It has become more and more difficult to identify malicious links and content on the Internet. URL shortners, ads on legitimate websites , virus downloads posing as anti-virus software and of course fake e-cards all make it harder to know where you should and should not click Having a strong network security product in place will of course prevent the installation of malicious code on our computer even if you click on one of these links.
But there are other ways to make sure you are protected from these hard to identify scams. The simplest way is to make sure your software is up to date. I am not taking about your security software (but keeping that up to date makes sense too). I am talking about the regular software you use every day. The Waldec virus, a virus that spreads through fake new years' e-cards, attacks known vulnerabilities in programs like Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and Internet Explorer. How can they successfully attack known vulnerabilities?
It isn't that Adobe and Microsoft ignored the vulnerabilities and didn't create patches. Instead, the Waldec virus depends on the fact that many people do not update their software with the latest patches and more often than not this is the case. So, one important step towards protecting your computer and your network is to update your software when new patches come out. If the company that created the software is aware of the vulnerability, you can be sure cybercriminals not only know about it, but already created a program to exploit it.
Which brings me to a secondary tip – Do not open e-cards or emails if you don't know the source. You can spot fake e-cards because they typically have subject lines like “a friend sent you an e-card” while real e-card services will personalize the subject line to say something like “Bob send you an e-card”. Microsoft security patches can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/security/updates/bulletins/default.aspx Adobe security patches can be found here: http://www.adobe.com/support/security/
The original article/video can be found at Basic Security tips part 3 – update your software