I’m Scared Of Getting A Virus – What Sort Of Sites Should I Be Wary Of?

I'm Scared Of Getting A Virus - What Sort Of Sites Should I Be Wary Of?

Most people, when they get on the Internet, do the same thing that everyone else does on it, and that is surf. People may have a couple of sites that they go to on a regular basis but for the most part they surf around the net. This, of course, is the best part about the Internet – the ability to travel around the different web sites and see places and things that you may have never known before.

There is a dark side to all of this wonderful discovery that you can do on the Internet though.

I'm Scared Of Getting A Virus - What Sort Of Sites Should I Be Wary Of?

The dark side is that when going to sites that you don’t know you can always pick up a virus or some other type of malware. Of course this can happen on any type of website but is more likely on some types than others. Whilst many of the following can be perfectly safe, the risk of picking up a virus may be higher from these types of sites –

Beware Of Adult Sites

The first type of site that can cause you damage whilst you are surfing the Internet are adult sites.

Maybe 99% of adult sites are safe but there are a minority that can cause your computer to have serious troubles. Adult sites are known to attract very high amounts of traffic so they are a favorite of Hackers trying to target innocent victims. Another attack vector that has been used lately is planting viruses in the adult tube sites that have popped up in increasing amounts lately. The technology that runs the site and shows the video is known as Flash.

This technology is known to have serious exploit problems if the right safeguards are not in place. Make sure that you are extra vigilante when surfing adult sites.

Beware Of Warez Sites

The second type of site that is known to cause a lot of trouble to a person’s computer are sites that are known as warez sites.

Warez sites are web sites that people go to to get pirated software, serial numbers, etc. These types of sites are breeding grounds for malicious hackers trying to inject very nasty software into your computer.

When you are visiting a warez site you are generally asking for trouble, not only in terms of copyright violations, but from malware too. Not only can the site itself  pose a security risk but any software you download may well do so too.

Beware Of Credit Card Offer Sites

The third type of site that can be a potential problem for your computer when you visit are credit card offer sites.

These sites set up a sweet attractive low interest offer and then in the background can download a Trojan onto your computer. A relatively new attack phenomenon, these sites are increasingly becoming more dangerous. These sites are being used more and more by Hackers for phishing schemes and planting Trojans onto your computer.

These types of site attacks are increasing all over the Internet.

This is a fairly new attack vector but with credit cards now a little bit harder to get people are falling for these traps more readily.

Stay Safe

I’ve showed you several different types of sites that you must be aware of when surfing the Internet. For the most part these types of site are safe to visit.

But…

When a Hacker decides to strike, these types of site are usually on the top of the list.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. I agree that Google scans the pages but does WOT really do that? I thought they relied purely on user ratings??

    I have to confess to being in the dark over white hat SEO, let alone black hat, so I really need to do some reading on that subject. I know WHAT these guys are doing with malicious search results but I’d love to understand HOW.

    My kids use the free version of AVG which flags up search results and its nothing like UAC – there are just ticks, etc next to the website links – I personally don’t find that intrusive in any way – but it sure is helpful.

    Thanks for taking the time to write such comprehensive comments Gryffyn.

  2. I don’t remember where WOT and Google get their website rating data, but it may be the same source (or similar). They’re starting to actively scan the scripts and content of the pages and do actual scanning and not just rely on people’s ratings. So that’s something good.

    As for black hat SEO.. no real recommendations. People just need to know that the algorithms the search engines use to figure out what’s most relevant to your search can be exploited by the bad guys to get malware sites high on the rankings. If you’re looking for news on “balloon boy”, try the links that come up from CNN, newspaper websites, TV news websiitess.. watch out for weird looking domain names with keywords you’re searching for in the filename.

    That and the standard precautions when it comes to websites. Run antivirus/antimalware (plenty of good free ones out there.. AVG, Panda, Microsoft).. if you run Firefox, consider running the NoScript addon. If you’re annoyed by Windows Vista/7 UAC, then it’ll probably annoy you too. But it’s a small price to pay for security. It’s really just the digital version of looking both ways before crossing the street. Takes a fraction of a second and keeps everyone safe.

  3. You make a good point about black hat SEO techniques Gryffyn, and thats something I’ve been meaning to educate myself about – can you recommend any reading on that topic?

    As for your tips, I quite agree that Firefox is the browser of choice for those who are concerned about security and I use it myself.

    The link checking feature of AVG is certainly useful and is possibly the main reason why 2 of my 3 kids’ computers have that particular antivirus program on them as it has helped them avoid some potentially suspect sites without doubt.

    MyWot also offer a good service though I do wonder how effective it is for sites that have perhaps only received one or two reviews, be they negative or otherwise.

  4. It’s also worth noting that almost any topic that is hot at the moment may fall victim to ‘black hat SEO’ practices that get malware infected sites listed high whenever someone searches for whatever the hot news topic is.

    This also goes for everyday things may search for frequently. In the past “screensavers” and “lyrics” have lead to sites that may, indeed, provide screensavers and lyrics, but may also be serving out drive-by malware (very little effort to get infected) or sites that take advantage of some of the many flaws found recently in Flash or Adobe Reader.

    Some tips:

    1. Use Firefox. This goes beyond anti-Microsoft snobbery. The newer editions of Firefox actually tell you if you’re running an old version of Flash or other vulnerable plugins.

    2. Use Google for search. Again, this is no anti-Microsoft propaganda… Google will warn you if you click on a link that leads to a site that has been reported as potentially hostile.
    (Apparently Google Chrome uses the same anti-malware check that Google does.. more info here: http://www.ditii.com/2009/10/31/google-chromes-red-alert-message-google-anti-malware-process/ )

    3. Consider using an antivirus that includes link checking (like AVG) and/or install something like WOT (Web of Trust): http://www.mywot.com/

Trackbacks

  1. […] is all about.You are able to find new and exciting things to do that way.But you must be aware that not all web pages are safe on the internet.Be on the lookout for some that might be considered a threat. AKPC_IDS += "20714,";google_ad_client […]

  2. […] Black hat hackers usually target adult sites as places to put their malware at when they are trying to find their next victims. […]

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