02Dec On the Road with Dave: Beware of Where You Surf and What You Download There seems to be an increase in virus activity as of late. I reviewed an article on a major news source’s website where they listed the 14 most prevalent dangerous emails of 2013. Some of them are phishing type emails, while others request personal information connected to what seems to be legitimate emails from companies you might do business with, or have done business with, in the past. The key to remember is to not open emails that come from sources you are unfamiliar with. If you receive an email with an offer that looks too good to be true it probably is. IGNORE it and DELETE it immediately! Malicious attacks on individual computers and networks come in the form of Worms and Trojans. A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. A Trojan is a hacking program that is a type of malware that is non-self-replicating. It gains privileged access to the operating system while appearing to perform a desirable function. Instead it drops a malicious payload, often including a backdoor allowing unauthorized access to the target’s computer. These types of viruses can render computers and networks completely unusable as it impedes performance but executing its process thus making it impossible for the computer to perform its intended tasks. Ideal users contact me regularly regarding these issues and ask what they should do to keep themselves protected against these attacks. My response is that no matter what steps you take to protect yourself nothing is guaranteed to be 100 percent foolproof. I suggest that you don’t use free versions of any software as these are limited and scaled down solutions. Some solutions create what is known as a large footprint meaning while protecting the system, it significantly reduces performance of the system. At Ideal we have spent a great deal of time reviewing and evaluating solutions. Over the years we have sold several different solutions and have been proactive to make a change in what we recommend and sell when appropriate to insure our customers are using the best solution possible. We currently recommend and sell a solution that is built specifically for business networks. In fact, we use this solution to protect our own network of servers and workstations. Leaving your system with inadequate protection can be as detrimental to your business as not having an appropriate backup solution. There are many ways to cut costs in your business, but this is not one of them. Make sure your system is protected and check regularly to insure the protection is being kept up to date and has not expired. Contact us if you would like help evaluating your particular situation. We will work with you to make sure you have an appropriate solution in place. If you don’t, we will help you get one in place. Next time I stop by your dealership I’ll be checking to see how well protected you are. I hope I can give you a gold star!