Stopbadware.org has just released its “Trends in Badware 2007” report, a free overview of all the ways you and your computer can be slipped digital roofies while you’re online looking at LOLpornography and doing your banking through Twitter. It’s written in a deliberately non-technical style, so if you’re put-off or intimidated by the Slashdot crowd, this is a great way to educate yourself or a naive loved one about the dangers of drive-by downloads, website hacking, and so on.
The report isn’t the prettiest or most exciting thing to read, and the section on how to spot a fake MySpace profile is hilarious. (Wait, you mean I’m not friends with all these sexy ladies?) But it’s worth a read just to bring yourself up-to-speed on the current state of the art in badware.
Their closing advice is fairly obvious: install anti-virus software, keep your operating system up to date, and stay educated. We also suggest Ad-Aware 2007, a free program that helps monitor your Windows PC for unwanted programs, and AdBlock Plus, a free cross-platform Firefox add-on that lets you block specific third-party feeds from pages you visit.