Safe Computing 201

Safe Computing 201

Some of you may recollect reading an earlier blog entitled "Safe Computing 101", in which I discussed some ways in which viruses and malware can infect weakly protected systems.  An extension of this issue relates to things that users do that can exacerbate the problem.  Some examples of these are:

  • Infected email attachments (Executables, Spreadsheets, Adobe PDF files, Electronic Greeting Cards, etc.) from unknown sources being opened without screening.

  • Users visiting social media websites that have pages, free games or tests that are infected with malicious code.

  • Downloading of audio and video files that are infected with malicious code. – Infected IPOD’s are a strong source for viruses.

  • Staff surfing infected porn sites while on their breaks.

  • Clicking on Pop-up windows with  fake "Virus Infection Detected!" messages.

  • Installing infected shareware screen savers. – A newer trend here is related to factory infected electronic picture frames that have USB connectors. Typically,  these come from China and other parts of Asia.

  • Hooking up USB thumb drives with viruses that migrate to other PC’s on the network.  –  I know of one store owner that removed floppy and CD/DVD drives from all of his POS stations and then super-glued plastic covers over all of the USB slots on the front of the computers to prevent their use.

For the most  part, the above issues can be avoided by a combination of user training and user/machine specific restrictions.  For example devices can be disabled and drive files removed.  Physical changes to the computer are a bit extreme.

If you would like to insure that your system is properly protected, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department to schedule a security review of your systems.

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