Viruses and malware (or malicious software) are software that infect your computer or mobile through security holes from out of date software or apps and unsafe downloads. If malware gets on your system, it can capture everything you type, including all your login usernames and passwords, and read all files on your system like your email, financial records, and other personal information. What’s more, malware can take over your system to send out spam emails and attack other peoples’ accounts, meaning you’re not just a victim, your computer or mobile becomes part of the problem.
Hackers will often sell the information they obtain through malware, which can then be used to steal your money and your identity.
Operating systems like Windows, Android, MacOS and iOS.
Web browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
Other software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and anti-virus software.
File sharing is easy these days and someone could (intentionally or not) email or message you an infected file. Your system can also be compromised by a download that looks safe but isn’t. That’s where antivirus software comes in.
Antivirus software reviews all your incoming emails and downloads for malware and runs scheduled scans to make sure nothing suspicious has snuck onto your system.
Passwords, PINs, and biometrics (Touch ID, Face ID or Fingerprint Manager) are the simplest way to ensure security on your devices, especially if they’re lost or stolen.
If your mobile, tablet or computer has a “find my device” feature, activate it. This feature lets you remotely lock or wipe your device clean if it’s ever lost or stolen.
Whether it’s software, an app or a file, make sure you only download from reputable websites or people you trust and check reviews for users reporting problems.
Strong passwords and PINs keep your account safer.
Identify and report fakes, frauds and phishing.
Watch out for scams and learn to protect yourself.
Gosafeonline is a website by the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance of the Singapore Government. It’s a great place to find the latest information about staying safe online and talking to children about internet safety. It also gives guidance for reporting online security incidents.