on its cloud based collaborative Internet security network, CyberDefender leverages the power of community to protect its customers from the rapidly growing number of new online threats every year. CyberDefender products are fully compatible with Microsoft Windows® XP, Vista®, and 7 Operating systems. All products are available at . Investor relations information is available at .

The CyberDefender Corporation logo is available at

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