Security updates and patches
Make sure you have the latest security updates and patches installed.
- From time to time, weaknesses are discovered in programmes running on your computer. These weaknesses can be exploited by virus writers and hackers to gain access to computers. As such, publishers will release 'patches' from time to time to correct these weaknesses.
- Generally, the latest versions of an operating system family (like Microsoft® Windows) or browsers (like Internet Explorer® , Google Chrome ™, Apple Safari®, etc) are the most secure.
Here are some guidelines on how you can check for patches and updates:
- Microsoft® users can visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com, which can automatically check what is required for both your operating system and browser and then download it at your request.
- Apple Mac users can visit: https://www.apple.com/downloads and navigate to Software Update where a list of the most recent security updates is available for download. Alternatively by clicking from the Apple Menu on your Mac device and selecting Software Update you can be sure you are running with the latest security updates countries.
Mac and OS X are trademarks of Apple Inc registered in the US and other countries.
In addition to your computer software, other programmes that you may use frequently also need updating. The programme you use to look at websites is called a web browser.
You should update your web browser regularly:
- Modern web browsers warn you if you visit fake websites.
- It is harder for viruses to infect up-to-date web browsers.
There are several browsers to choose from and they are all free. If you have updated your computer regularly, it is likely that you are already running the fastest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Safari (for Apple users).
Viruses are programmes that steal personal information, take over your PC, pop up unwanted adverts and they can even use your computer to attack other people’s computers. You may also hear them called malware, trojans, or adware. Anti-virus software protects you against all of them.
When you instal anti-virus software:
- Visit the genuine site when you purchase anti-virus software. There are many fake products claiming to protect your computer but which may actually infect it with viruses.
- Update your anti-virus software regularly over the internet. Out-of-date anti-virus software will still have flaws.
There are many anti-virus programmes available, both free and for purchase, and you can select one that fits your needs.
Spyware is the term used to describe programmes that run on your computer for the purpose of monitoring and recording the way in which you browse the web and the internet sites you visit. Spyware is often loaded onto a PC as part of a free download of another service - for example a service that claims to improve the performance of your PC. Sometimes your agreement to the download is requested in the small print, but spyware may also be loaded onto your PC without your agreement or knowledge.
Here’s why you should instal anti-spyware:
- Spyware can sometimes be used to improve your online experience but it can also be used to extract personal information that you have entered, including passwords, telephone numbers, credit card numbers and identity card numbers.
- Spyware is not the same as a virus in that it only records what you do rather than altering how your machine works. Because of this, anti-virus software is not effective in identifying and removing spyware, you will need to download and run a specialised anti-spyware programme.
For independent information on the latest security tools, visit http://www.financialfraudaction.org.uk