Aaron has recorded this screencast to show all of you how to figure out if a website you want to visit is safe or not. McAfee’s SiteAdvisor doesn’t require any downloads, and will give you a detailed report along with your green (or red!) light.
Not only does the report give you a red or green light, it also includes demographic information such as the country the site is located in and how popular it is. If there are downloads available on the web page, McAfee has already tested each and every one to be sure that it’s clean and free of malware.
Customer (visitor) commentary adds a nice touch to your report. See what others are saying about their experience visiting that site. You can become a member for free and add your thoughts to any web site report that you find.
You will find a handy little graph that shows you what other sites are affiliated with the site in question, as well as being able to quickly tell if they are “green” or not. When checking out my main site, you’ll find links off to my live page, Lockergnome and various other sites that I maintain. As I would expect, all of my sites have a green light.
Lastly, you’ll be able to see exactly what annoyances a site may hold — such as popups. The team at McAfee has built this excellent tool to help you learn how to stay safe online, and to alert you to potential dangers before you ever click that link.
Thanks to Aaron for this excellent tutorial.
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I haven’t used a paid for virus protector for about 5 years. There was a time I put my trust in Norton, but their products started to cost an arm and a leg, for those of us who had 5 computers in our home. I used only McAfee once, a long time ago, when it came installed on a system I had purchased with a one year license. It was OK, but I never got used of the GUI, which I felt was inferior to Norton, at that time.
So when Intel bought McAfee for well over a billion big ones, I though to myself, why? No we have learned the answer to that question at a meeting that was held by the boss of Intel, Paul Otellini. We are all aware that anti-virus programs block bad code. Intel wants to change the game and allow only good code in.
In a recent article it states that:
Otellini went on to briefly describe the shift in a way that sounded innocuous enough–current A/V efforts focus on building up a library of known threats against which they protect a user, but Intel would love to move to a world where only code from known and trusted parties runs on x86 systems. It sounds sensible enough, so what could be objectionable about that?
Depending how enamored you are of Apple’s App Store model, where only Apple-approved code gets to run on your iPhone, you may or may not be happy in Intel’s planned utopia. Because, in a nutshell, the App Store model is more or less what Intel is describing. Regardless of what you think of the idea, its success would have at least two unmitigated upsides: 1) everyone will get vPro by default (i.e., it seems hard to imagine that Intel will still charge for security as an added feature), and 2) it would put every security company (except McAfee, of course), out of business. (The second one is of course a downside for security vendors, but it’s an upside for users who despise intrusive A/V software.)
That is the rub. Would you trust Intel to protect your machine whether it be a PC, smart phone or other device? Would you only want to see one player in the security field, that being Intel?
McAfee labs is reporting what is being called the ‘here you have’ or ‘just for you’ virus that tricks users into believing that there is a .pdf file or sex movie waiting for them. Once the payload is activated, the virus may try to send itself to everyone in your address book. The message being sent to individuals appears like so:
Subject: Here you have or Just For you
This is The Document I told you about,you can find it Here.
Please check it and reply as soon as possible.
This is The Free Dowload Sex Movies,you can find it Here.
Enjoy Your Time.
Your best defense is not to open any attachments of links from persons you do not know. Next, you will want to keep your anti-virus program updated with the latest virus definitions.
McAfee has confirmed that a recent .dat file update to their software has paralyzed those using Windows XP with SP3. The company has stated that they are working to fix the error after it was discovered that the update identified a Windows file as being a problem. The update was pushed to customers on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, and the McAfee Twitter forum was flooded with calls for help.
A recent article also stated that:
Both users and McAfee said that the flawed update had crippled Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) machines, but not PCs running Vista or Windows 7 . “Our initial investigation indicates that the error can result in moderate to significant performance issues on systems running Windows XP Service Pack 3,” acknowledged Evers.
So if you are a McAfee user who is running Windows XP with SP3, the best advice right now is to not update your software until McAfee fixes the problem.
I think by now, most of us have an idea as to which domain extension we equate with the spam, malware, etc. and which we do not. Often these domain extensions come from regions with high unemployment and limited legitimate work options. But how much truth is there to this opinion and how much of this is just pure ignorance?
In this list provided by CNET, we discover that the domain extension with the highest risk factor for being linked to something that concern us from a security standpoint, is the domain extension for Cameroon. Now what might surprise many of you is that Russia, often associated with this sort of thing, proved to be at the bottom of the list.
In the positive light, Japan blows everyone out of the water with domain extension goodness just below the coveted .gov extension. Yes, .jp beat out .edu! I certainly never saw that one coming as the education domain extension is long thought to be among the safest out there.
Everything here considered, it is critical to remember that information like this is helpful to know. But ANY domain can be exploited and put an unsuspecting user at risk for a dangerous exploit. Rule of thumb is to trust only domains you know and enter into the address bar yourself. Put very little faith into URLs hyper-linked by others.