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How virus protection software can help you stay smart online

05 October 2017

Internet security, in the form of virus protection software, can help you stay smart online by protecting you from malicious software (malware), viruses, spyware, data phishing and a whole host of other online nasties. With most of us owning several internet capable devices like a computer, smart phone or tablet, we need protection across the board. Internet security software can help to keep you protected, but it's not the cure-all for online safety. In order to continually stay smart online you need to take a more holistic approach to internet security. Let's take a look at how you go about doing that.

Keep your anti-virus software updated

Virus protection programs work by scanning your computer and other devices for infection. It can also alert you to suspicious or dangerous websites when you're online. Unfortunately, it's not set-and-forget. With internet security threats constantly evolving and finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in systems, you need to ensure your security software is up to date. Internet security software will often do this automatically, so long as you've selected the automatic updates option and you're connected to the internet. Keeping your virus protection software updated means you'll stay on top of the latest threats.

Too many internet security options to choose from? Suncorp Bank has partnered with Intel Security to offer you a 3-month free trial of McAfee virus protection software . McAfee multi-access virus protection software offers comprehensive security for your data and identity. And it provides protection for up to 3 household devices on a single subscription, so you can safeguard your computer, smartphone and tablet from the latest online threats.

Ensure your computer software is up to date

Internet security is just one way to keep your computer secure; ensuring you have the latest software installed on your computer will give you multi-layered protection. Keeping your computer software up to date can help to prevent a malicious software (malware) attack. A malware attack can come in many forms, including viruses and ransomware. Ransomware is malicious software that can lock a computer system and hold its contents to ransom. Ransomware attacks affect not only personal computers, but they've disrupted banks, hospitals, and railway systems across the globe. Sadly this type of attack is often preventable. What do most malware victims have in common? They were running out of date operating system software that contained vulnerabilities.

Surf smart and stay safe

Even the best internet security software isn't foolproof – whilst it can help safeguard your computer or device, it can't protect you from yourself. Inadvertently handing over personal information in the form of login or bank account details is another way for online malevolent forces to steal from you. This most commonly occurs through phishing and phishing scams.

What is phishing? Phishing – pronounced fishing – is where someone obtains your personal details by tricking you into handing them over. Some phishing scams can be very cleverly disguised as legitimate websites and web communications. For example, you might receive an email asking you to update your social media login details by clicking a link. Clicking the link then takes you to a website that resembles a legitimate website, but isn't. Once there, the site will ask you to log in and once you do, they have access to your account. How can you avoid these types of phishing scams? By simply being aware of current online scams and avoid downloading or clicking on links in emails that are not from trusted sources. Banks and other large organisations will rarely ask you to change your details through a link, so this can be one sign of a suspicious email.

You can stay smart online by taking steps to protect your internet security:

  1. Ensure your internet security software is up to date
  2. Regularly check for computer software updates for all your devices
  3. Be aware and stay vigilant to online scams – if an email seems suspicious don't open it.

Online security terms have your head spinning? We've created a Security Term Glossary to help explain some of them.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

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