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Google search protects your computer from infection

Posted by TechGeek on August 4, 2011

Do you know Google search engine can help you from visiting malicious websites? Google is a popular search engine used by millions of  users everyday for searching Internet. The malicious sites are growing everyday as the web is growing causing security threat. Hundreds of websites are being targeted by attackers to inject malicious code into the legitimate websites to spread their malware. Once you visit those sites, your computer becomes infected with malware or virus.

Attackers keep creating new variants of virus or malware so that it can’t be detected by Antivirus engines. Even if your Antivirus is up to date, some new viruses remain undetected unless Antivirus vendors releases a new signature to detect them. Google has already introduced Safe Browsing feature which detects websites for malware or phishing sites.

Do read: Stay away from malware and phishing sites

Google will additionally helps you from accidentally visiting infected sites with warning in the search result below the infected site. If the website is infected with malicious code, Google will display a warning like,

Look at the image above, the above website is infected or compromised and malicious code is inserted into the webpage’s. If you visit above site, you computer may gets infected by virus or malware. Google has smartly put a warning below the URL saying “This site may harm your computer”. This means you should not visit that website for your computer security.

Do read: Stay away from computer threats

If you use Google as your favorite search engine then don’t visit websites where you see such warning from Google. This way you can at-least stay away from infected or malicious websites.

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Protect your Google account with 2-step verification

Posted by TechGeek on August 2, 2011

Google has a very good security feature called “2-step verification” to protect your account from hackers. The feature provides you another layer of security to your Google account. For this to work, you will need access to your phone along with your username and password. If you enable this security feature then you will be the only person which can login into Google since only you have the access to your phone. If your account gets hacked then hacker can’t sign into your account because they don’t have your phone to access.

You can use this feature to protect your Google account if your password gets stolen. To login into your account needs a special verification code which you receive on your phone. To enable it, go to account settings page and look for “Using 2-step verification link”, click on it to start your setup, Once you click on the link, you will be taken to the setup page. You will have to then setup your primary phone on which you want to receive verification code. Remember, it should be primary phone meaning it should be with you everytime you require Google account access. You can either choose text message or voice call for verification. Google then sends verification code for test purpose. You can validate the verification code sent on your phone on the setup page.

Now, once you setup 2-step verification, go to your Google account and enter your username and password as usual. You will be next prompted to enter verification code which you receive on your phone. You have another option to save this verification code for 30 days which means you will need to verify the code only once every 30 days.

What if your phone gets stolen?

Google has provided another option called backup phone within this feature. A backup phone that you can use if you lose access to your primary phone and this could be,

  • A work or home phone (landline or mobile)
  • A phone of someone you trust like a friend or family member

Non-browser applications

2-step verification protects your Google account whenever you access from web browsers. For devices and other desktop applications like Smartphone’s, Outlook which can’t ask you for verification code, Google uses a special password called “Application Specific Passwords”. The special password is generated by Google on your request and you don’t need to remember them.

This is very good feature by Google to help you to protect your account from hackers. Have you enabled it?


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Lock your Google Safe Search with password

Posted by TechGeek on July 25, 2011

In earlier blog, we learned about how to turn on Google Safe Search for your online safety. The settings can be changed by others using the same computer to not to filter any contents being showed in the results. This means, someone can still see adult or explicit contents even if you set Safe Search settings to strict mode. If you are worried about others changing the strict SafeSearch setting without your knowledge, Google search engine provides you the way to protect it with a password. This way you can set your filter settings the way you want.

To enable SafeSearch lock, click on “Search settings” from the top right corner of your Google page. Select strict filtering and click on “Lock SafeSearch” link located below the SafeSearch Filtering settings. To enable it, you need a Google account to login. Login with your credentials, Click on the “Lock SafeSearch” button from the above page. This may takes some time as strict filtering is being applied to all Google domains. Once done, the confirmation page will be displayed like,

If you look at the above image, you can see 2 things are being applied to your search page,

1)      ‘SafeSearch is locked’ is displayed below the search box.

2)      The colored balls appear on the right.

The Google results page is designed to look different from the normal so that you can immediately tell whether the SafeSearch lock is on or off. And if you don’t see above 2 things, you can then verify it and re-lock SafeSearch. This way web pages containing explicit sexual content will be blocked by SafeSearch filtering.

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Turn on Google Safe Search for your online safety

Posted by TechGeek on July 25, 2011

Have you enabled your Google Safe Search settings? Safe Search is a feature used by Google search engine to filter out explicit sexual or adult content from search results. Many users do not wants adult contents to appear in their search results. Most of time, these adult websites are infected with virus, malware, trojan etc and infects your computer when you visit them. Users are also worried about their children’s online safety if they also uses search engine for their queries. Many times, you search for your query in Google search engine and results contents links to adult sites. Google’s Safe Search filters provide you with the ability to prevent adult content from your search results.

The Google safe search provides you 3 options for your search,

1)      Use strict filtering (Filter both explicit text and explicit images)

2)      Use moderate filtering (Filter explicit images only – default behavior)

3)      Do not filter my search results

By default, Google sets the moderate filtering settings for you. You can use strict filtering if you are worried about online safety. Go to “Search Settings” from the menu located at the top right corner of your Google search engine. Search for “SafeSearch Filtering” option, choose or change the settings to your appropriate choice.

I will prefer to choose “Strict Filtering” as it will not only omit explicit text but also explicit images from the search results. Also, most of time adult sites are full of viruses and malware. You should avoid going on those websites for your computer safety as well. If you have any question about this article, feel free to ask us.

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