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Kudos0

security risk on porn sites?

I've been warned to never go to porn sites- not on morality grounds but because of malware. I asked in a Usenet newsgroup on security issues and the consensus is that the threat is severe. When I said that I'm using Norton 360, some said that's nice but it's not good enough for the kind of malware that might be found on porn sites.

Though I might be tempted- I can't afford the potential damage if the risk is significantly greater than found on many other web sites.

So, in the opinion of the readers- would Norton 360 be sufficient protection?

Replies

Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?

I've been warned to never go to porn sites- not on morality grounds but because of malware. I asked in a Usenet newsgroup on security issues and the consensus is that the threat is severe. When I said that I'm using Norton 360, some said that's nice but it's not good enough for the kind of malware that might be found on porn sites.

Though I might be tempted- I can't afford the potential damage if the risk is significantly greater than found on many other web sites.

So, in the opinion of the readers- would Norton 360 be sufficient protection?

Kudos1

Re: security risk on porn sites?

Hello JoeZ

No one security program is going to protect you all the time. Along with having a good security program is having good surfing skills also.. Porn sites are a known security risk and going to them is not practicing safe computing use. It's hard enough trying to keep a computer clean today with all the malware out there that can attack you without you doing anything or going to any bad sites. Why go to a bad site and put yourself in more danger on purpose?

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
Kudos1

Re: security risk on porn sites?

Hi JoeZ,

It just so happens that a recent study of porn site dangers released its findings earlier this month.  And, yes, there are dangers.  The most serious threat is to porn surfers who are using out-of-date applications which contain security vulnerabilities.  Exploits of these flaws are quickly and widely leveraged.  Among current exploits are those for Adobe Flash Player, which recently patched a serious vulnerability, and Adobe Reader, which has a security hole that still remains unpatched.  The study also found that Javascript is widely used to ensnare or redirect unsuspecting visitors.

Of course anywhere one goes on the internet, not just porn sites, one is liable to encounter various types of malicious attacks, so the following recommendations should apply to web surfing in general.  First, no, you should not rely solely on security software to protect you.  Second, make sure your operating system and all of your programs are current with the latest security patches, especially programs such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and your browser.  You can use a service such as the Secunia Online Software Inspector to evaluate the programs currently installed on your computer.  Third, while disabling JavaScript will prevent most sites nowadays from functioning fully, it is a very smart thing to do, and essential if you go surfing the dark side of the internet.  Block JavaScript and other types of active content by setting IE's security levels to their highest setting or using the NoScript extension in Firefox.  Lastly, use a limited user account on your PC, or a program such as DropMyRights,  rather than running as an administrator while online.

None of this guarantees that you won't encounter something that could infect your PC.  But certainly if you are planning to visit the types of sites that are known to be dangerous, you should exercise caution and secure your system as much as possible.

'Shady' porn site practices put visitors at risk

Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?


JoeZ wrote:

I've been warned to never go to porn sites- not on morality grounds but because of malware. I asked in a Usenet newsgroup on security issues and the consensus is that the threat is severe. When I said that I'm using Norton 360, some said that's nice but it's not good enough for the kind of malware that might be found on porn sites.

Though I might be tempted- I can't afford the potential damage if the risk is significantly greater than found on many other web sites.

So, in the opinion of the readers- would Norton 360 be sufficient protection?


Hi JoeZ

The general answer is (not on morality grounds) don't visit porn sites - you are playing Russian Roulette with your system. Sooner or later you will pick up  serious malware on your system.

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. ~William Ewart Gladstone
Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?

How useful is the Norton Site Safety feature- especially with porn sites? Just out of curiosity, I googled "porn" and found a lot- many which had the green "site is safe" icon. Does that mean "they are probably safe" or "they are almost certainly safe"- or "they might be safe but we're only guessing"

Regarding your suggestion to use a limited user account- how much safety does that provide? Does that keep maleware out of the system files?

Oh- another similar question- I've recently become a fan of the TV cartoon, "Family Guy"- yes, I know, it's absurdly politically incorrect- but it sure is funny - so I noticed a lot of web sites have clips from the show. Are such sites also a high risk?

JoeZ

Kudos1

Re: security risk on porn sites?

Hi JoeZ,

The Norton Safe Web green icons mean only that the site was safe to visit at the time it was tested.  Things can, and do, change so "the site is probably safe" is about all you can infer from the safe site icons of any rating service.

Using a limited user account will prevent a lot of malware from being able to install at all since it will not have the privileges it needs to modify system files and make changes to your system.  Some malware can now install and run in a limited account, but the damage it can do will be minimized, and it is much simpler to remove than something that has gained system-wide access.

As to your last question about high-risk sites, there really are no such things anymore.  Any site can be compromised, as YouTube was yesterday.  You need to use the same safe-browsing precautions for all sites that you visit.  As a matter of fact there is some good news here for porn site surfers - a recent study by Avast found that the number of "normal" sites that host malware outnumber similarly dangerous porn sites by a factor of 99 to 1. 

http://www.mydigitallife.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1055060:porn-sites-not-that-dangerous-after-all&catid=21:digital-security&Itemid=38

Kudos1

Re: security risk on porn sites?

The popularity of any given site should indicate the need for caution.  Malware is a profitable business, and it is not profitable to place it where users seldom go.  That is why Facebook, Youtube and others are such hot targets.  Any video clips, music downloads, and popular P2P sites are targets.

Under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer.Mark Twain
Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?

SendOfJive,

Interesting suggestion you made- about using a limited user account if wanting to experiment with potentially risky web sites. I wonder if it's extremely safe or just somewhat safer than not using a limited account?

Meanwhile, I've purchased Acronis backup software. It has a feature called Try and  Decide which creates a special zone on the drive which mimics system files- so that you can experiement with all sorts of changes to the system- then supposedly if you don't like results- you can shut it down and you're back where you started. It might be one way to view risky web sites.

Joe

Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?

HI Joe,

I definitely would not go as far as to say it is extremely safe but it is safer than using an Administrator account. A lot of it depends on your practices and how careful "you" are when you visit any website, be it a porn website or any other.

In fact, using wording such as extremely safe can lead to a false sense of security which could make it MORE risky.

Knowing how to handle unexpected pop-ups, setting up and using Trusted vs Internet zones in IE. Sites in your trusted list can be granted more rights to do thing like running scripts, Active X, etc. SItes in the wider Internet zone should be given less rights. This also helps make your surfing experience safer.

And at the first sign of any problem  you should get away from the site and don't navigate back to it.

And lest I neglect to mention to always make sure you are up to date not only on Windows updates but other applications as well, such as JAVA, PDF reader, MS Office, etc.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32
Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?

The reason I'm so careful with my online stuff is that I mostly go online with my business computer and I'd hate to mess up this machine. Given all the possible ways that malware can attack a PC- I'm concluding that if I want to practice risky online computing the only way to do it is with an expendable old computer not networked to my others. Then if that machine got messed up I'd just reformat.

And that raises another issue I don't understand- let's say I'm surfing the net doing all the safe practices but still get infected with malware. I have 4 PCs networked. Can malware move across the network to my other PCs? I'm using a Verizon DSL and a Linksys switch. I am aware that these items have some kind of protection but I don't understand it.

Also, I thank everyone in this Norton forum who have replied to my several threads. Other online forums for software and hardware are not nearly as helpful.

Joe

Kudos0

Re: security risk on porn sites?


JoeZ wrote:

The reason I'm so careful with my online stuff is that I mostly go online with my business computer and I'd hate to mess up this machine. Given all the possible ways that malware can attack a PC- I'm concluding that if I want to practice risky online computing the only way to do it is with an expendable old computer not networked to my others. Then if that machine got messed up I'd just reformat.

>> I don't know why you would want to do this anyway. The only reason I can see for purposely practicing unsafe surfing practices would be if you have a test computer on which you are testing some anti-virus or other security software and you are actually trying to get infected.

And that raises another issue I don't understand- let's say I'm surfing the net doing all the safe practices but still get infected with malware. I have 4 PCs networked. Can malware move across the network to my other PCs? I'm using a Verizon DSL and a Linksys switch. I am aware that these items have some kind of protection but I don't understand it.

 >> It is certainly possilbe for other PC's on the same home or business network to get cross infected but the probability is lower provided those other computers are also fully protected with up to date firewall, AV software, etc.

Also, I thank everyone in this Norton forum who have replied to my several threads. Other online forums for software and hardware are not nearly as helpful.

Joe


Hi Joe,

Please see responses inline above.

The idea is to find the right balance between practicing safe surfing practices (being careful) and being downright paranoid about it. I'm not saying you are being paranoid by the way but just explaining.

The Internet has a wealth of information and other things you can do online and it is not all bad. Yes we have to be careful but if it is not carried too far, those safe surfing practices simply as much an instinct as breathing and we hardly even have to think about it consciously. You can enjoy the Internet without being so worried that about safety that you can no longer enjoy it. Again, it is about striking the right balance.

Hope this helps a bit.

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32

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