BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn...the list of social media sites people use almost daily seems to grow exponentially. And although these places may be bastions of free speech, collaborative thought and great destinations to mix and mingle with friends and family, they're also hotspots where malware threats distributed via social media spread like wildfire - and viruses and spyware lurk in places you'd least suspect them.
Many of these social media sites are, of course, working diligently to stop malware threats before they're launched, but viruses and spyware are often put into cyberspace and start attacking users' computers before these sites ever even know they exist.
Fortunately for those who use social media sites, there are ways to increase your web security and protect yourself from a wide range of threats without making drastic changes to the way you use social media. They include:
- Not accepting "friend requests" from people you don't know. Such requests could contain links that launch malicious software and allows hackers access to your computer.
- Installing antivirus software that offers real-time virus protection, such as Webroot® AntiVirus with Spy Sweeper. This multi-layered security software protects against a broad range of threats, including viruses, spyware, adware, worms, pop-ups, Trojans, key loggers and rootkits.
- Reporting suspicious e-mails allegedly sent from the social media site to those who own and manage the site.
- Watching for strange e-mails or links that appear to be from friends.
- Avoiding the pitfalls of overconfidence. Although you may have the best antispyware or antivirus software available, nothing can help users avoid malware threats via social media like common sense - and making thoughtful decisions about their own online usage.
- Choose a password wisely, making it different from one site to the next and incorporate numbers, letters and special characters like !, $, and *