Most modern browsers – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and even Microsoft’s new Edge – provide a search feature directly from the address bar.
You should be aware that inadvertently using the search facility to find a web site or download can often take you to a malicious, malware infected site or download which can have a devastating impact on your computer.
Only today I attended a client who did exactly this in looking to download a copy of Google Chrome. Instead of browsing directly to Google’s download site (at www.google.co.uk/chrome) the browser search, in this case, took the user to a malicious site which provided a corrupted version of Chrome which installed multiple pop-up advertising banners.
The problem can become even more severe with Internet Banking where spoofed logon pages can be accessed unknowingly, ultimately providing your logon details to persons unknown – and the obvious risk to your Bank balance.
If you use Internet Banking with ANY Bank, you should make sure you have the Trusteer Rapport security software installed AND active in your browser before logging on. Trusteer Rapport is a free download (here) and is supplied and maintained by IBM in cooperation with many Banks worldwide.
Trusteer Rapport protects against a phenomenon called a “Man in the Middle” attack. This is when a Bank logon screen is misrepresented by a spoof page that invites you to enter your logon details and then transmits that data to an unknown recipient.
No other known anti-virus software provides protection against this sort of attack.