SmartViper Safe Site Widget
Safe Browsing is a new and powerful service from Markosweb that enables you to check URLs against our lists of suspected phishing and malware pages. We are constantly updating this list so you can be sure that if malware or phishing pages are present, we know about it.
The SmartViper Safe Site widget has two main features:
- 1 - With SmartViper Safe Site you simply type in the URL of the site that you want to check, and you can instantly find out whether the site is safe or not from malware or phishing pages. You can use this to check that your own site is healthy in this regard, as it is not uncommon for sites to be hacked into and infected with malware, and some serious damage can be done before you even find out that it is there. See below for an explanation of phishing and malware.
- 2 - Web developers can use our widely recognised SmartViper Safe Site icon to demonstrate to other web users that their website is malware and phishing free. This icon tells visitors that your site is trustworthy and at the same time it raises the overall profile of your site.
What is Malware?
This is short for Malicious Software. Computer professionals use this term to refer to general annoying, intrusive, or hostile program code. It is a type of programming that is especially designed to obtain access to parts of your computer that may otherwise be unauthorized, as well as to gather information leading to exploitation or loss of privacy, and to deny or disrupt your everyday computer operations. It can be enough just to enter a site for your computer to be affected by malware, and when infected, you may get constant unwanted pop-ups, your web browser’s home page may change, and your computer may slow down considerably. With the SmartViper Safe Site widget you can check for malware pages in a site and protect your computer from these nasties. Remember - your anti-virus will not guard you against malware!
Read more about malware here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware
What are phishing pages?This is a method to try and obtain private information like credit card details, usernames, and passwords, while pretending to be an entity that is trustworthy. The unsuspecting public is generally lured by communications purporting to be online payment processors, popular social websites, or auction sites. E-mail and instant messaging are the common tools used to carry out phishing, where the users are directed to a fake website, which looks virtually the same as a legitimate one. They are then asked to enter their details. Bear in mind that big sites such as Ebay and PayPal are often targeted
Read more about phishing here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing
How malware can infect your computer, what the main symptoms are, and how to prevent it.
Be aware! Some malware does not even provide an uninstall option, and on top of this most malware programs install themselves in hidden places. To this end, they can even modify the operating system, which can make it difficult to remove.
Even worse is that some malware programs are so severe, that you have to completely re-install your operating system, and in this case you risk losing any non-backed up personal data.
Be aware that there are three principle types of malware that can harm your computer.
- Adware: this displays unwanted adverts when you are surfing the web, such as pop-up windows and banners.
- Spyware: this secretly gathers sensitive information from your computer and forwards it to interested parties. This could be which web sites you visit, your browser information, or the IP address of your computer.
- Browser hijacking software: This software modifies your browser settings, such as your default home page, creates desktop shortcuts, and displays regular advertising pop-ups. This highly annoying malware can also redirect links to other sites, which have been created for advertising purposes.
How can Malware be installed on my computer?
There are a number of ways that this can happen, and more often than not you will not known at the time that it is happening.
- Some websites claim that software is required to view the site. If you click on ‘yes’ in order to install this “software,” then you will more than likely be infected with malware.
- Software bundled together with other software. Most of the software that claims that it can speed up the Internet contains adware. File sharing applications are often laden with malware. In general, you should be wary of any free software.
- Concealed HTML attachments. HTML attachments can leave malware on your computer. To combat this, it is important that you configure your email tools to render html mail as text.
- Malicious ActiveX Control. Some web pages will ask you to run ActiveX control. it is vital that you only agree to this if it is a trusted web page, or a page that you have tested using the Markosweb safe site widget, to ensure that no malware is present. If not, then you are at great risk of getting infected with malware.
What are the main signs and symptoms of malware?
- your browser suddenly gets additional toolbars
- web pages you don’t go to are added to your list of favorites
- poor system performance
- you are not able to start a program
- you click on a link and get sent to an unrelated page
- your computer takes a long time to start up
- desktop icons appear on your desktop
- your browser home page changes, and you cannot change it back
- your browser closes for no reason
- you get regular pop-up adverts, even when the browser is not open
What you can do to help prevent your computer from getting malware.
The first thing to keep in mind is that many sites which claim that they can remove your malware, are contain malware themselves!
Secondly, although it would be great if one product could intercept all malware, but unfortunately this product does not exist. This is why it is important to use the Markosweb safe site widget if you suspect there may be malware.
There are a small number of reasonably effective programs that can protect your some malware. The best known of these is probably Spybot and Ad-aware. These are called antispyware tools, and it is recommended that you use more than one of them for better protection.
In addition, for greater security you should:
- Make sure that your computer is patched and firewalled.
- Adjust your security settings to at least medium on your browser.
- Adjust your privacy settings to block pop-ups.
- Configure your email tool so as to render html as text.
What you should do when you discover a phishing site.
So you have discovered that a site is a scam, and you want to do something about it. Here is what you should do:
1 - Contact the company involved immediately: for example, if a site is pretending to be Ebay for phishing purporses, then contact Ebay.
2 - Report the phishing site to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 - Forward the phishing email to email@example.com
4 - Notify the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. You can file a complaint on their website at: www.ic3.gov/
If you have some experience with web and email issues, follow these steps and you may even be able to close down the site!:
1 - Look at the html source of the email.
2 - In the html code, search for the <form> tag and see where the results of the form are being sent.
3 - The form may look like this: <form action="/cgi-bin/FormMail.cgii"
4 - If the form action starts with "http://.." this means that the results are currently being processed on a separate server.
5 - Also search for a hidden field below the <form> tag. It will look like this: <input type=hidden name="email" value="firstname.lastname@example.org">
6 - This email will get the results of the form. Now you want to locate those responsible for the servers that the form and the email reside on.
7 - In order to track down the servers, you should use various WHOIS servers. Take the domain name or IP address you in the email or web page and input it in this site: Network Solutions WHOIS Server
8 - Next you should take the contact information you find in the WHOIS listing. Forward anything you have received and ask them to look into and close down the phishing page or associated email address. Then, if all goes well, you will have succeeded in reducing the number of scams on the web!