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Avoiding Porn-Based Malware

Understandably, this is an embarrassing topic. Victims of porn malware are unlikely to report it because as it means they would have to admit they were watching it. We all believe these issues won’t affect us, but perhaps you should reconsider. In line with the security maxim of minimising your attack surface, and our distaste for sexual exploitation, our primary advice here would be stay away from porn altogether. If you’re finding that difficult, consider the following;

1.)   Hackers will tailor their attacks depending on the audience
Hackers want to make their attacks seem legitimate as possible so that you do not suspect anything. Click-bait such as “Click here to download a celebrity sex tape”, for example, it would be advised to avoid doing so. If your imagination is poor and you can’t resist clicking then be prepared for anything from browser hijacking recording all your keystrokes to some person in a shed in Eastern Europe watching you via your webcam and then blackmailing you with recorded footage of whatever it is you get up when you’re watching porn. It is not worth it.

2.)   Singles in your area! Click here!
Similar to above, though targeting lonely hearts. We’d strongly advise against clicking them. Often linked to scams posing as system alerts informing you that you have a virus with a fake number to call. In addition to being unlucky in love, you will be out of pocket to a fake call centre.

3.)   Go Incognito
Your internet browser collates everything it possibly can about you and then serves it back to you in the form of highly targeted adverts. These ads are usually harmless, but this could make you feel uneasy. Methods such as private “incognito” browsing in Google Chrome will reduce the amount of data stored by your browser – though Google will still store it on their servers. A more privacy aware choice of browser is the very good, but the very badly named, DuckDuckGo.

4.)   Anti-malware
This should go without saying, but it is vital that we emphasise it. No matter what your surfing habits are, anti-malware software is essential on your computers. If you are using Windows 10, using the inbuilt Windows Defender is very effective, along with ensuring that you receive all system updates as and when they are released. Additionally, while connected to the internet, never do so with an account which is has Administrator privileges.

The UK recently were supposed to implement an age verification check on porn sites in April, but it has now been delayed. The main reason this was to be carried out is because of child protection issues. We hope the government will apply this immediately to prevent young people being exposed to pornography, let alone the associated cyber security risks. As awkward as this topic is, you should not feel embarrassed if your porn browsing habits lead to malware infection. Experts deal with it regularly and fixing your computer, saving your data and wiping the malware is vital.

We offer various cyber security services on behalf of companies to ensure that their company networks are as free from vulnerabilities as possible. If you require advice or assistance on how to protect your work devices, please contact us.

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