Lisa Mitchell, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, warns that it is always necessary to avoid certain websites and programs when using the internet. This is because some websites and program contain malware, Trojan, and virus that negatively affect the operations of the computer. Additionally, harmful programs and websites may ramp up cases of identity theft and financial scam.
There is a high prevalence level of online malicious programs. These programs include malware, marketing software, and advertisement messages. The discussion provides a list of various programs and websites that may pose risks to the internet user. It is important for the user to understand that the websites and computer programs of reputable companies may also be infected by malicious programs. This is despite the fact that the Information Technology staff uses a lot of effort and resources in managing the programs and the websites of the company. The list is not comprehensive because it cannot guarantee that the internet user will not encounter cases of malware, Trojan, or virus when browsing the internet.
There are computer security strategies that users can observe when browsing the web. For example, the user should access online sites using the non-administrative account. More information about computer security can be obtained from the following website: it.unh.edu/bestpractices. Additionally, the user can seek computer security information from the Information Technology professionals or the Information Technology department of the organization.
The List of Dangerous Websites:
- Pornographic websites
- Websites that provide free services
- Free entertainment sites that provide pirated music, video, or software download services. An example of the free entertainment download site is “Warez.”
- Peer-to-Pear (P2P sites)
- Obscure search engines. Internet users are advised to use the common search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo.
- Websites that require download or installation to allow access
- Online Java games, or web-based Flash
- The Pay-to-Click programs
- Coupon and business deal sites
- Third-party sites that offer services at a fee. These services are provided by the original company at no costs. Examples of the suspicious third-party sites include credit report websites, public databases, travel information, and online maps.
- Free People Search Sites
Internet users should avoid websites that provide free download services. This is because some files or applications in these websites are embedded with undesirable software, malware, Trojan, or virus.
The quality of malicious software is not good, and this may cause the computer to experience software and hardware problems. Additionally, the embedded malware can negatively affect the computer user by stealing data or destroying important files. The software download sites that should be avoided include:
- Mouse pointers
- Static or automatic wallpapers
- “Exclusive” or free offerings
- Entertainment downloads for music, videos, or games
- Fake antivirus or internet security programs
- Registry cleaners
- Internet “Speed Ups”
- Malware generators
- Electronic Greeting Cards
- Spying programs
- Animated desktop images
- Registry Cleaners
- Product Key Generators
- Computer Optimizers
- Search Engine Settings
The internet user should only download computer programs from reputable websites. The users should also ensure that the computer has an installed and up-to-date security programs that protect the computer from malware, Trojan, or virus attack.