Hickmanclyde | on 16-11-2012
Facebook and Twitter are easily the world’s most popular social media networks, providing users with an easy way to connect with friends and acquaintances across the globe. Many use these networks to spread links that contain videos, articles, and photos, but it is important to understand that viruses and malware can also be spread through social media use. While there are no specific antivirus tools dedicated to social networks, there are a myriad of resources that should be utilized by any computer owner who plans to become active on one of these networks.
Installing a Dedicated Antivirus Tool
Antivirus tools for the desktop computer have long been touted as an essential purchase by computer experts, as they are capable of searching for infections and removing problems as they arise. The presence of a dedicated antivirus utility is essential for those who are active on social media, as it will scan downloads for any problems before they launch on the machine. Some users also choose to install a firewall, which can help keep out files that could try to download to the machine without the computer user’s knowledge or consent.
Checking Links for Safety
It isn’t uncommon for links posted on Facebook and Twitter to be shortened, using one of the many services available that provide short links that redirect towards the original URL. While this is a valuable tool when trying to compose messages that are short in length, these URL shorteners also hide the true identity of a link, posing a serious danger for computer users. Many social media users unwittingly click on these links, only to find they is spam or viruses hiding beneath it.
In order to ensure this does not occur, it is essential to check links for safety before clicking them. One easy way to do this is to use a link checker online. There are several of these services available, which scan links to ensure they are not compromised and their are no infections hiding within them that could potentially cause a serious problem for the computer and its owner.
Keeping Browsers Updated
It is also a good idea to constantly update browsers and the plugins that these tools use, particularly if you are going to be active on a social network. It is not uncommon for games, calendar applications, quizzes and other apps on Facebook to carry some form of malware that looks to exploit the security holes found in older versions of popular web browsers. To make certain such malware cannot be downloaded, the browser should be updated to the latest version whenever a new one becomes available. In some browsers, it may be possible to set such updates to occur automatically.
While there is no antivirus tool that can be used solely on Facebook and Twitter, employing smart tactics whenever using any online site it the best way to keep a computer safe from infection. A combination of common sense, antivirus software, and other online resources should be used to guarantee safety on the Internet. This will help keep social networking fun and safe.