Daily Archives: July 4, 2019

4 Fundamentals That Make Your Vulnerability Management (VM) Program Less Effective

If you are a security practitioner, then you may have noticed that much of the security industry exists because of vulnerabilities. Regardless of what job position you occupy, vulnerabilities are oftentimes the reason why you wake up every morning and ultimately engage infosec from within your cutting-edge working environment. Vulnerabilities will continue to arise; this […]… Read More

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Episode 529 – Have A Happy And Safe 4th Of July Weekend

I wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July weekend. Be aware, be safe. Become A Patron! Patreon Page *** Support the podcast with a cup of coffee *** – Ko-Fi Security In Five Don’t forget to subscribe to the Security In Five Newsletter. —————— Where you can find Security In Five —————— […]

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7 tips for preventing ransomware attacks

The threat of ransomware isnt going away – in fact, it’s worse than ever, with 28 reported attacks in the past three months. 

That’s not a surprise, given how often victims pay fraudsters to free their infrastructure from the crippling malware. Experts urge organisations not to negotiate with criminal hackers, yet many – like the governments of Riviera Beach, Florida, and nearby Lake City – feel compelled to meet their demands. 

Those two cases resulted in payouts of more than $1 million (£800,000), which outraged the cities’ citizens. 

Unfortunately, the alternative can be a lot more costly, as Norsk Hydro discovered. The aluminium producer, which refused to pay for a decryptor to restore its systems after suffering a ransomware attack in March, recently announced that the decision has so far cost £60 million in lost productivity. 

Norsk knew that playing hardball with the criminals would have severe consequences, but it believed that was preferable to paying money that would fuel the cyber crime industry. 

Not every organisation will be confident enough in its long-term security to make the same choice, but we doubt any victim is happy to pay a ransom either. The only alternative is to pump resources into your defences to try to avoid being attacked in the first place. 

That’s a tough ask – the number of recent infections shows how hard it is to avoid attacks – but there are some essential steps you can take. 

Top tips for defending against ransomware 

  1. Beware of MSPs (managed service providers). Criminals are increasingly targeting MSPs as weak spots where they can deploy ransomware. You should ensure that any organisation you work with has adequate security measures in place.
  2. Regularly back up your systems. This enables you to wipe your systems in the event of a ransomware attack and restore previous, accessible versions of your information. 
  3. Apply patches as soon as they are released. Vendors often release updates that fix vulnerabilities that could be exploited. As soon as a patch is announced, criminals are alerted about the weaknesses, so you need to address the issues as soon as possible. 
  4. Enable software features that reduce or prevent malicious software from affecting a machine,e.g.exploit protection settings. 
  5. Purchase antivirus solutions that can detect ransomware and alert IT to the attack.
  6. Deploy firewalls that use blacklists of known command and control centres that are updated through security feeds to prevent malware contacting the criminals who planted it to get instructions or encryption keys, or download additional malicious modules.  
  7. Prepare for social engineering attacksMany ransomware infections begin with staff opening phishing emails that contain infected attachments. You should teach employees how to spot and respond to malicious emails. 

What should you do when you’re under attack? 

If your defences have fallen short and you find yourself under attack, every second counts. You must respond quickly and follow a systematic, structured approach to the recovery process. 

That is, of course, easier said than done, particularly if you don’t have a cyber security expert onboard. Fortunately, IT Governance is here to help. 

With our cyber security incident response service, expert consultants will guide you through the recovery process, from identifying the source of the breach and how to stem the damage to notifying the appropriate people and returning to business as usual. 

Find out more >> 

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How to Choose the Best Antivirus for Windows – Your Ultimate Antivirus Software Guide [Updated 2019]

So, you’re trying to find the best antivirus for Windows. I know, there are so many options out there, and probably you have no idea where to start. In this guide, I will touch on subjects such as the definition of an antivirus, what are its functionalities, and also what you should be looking for when choosing one.

What is antivirus software and what antivirus should I use?

Antivirus has always been the go-to solution to fight malicious software and cybercriminal tactics. And it still is. Malware, phishing scams, ransomware, DDoS – these are just a handful of the threats that lurk on the Internet.

Antivirus definition

But let’s start off with the basics: what exactly is an antivirus software and what does it do?

The definition of antivirus software programs goes something like this: A piece of software designed block out viruses and other malware from entering your device and compromising your personal data or the hardware itself.

A good antivirus is a must-have. It minimizes the times you have to enter damage control mode to clean up the mess caused by a successful malware attack.

Before you proceed in your journey to find your dream security software, let’s see how exactly an antivirus works.

How does antivirus software work? Things you should know about AV before getting one

Virus scanner and script blocking

Reactive scanning is the bread and butter of an antivirus. Basically, it scans any new program or file before it’s opened and checks if it is a known malware or if it behaves like one.

It’s all done in the background, and the scanned file or program only opens once the antivirus has finished the scan.

Then there is the full system scan, where the antivirus goes through every nook and cranny of your device in order to find malware or any other suspicious software or files.

Some AVs also block malicious ActiveX or Java scripts from infecting your PC. Plugins based on these technologies can be used to make your PC part of a botnetinject code or do drive-by downloads.

What to look for:

Ideally, the scanner should be lightweight and not hog down your device while still having a very high detection and block rate.

Database of known malware

However, scans cannot be effective if the program doesn’t know what it’s looking for. That’s why every antivirus software comes with a database of known malware and compares each scanned file to the contents of the database.

This database is updated very frequently, quite often on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why we always advocate for people to keep their software updated, particularly their antivirus.

Updated software goes a long way to protect you on the Internet since it greatly diminishes the possibility of malicious hackers exploiting an unpatched vulnerability of your software.

But antivirus programs also make use of something called “heuristic analysis”. This means that it will consider a file to be malware if it behaves like one, even if it can’t be found in its database. This is one reason why some AVs falsely classify some safe programs such as Chrome as a virus. The industry calls this a “false positive” and it is a criterion used to judge the quality of an antivirus.

Automatic updates

Any antivirus software worth its salt will automatically update itself, both to clean up any vulnerabilities it might have and to keep its virus database and capabilities up to date. Basically, the quicker and more frequent the updates, the better.

Malware removal

Sometimes, removing malware can be just as important as blocking it in the first place. Usually, the cybersecurity industry sees the two functions as being separate. That’s why many of the free AV’s out there can only detect and block malware, but won’t be able to remove it if your PC is infected.

For that, you will most likely have to purchase the full antivirus solution or download a separate piece of software specializing in malware removal.

Other features you should look for

Ransomware protection: Some antiviruses come with ransomware protection and the ransomware attacks won’t be able to encrypt your files.

File shredder: This may come as a shock, but the standard “Delete” + “Clear Recycle Bin” won’t actually delete a file from your hard drive. It will just make it invisible for you to see. But these files can be recovered with a specialized program.

Under normal circumstances, these invisible files disappear only after being pushed out of their memory block by a new one. But file shredders destroy them completely and leave no trace of them on your hard drive.

Firewall: Some AV’s can filter and scan your internet traffic to detect incoming threats before they reach your device.

Other features to look forDNS Protection, Password Managers, System Optimization, Phishing protection, Antispam, Browser protection.

Test the antivirus to be sure it works

Sometimes you’ll go through a long period where you don’t encounter any online threats and seem to forget that you even have an antivirus installed.

“Is it still alive?” you may ask.

Well, there’s a test you can do to see if it still works.

So how do you test your antivirus to see if it’s still active?

Basically, you have to create a “false virus” that triggers your AV’s defense procedures.

What you need to do is to create an antivirus test file (a .txt file). A simple notepad document will do just fine.

Then you will need to use a standardized EICAR code. This is something recognized by all antivirus developers as a means of testing if their software is active.

Your antivirus should trigger immediately and activate its security protocols to eliminate the “fake virus”.

If it doesn’t, then that means your software is inactive/disabled.

What’s the best antivirus you could use?

Now that you know what to look for in an antivirus, it’s time to find out which one you should use.

Here are 3 ways you can find the best free or paid antivirus for you:

  • User opinions
  • Independent testing
  • Expert reviews

How to choose the best antivirus


1. User comparison and reviews for the best antivirus for Windows

The major benefit user comparisons and reviews of antivirus software are that you can get a sense of how the product performs in real life. A comparison can help you figure out which is the best antivirus program for you.

Security forums

Cybersecurity forums are still some of the best places you can check to find good and trustworthy reviews and comparisons of antivirus software.

This is where you should look to find the best antivirus for Windows
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For example, the links below will point you to some of the best security forums in the online, where you can find a great number of user reviews and good (or bad) experiences users had with security products:


For those who don’t know, Quora is a questions & answers site. Basically, you ask a question and (generally) qualified users answer them. Or you can just browse questions similar to yours and see if you find an answer there.

The website is designed so you can quickly access your areas of interest. Search the site for the following categories: Computer Security, Anti-Virus Software or Internet Security or just use these links:

As you can see, these topics are followed by thousands of people, so it should be pretty easy to find the information you need. Here are some starting points that can help you find your best antivirus program.


A treasure of the Internet hidden in plain sight. Ask Reddit users to compare various antivirus software and you will end up with a very lively conversation among users that covers almost every antivirus program imaginable. ‘Redditors’ will talk at length about the pros and cons of one antivirus or another.


Reviews of antivirus programs are another way to choose the product that fits your needs. Most people read the reviews on the developer’s page, but it’s impossible to be sure which review is real and which isn’t.

Trustpilot offers a way around this since it is an independent reviews platform. Basically, users can post without worrying they will have their negative comment deleted by developers who jealously guard the brand name of an otherwise poor product.

2. An antivirus test can tell you all you need to know

Reviewers know which antivirus is better at blocking and eliminating malware by thoroughly testing them. By using the same antivirus testing sites, you can get a better picture of what the AV you want is capable of.

For the best results, antivirus tests have to be as objective as possible.

Virus BulletinFor example, Virus Bulletin is an important benchmarking and comparison site for the entire antivirus industry. It measures just about everything you can think of, including install times, scan speed, stability, performance impact, false positives, detection rate, and so on.

On the VB Testing page, you will see an overview of Virus Bulletin’s testing and certification services: VB100, VBSpam, VBWeb.

This time, we will take a look at VB100, the rigorous testing standard that made Virus Bulletin such a go-to resource for antivirus comparisons.

For the in-depth results, go to the “Latest Report” page.

This is a list of antivirus software that passed Virus Bulletin’s extensive tests. On the left of the table, you can select what indicators you want to measure.

Just about every single aspect of an antivirus you can think of, with all of them being measured. This will give you the most complete opinion of what software can, or cannot do.

3. Look for expert reviews

Here are a few websites where you can find thorough reviews of antivirus solutions.

PC World. It offers reviews and buying advice on both software and hardware. On this website, you can also find some pretty good deals as well.

Techradar. This portal provides in-depth software and hardware reviews to help you buy the best product for your needs.

Softpedia. For a lot of people, Softpedia is a one-stop-shop for many of their software needs. They have a huge list of around 600 various free or paid antivirus software and programs available for download. A great resource point if you want to take your time and just browse at your own pace.

Obviously, there are so many other review websites out there, so feel free to do your own research.

Make sure you check how serious the AV developer is about security

Checking a few details on the antivirus developer’s website and patch notes can help you get a better idea of how seriously they approach updates and bug hunting.

For example, highly detailed patch notes will give you a better picture of what you can expect from the company in terms of reliability. And this applies for other types of software as well, not just antivirus or other security solutions.

This article includes very useful tips to help fill in the blanks in your research.

After you’ve gone through these resources, most probably:

  1. You’ll know which are the best antivirus for Windows of 2019.
  2. You’ll understand what each program is capable of.
  3. You’ll be aware of the most important security features an antivirus should have.
  4. You’ll own a shiny new antivirus.
  5. Somewhere out there, a piece of malware cries because it can’t infect your PC anymore…

Final Words

Most antivirus programs now come with a trial testing period to help you decide if you actually want it or not. The trial period is especially useful if you have doubts about a certain product or you can’t decide between two or more AVs and want to see them in action.

Keep in mind though that using two or more antivirus programs at the same time isn’t a good idea. The antiviruses will end up thinking each other is a malware, or compete in order to eliminate viruses and significantly drag down your device performance.

But in all of our blog posts, we always emphasize two things:

First, security software alone can’t keep you safe online. It’s a widespread belief in the cybersecurity field that the best antivirus is you, meaning your judgment and general internet savviness should always come first.

Second, a standard antivirus solution is not enough to keep you safe. We and most antivirus developers encourage you to use multiple security layers to stay safe. If malware passes one layer, they will have to face another, and with each new step chances of infection drop dramatically.

Also, make sure you check out our Thor Premium Home, which is more than a standard antivirus, offering a proactive approach to your security.

Thor Premium Home the best antivirus for WindowsFree Trial

  • You get a full endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution – it brings together unique threat prevention (Thor Foresight Home) complemented by a powerful Next-gen Antivirus (Thor Vigilance Home).
  • It’s lightweight on your computer resources while it still has very high detection and block rates.
  • Automatically updates your applications so infections don’t happen via vulnerabilities or exploits.
  • Detects, blocks malware, and removes it if your PC is already infected.
  • Offers ransomware and phishing protection and keeps you safe in front of the most advanced online threats.
  • Allows you to click any link with confidence without being worried you’ll get infected with malware.
  • Free Trial and 30-day Money Back Guarantee.
  • Certified by Virus Bulletin as of April 2019 with 100% detection rate.
  • Don’t believe us? Hear directly from our customers why we offer one of the best antivirus and anti-malware solutions.

This article was initially written by Aurelian Neagu in 2014 and was updated by Paul Cucu in November 2016 and by Bianca Soare in July 2019.

The post How to Choose the Best Antivirus for Windows – Your Ultimate Antivirus Software Guide [Updated 2019] appeared first on Heimdal Security Blog.

Here are The Internet Security Blogs You Should Follow Today [Updated 2019]

If you are concerned about your online security (and you should be), it’s essential to know which are the best cybersecurity blogs that could help you stay informed about the most recent trends in the threat landscape.

The question then arises: Where can you find the best security blogs to learn and to gain more knowledge in the cybersecurity field? What security experts to follow so you can stay abreast of changes in this industry and how to better protect your digital assets? How can you make the difference between the real experts and the false ones?

That’s why we want to help and we’ve put together this list with all the cybersecurity blogs and websites that are worth following.

We’re aware that it isn’t perfect and will never be, so we’ll continue to keep this list updated as much as we can. There are probably so many other security blogs and experts that we have not included. More and more are launching every day.

Can you tell us what other blogs we should add to this list and what you think about the current ones?

From small, independent researchers and experts, to the big names: security vendors, media giants, organizations or cybersecurity communities and organizations. The main criteria were how much can we benefit from their insights and knowledge.

Therefore, if you need best practices, how-to articles, online safety research or the latest security news and insights from researchers, start with this guide. Feel free to bookmark our article and access the following blogs/websites whenever you feel it’s necessary.


1. Krebs on Security

Brian Krebs is the man behind Krebs on Security. Being hacked in 2001, he starts to be personally interested in online security. He’s one of the well-known names in today’s security landscape. Krebs covers topics from the latest threats, privacy breaches, and cyber-criminals, as well as major security news and alerts. He’s also a book author.

2. Schneier on Security

Another cybersecurity blog that is worth reading on a daily basis is the one belonging to Bruce Schneier which is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He wrote books, hundreds of articles, essays and security papers on cybersecurity. At the same time, he is a known figure in the media.

The press recognizes him as an important voice for online security, not only for his knowledge on the matter but also because of how he expresses his opinions.

3. Tao Security

Tao Security blog is run by Richard Bejtlich, Principal Security Strategist at Corelight. He was previously Chief Security Strategist at FireEye, and Mandiant’s Cheif Security Officer when FireEye acquired Mandiant. Richard began his digital security career as a military intelligence officer in 1997 at the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team (AFCERT), Air Force Information Warfare Center (AFIWC), and Air Intelligence Agency (AIA). He is also a graduate of Harvard University and the United States Air Force Academy. His fourth book is “The Practice of Network Security Monitoring“.

4. Graham Cluley

Graham Cluley is one of the most known independent computer security analysts and public speakers. He’s been working in the industry since the early ‘90s. Started as a programmer, writing the first-ever version of Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows.

5. Troy Hunt

Troy Hunt is an Australian Microsoft Regional Director and Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Developer Security. He travels the world speaking at events and giving training and advice to tech security professionals. He’s also an author of many top-rating courses on web security.

You surely heard about his project Have I Been Pwned?”, a free service that tells you if you’ve been compromised in a data breach.

6. Daniel Miessler

Daniel Miessler is a well-known cybersecurity expert and writer with 20 years in information security. His blog includes a collection of technical knowledge, industry insights, and opinions shared by Daniel on various topics. We recommend adding his blog on your reading list for valuable insights and also follow him on Twitter.

7. Security Affairs

Security Affairs is a security blog written by Pierluigi Paganini, an ethical hacker, researcher, security evangelist, and analyst. On his blog, among the articles on security, you’ll also find regular interviews with hackers, useful cybersecurity. In 2016, this blog was awarded as Best European Personal Security Blog.

8. Architect Security 

This cybersecurity blog belongs to April C. Wright which is a speaker, teacher, community leader and hacker with more than 25 years experience in the information security industry. She teaches others how to use simple actions that can lead to a better and safer place.

9. Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a widely-read cybersecurity website that addresses professionals from the IT industry, security researchers, and technology specialists. They use their experience and knowledge to provide articles, recommendations, news and information on IT cybersecurity landscape.

10. CIO

CIO is the place where you find news, information technology articles, insights and analysis on major data breaches and online threats that put your online security at risk. Covering multiple aspects of world wide web, it provides in-depth, content-rich information for IT professionals and regular users.

11. CSO Online

CSO focuses on offering users the latest information and best practices in both technology and business, loss prevention, cybercriminal threats, and software vulnerabilities, malware and data breaches and many other useful tips and advice about cybersecurity.

12. PCMag’s Security Watch

Known for his direct and witty style, Neil Rubenking is PC Magazine’s Lead Analyst. He’s the man you have to listen if you search for technical advice on the main security solutions, from firewalls, antivirus, and antispam products to full security suites. You’ll also read in this cybersecurity blog detailed reports and sharp analysis of security programs, which should place him on your follow “cybersecurity blogs” list if you look for this type of information. He has also written several books.

13. Paul’s Security Weekly

This security blog was founded by Paul Asadoorian and brings you a wide range of topics from security news, useful technical articles, research studies to valuable information on hacking and cybercrime through different channels, from blog posts, videos to podcasts.

14. Forbes

This is one of the leading media company in the online environment and provides strong analysis, reliable tools, real-time reports for cybersecurity news and information on the latest online vulnerabilities.

15. SC Magazine

SC Magazine comes in the IT environment with technical information and data analysis to fight the present online security threats. Their site provides testing results for email security, mobile devices, cloud, and web security.

16. PCMag

Probably one of the most popular tech sites in the software industry, PC Mag offers readers lots of reviews and studies on the latest products for online security. For an objective analysis of a particular product you may be interested in, don’t forget to search for the dedicated article on this website.

17. The Hacker News

It is one of the biggest information security blogs and we recommend following it for the latest resources about hacking, technology, and security.

18. Security Week 

It’s one of those information security blogs you need to follow to stay informed about the latest security news, insights and analysis. You’ll also read opinions and insights from IT security experts around the world.

19. Ars Technica

Probably one of the oldest and top publications on technology. Its editorial mission is to be “technically savvy, up-to-date and more fun” than what was popular at the moment when it was founded.

20. Softpedia

Softpedia is a popular destination for software downloads but also covers tech topics and news. It was founded in 2001 by SoftNews NET SRL, a Romanian company.

21. The Last Watchdog 

It is one of those security blogs founded by the Pulitzer-winning journalist Byron V. Acohido which is a respected cybersecurity influencer, and The Last Watchdog is considered to be one of the top cybersecurity blogs. You’ll find personal opinions on cybersecurity, Q&A, useful podcasts or videos.

22. Wired

One of the classical American online magazines reporting on technology and its role in culture, economy and politics, Wired approaches various topics on online privacy, cybercriminal threats, systems security and the latest security alerts.

23. Motherboard Vice

Vice’s Motherboard is an online magazine dedicated to technology, science, and humans. Lots of the data breaches in the past years were firstly announced by Motherboard and you should follow it.

24. Mashable

Mashable is a global media company, founded in 2005. They aim to be the leading media company for the Connected Generation and the voice of digital culture. We recommend following their cybersecurity category to read about all the latest news related to this field.

25. Techcrunch

TechCrunch is another leading media company focused on technology and breaking tech news, founded in the same year as Mashable and owned by AOL.

26. IT Pro Portal

It Pro Portal is one of the first tech websites from the UK, launched in 1999 and has grown to become one of UK’s leading resources on technology information. Here you’ll find tech products reviews, market analysis, cybersecurity news and many more.

27. Privacy Paradox from Lawfare

When law meets privacy – this is how we’d sum up “Privacy Paradox”, the subsection of The Lawfare Blog. Its authors take an unorthodox look at the law and policy of contemporary privacy.

28. The Register

The Register is another top online tech publication, with more than 9 million monthly unique visitors. You’ll find here independent news, views, and reviews on the latest in the IT industry and its security section brings the latest news from the industry.

29. TechRepublic

TechRepublic provides large resources for the online industry, such as blog articles, forums, technical papers, and security data. All the valuable information available on this cybersecurity blog will help IT professionals and technology leaders to come with the best decisions on their business processes. There are also useful resources such as white papers, eBooks, tools and more.

30. Zero Day

The Zero Day security blog is important for all the people part of the IT industry. This information security blog belongs to ZDNet and you should follow it to stay on top of the latest security analysis, software vulnerabilities, malware attacks, and network threats.

31. The Guardian Information Security Hub

Known for its quality articles on world news, Guardian also provides a section dedicated to information security for both companies and individuals. To stay up-to-date with the most recent articles and news on cybersecurity, make sure you follow this cybersecurity blog.

32. Help Net Security

Help Net Security is a popular independent site, focused on information security since 1998. You’ll find here the latest information and articles related to the IT industry, including experts’ opinion on the hottest topics, reviews, security events, and many more.

33. Techworld Security

Techworld is an industry leader in business technology publishing, published by IDG (International Data Group). The Security section is dedicated to analyzing the latest malware threats and zero-day exploits, including analysis and tutorials. You can find here other important topics and subjects, such as security articles, how-to documents or software reviews.

34. IT Security Guru

It is a site for the cybersecurity community which offers daily and breaking IT security news, with opinions and analysis of this industry.

35. Network Computing

The content of the Network Computing cybersecurity blog focuses on cloud technology and enterprise infrastructure systems. Its published articles cover security solutions on how to deliver applications and services for an increasingly large threat environment in the business world, news and expert advice.

36. Infosecurity Magazine

With more than 10 years of experience, Infosecurity Magazine is an online magazine which covers not only security articles on popular topics but is also focused on security strategy and valuable insights for the online industry. You should follow it for its educational approach.

37. SANS Institute AppSec Blog

SANS Software Security provides training, certification, research and community initiatives that help IT specialists build secure applications.

38. Peerlyst

Peerlyst is a community for where cybersecurity professionals gather to discuss hot topics and exchange opinions on key subjects. As part of the community’s mission, the team is “working with people like you to help transcend the fragmented security market and create transparency”.

39. Europol 

While it’s not actually a cybersecurity blog, it is worth following and reading the newsroom section from the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL) and stay up to date with the latest press releases, news articles, blog entries, videos, and other content.

40. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world which was founded in 1999. Its work is mainly focused on ensuring that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. You should read their information security blog for its high-quality content, comprehensive analysis, educational guides, and more.

41. Virus Bulletin

The Virus Bulletin blog is a must-read online source of reference for anyone concerned with computer security and online threat landscape. It covers the latest threats, new developments, and techniques in the security landscape, opinions from well-known members of the industry, and more.

42. StaySafeOnline

This security blog is powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) organization and is a reliable online source that provides valuable information on how you can stay safe online, how to keep your business secure and many other useful tips and insights on privacy.

43. Security Boulevard

It is the home of the Security Bloggers Network (SBN) and an online community where you can find plenty of useful resources from fresh cybersecurity news, threats and data breaches to webinars, a library of security-related resources, and many other educational resources.

44. Bleeping Computer

Another fantastic resource is Bleeping Computer, a technical support website, and a self-education tool. Do read their cybersecurity guides, forums, tutorials and more.

45. IT Security

Here’s another useful information security resource where you can read about cybersecurity news, insights and experts’ opinions on topics related to the cybersecurity landscape.

46. GBHackers on Security

It is another great online resource where you can read about the latest hacking news, cybersecurity, technology updates, ransomware or malware. There’s also the place where you can find useful online courses and other interesting infosec resources.

47. BetaNews

Here’s another leading source of technology news and analysis you can follow to stay up to date with everything happening in cybersecurity.

48. ThreatPost

Threatpost is an independent news site where you can read a plethora of cybersecurity news and analysis to stay informed and safe, including useful videos, feature reports and many more.

49. Google Online Security Blog

We couldn’t miss this one from our list! We are surrounded by Google products and services every day, from their search engine to web browser, so it’s normal to include their cybersecurity blog here. It is more than a reliable information security blog; it’s also a reference point on online security and privacy we need to acknowledge. Here you can also read the latest news and insights on how to keep users safe.

50. Microsoft Secure Blog

Starting from January 2018, this is the place where you’ll find all the blogs from Microsoft. Here you’ll find technical information for Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Windows, alongside product updates, cybersecurity guidance, industry trends, and more. You’ll also read great cybersecurity stories from the global team of Windows Defender researchers, engineers, and experts.

51. Sensors Tech Forum

Another information security blog you should add on your list is Sensors Tech Forum, which is both an online security blog and a forum. Here you can read daily PC security news, ransomware and virus removal guides. The Sensors Tech team publishes useful guides that could help users get through the removal process of malware.

52. Elie Bursztein’s Blog

Elie works at Google and leads the company’s anti-abuse research team, focused on protecting users against cybercriminal activities and Internet threats. His personal blog focuses on trending topics in cybersecurity such as Artificial Intelligence, network security, account security and many more that could help users learn how to stay safe online. We recommend checking out his blog for useful articles.

53. G2 Learning Hub

G2’s blog touches on topics as diverse as Sales, Marketing, Design or Research, to name a few. We added it to our list since you don’t want to miss their articles focused on Cybersecurity and Technology written by Aaron Walker, Senior Research Specialist. By following this highly engaging educational resource, you can explore the industry’s latest trends, learn more about security buzzwords, and discover great tools and software.


Since the security and privacy landscape is changing constantly, so must we. That’s why we’re asking you to help us improve this article.

Let us know your thoughts in a comment below.

The post Here are The Internet Security Blogs You Should Follow Today [Updated 2019] appeared first on Heimdal Security Blog.

How to Remove Malware from Your Windows PC [Updated 2019]

Malware infection. You might think it will never happen to you. Until it does and you don’t know exactly what to do. How do you actually remove malware? Maybe you’ll ask your tech-savvy friend how to remove malware or you’ll try to clean the PC by yourself. Or perhaps you’ll address this issue on a security forum where other people encountered the same problem.

Warning signs: You’ve noticed your PC has started to slow down, it crashes often, pop-ups appear randomly in your browser, or that unusual apps start automatically.

All these signs can tell that your computer is infected with malware.

So, a malware infection has taken your computer hostage.

What do you do now?

In this article, I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to follow so you can easily clean up and restore your PC to a functional state.

Step 1. Back up all your documents and files before you start removing the malware infection.

Regardless of your malware infection, the first thing to do is backup all your important files and documents. You can do that by saving your essential data on the external source such as DVD/CDs, free cloud storage services, USB sticks or external drives. Use this guide to better back up your online data.

By performing a backup process, you can save your essential data on an external source to keep it safe. You can do this manually or automatically and we recommend using software backup tools.

Step 2. Enter your PC in Safe Mode with Networking

Here’s what you should do:

  • Unplug DVDs, CDs or other USB drives from your PC and then shut it down.
  • Restart by pressing F8 key over and over again until it takes you to the Safe Mode with Networking.
  • This will make your system boot up only critical processes and prevent certain malware infections from starting up.

Safe Mode Windows

If you are using Windows 8 and/or Windows 10, here’s how you can start your PC in Safe Mode. For older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or XP, follow these steps.

Step 3. Delete your temporary files.

To make the scanning process smoother and simpler, you should delete all unessential temporary files from your computer.

You can do this by right-clicking on a Windows drive, such as C:/ or D:/ – > Properties -> Disk Cleanup. From the Menu, choose which files you want to delete and remove.

Step 4. How to remove malware with an anti-malware tool.

In order to clean up your PC, you’ll need some specialized software to find and clean up the malicious items. Here’s a list of all the software you can use.

Thor Premium Home is completely free for the first 30 days and you can cancel your subscription anytime you want. This is a powerful anti-malware solution which will both remove malware and stop any other possible future infections.

Thor Premium Home how to remove malware
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Once Thor Premium Home starts, it will enable automatic, real-time scanning and all the infected files can be removed using Thor Vigilance Home, the next-gen AV tool included in the Thor Premium Home package. You can also choose to perform scans by yourself and delete the infections.

how to remove malware with Thor Premium Home

It’s that easy. Now, your computer is clean and kept away from any type of malware, viruses, ransomware, phishing attacks, and many other online threats.

SUPERAntispyware malware tool has a free edition that can detect different forms of malicious software, adware, and spyware, and efficiently scan and remove unwanted files from your PC. You can control the scanning options by choosing which files you want the tool to analyze. Scans will be performed manually, but the full control over scans makes it a good choice for users.

Kaspersky TDSSKiller is a free malware removal tool for Windows. It was designed to remove the rootkits which are malicious malware that boots up at the same time as your PC and hide the activity of other malicious software. Rootkits can gain access to administrator rights on an infected computer and provide deeper access to other types of malware. Online attackers can maintain the infection for a long time and are difficult to find and remove.

Malwarebytes anti-malware tool can detect, scan and remove malicious software found on your PC.  It is free for a limited period of time and has a 14 day free trial with full features such as malware removal, ransomware protection, rooter killer and even a repair function for any damaged files. Use the “Start Scan” button to help you remove and kill any malware found with a manual scan. We recommend running this program at least once a week to check things you might have missed or when you notice your PC runs slowly or acts strangely.

ADWCleaner is a free software tool specialized in removing adware, browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted malicious programs that have infected your browser. The product was acquired by Malwarebytes in 2016 and includes features like toolbar removal functionality, light footprint.

If you’ve been using Junkware removal tool for a while, you should know that Malwarebytes has chosen to discontinue development for this free software. However, Malwarebytes “will continue to provide service and support for JRT until End of Life (EOL) on April 26, 2018.” As an alternative, you can use the free ADWCleaner tool that includes all major JRT features.

Here’s a list of malware removal online tools you can use to protect your computer:

Product name Suitable for: Availability Price
Hitman PRO Beginners Windows OS Free 30-day trial
RKill  Beginners Windows XP/ Vista/ Win 7/ Win 8/ Windows 10 Free
Avira PC Cleaner Beginners Windows Free
Microsoft Safety Scanner Beginners Windows 7 / Vista / XP Free
TrendMicro HouseCall Beginners MacOSX / Windows Free
Emisoft Emergency Kit Beginners Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 Free
Spybot Search & Destroy Beginners Windows Free
CCleaner * Beginners Windows Free
McAfee Rootkit Remover Beginners Windows Free
IBM X-Force Exchange Malware Analysis Advanced Cloud-based Free 30-day trial

Note: CCleaner was recently compromised by cybercriminals, but the tool is safe now.

Let’s move on to one more quick step, just to be sure malware didn’t mess up your browser’s settings.

Step 5. Reset your browser settings

In many cases, malware will change your browser settings in order to re-infect your computer, show advertisements, or facilitate any other malicious downloads. This is why you need to review some of your browser settings.

Here’s how to fix browser shortcuts the malware might have altered

First of all, access your browser, Right-click on your browser, then go to Properties. 

Browser shortcut

Under the Shortcut tab, you’ll see the Target field.

Browser target

What can actually happen is that the malware might have altered the target field and included a malicious URL in it. So what happens is that now your browser will start up on this page each time you boot it up.

Normally, the browser target should look something like this:

Chrome: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”

In our example case, the browser was targeted to go to a suspicious website, aimed at downloading malware on your PC.

Chrome properties

You can fix that by simply remove the URL that comes after .exe”.

Browser hijackers will change the homepage. 

Instead of changing the “Target” field in the “Shortcut” tab, some malware might just modify your browser homepage.

For the Chrome browser:

Go to the Settings in the top right corner of the browser. Once there, go to the On startup section. The first two options don’t have any homepage whatsoever, so you can go ahead and select either one of those.

Chrome settings in browser

If however, you want to have your own homepage, then check the option to Open a specific page or set of pages and then click on Set pages. This should take you to this window where you can add or delete malicious links sneakily set as homepage.

Hijacking chrome browser

Settings for Firefox:

You can access the Options menu in the top right corner of the browser. This will immediately take you to the General tab, where you can reset your homepage as you see fit.

Firefox settings

Malicious hackers can also take control of your accounts through session hijacking by entering the server and access its information without having to hack a registered account. Additionally, he can also make modifications on the server to help him hack it in the future or to simplify a data-stealing operation.

Verify your proxy settings

There is malware that can even change what Internet service you use to connect to the web. Simply removing the malware won’t reset these proxy settings, so it’s something you should fix before considering your PC squeaky clean.

To access your proxy settings, go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet and then press Internet Options.

proxy settings 1

In the Internet Options menu, go to the Connections tab and press the LAN settings button.

Internet properties

Make sure that Automatically detect settings is on, and that the other two options, “Use automatic configuration script” and “Use a proxy server for your LAN” are unmarked.

Here’s how your settings should look like:

LAN settings

How to make sure you’ll never get infected with malware again

Now that you’ve managed to clean up your PC and remove malware, it is important to take some protection measures to prevent getting another infection.

Some malware programs operate stealthily, and you may not know the infection is there. They don’t visibly affect your PC. Instead, they may collect sensitive information of yours such as passwords, credit card data, completed forms and screenshots.

We recommend following these protection measures to prevent getting your computer infected:

  • Use two-factor authentication management system

If among other things you were also infected with a keylogger, then there’s a high chance your passwords and accounts were compromised. One of the first things you should do is start using the two-factor authentication management system and manage your passwords safely. There is some malware that can take full control of your passwords.

This password security guide will provide all the details needed to set strong and unique passwords to prevent malicious hackers exploiting them and lock you out of your accounts. With the two-factor authentication system, you will add another layer of protection to your account.

  • Always keep your software up to date

Outdated software is one of the major cause of malware infections out there, mostly because they come with many vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals. Keeping up your software permanently up to date will lower the chances for malicious hackers to get inside your device or limit any possibility for them to infect computers.

We know it can become a tedious, yet necessary task to constantly update your software, particularly those that patch frequently. Thor FREE is a great solution that will automatically (and silently) update your software, without any annoying confirmation pop-ups. It’s light and unobtrusive, so it won’t slow down your system.

  • Use a complete EDR (endpoint detection and response) solution to keep malware at bay

One layer of protection is not enough, and you need multiple layers of security to better protect your PC. A traffic filtering software will nicely and efficiently complement an antivirus since it scans incoming and outgoing traffic for any malware and then blocks that traffic from entering your PC. In other words, it gets difficult for new malware to reach your device.

Thor Premium Home does everything I mentioned in the paragraph above and is able to protect you from brand new and unlisted malware that traditional antivirus software can’t detect. It will also sanitize your Internet traffic and block malicious sources, making sure you have both your financial and confidential information safely kept.

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I also added a list of in-depth articles we recommend reading so you can better know how to recognize different signs of malware infection and protect your computer with multiple layers of security.

This post was originally published by Paul Cucu in January 2017 and received relevant updates from Ioana Rijnetu in November 2017 and from Bianca Soare in July 2019.

The post How to Remove Malware from Your Windows PC [Updated 2019] appeared first on Heimdal Security Blog.