Basic Internet Safety

Basic Internet Security

Anytime that you connect to the internet you open yourself up to cyber attacks.  Hackers try and steal passwords, banking information, credit card numbers and even your tax records.  Sometimes they can completely infect your computer with viruses making it completely unusable.  You can avoid this issues by taking steps to protect yourself and your information.

  1. Use strong passwords.Don’t make it easy for hackers to crack your password.  Make sure it is made up of capital letters, numbers and symbols and make sure it is at least eight characters long.
  2. Use email wisely.Email is how business is conducted and how we stay in touch with friends and family and while you may have taken measures to protect yourself from hackers it doesn’t mean your family has done the same.  Never send personal information via email, that includes credit card numbers and other private info.
  3. Be careful using messenger programs.Treat a messenger program the same as you would an email.  Don’t give out personal information, use a nickname and never ever accept requests from people that you do not know.
  4. Shop safely.Internet security and online shopping have come a long way.  That being said you still need to be careful, make sure the website uses secure technology and the address starts with https, you can also look for a tiny padlock symbol on the checkout screen.  Favor websites that use PayPal.  PayPal has been around a long time and goes to great lengths to protect consumers from fraud.
  5. Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams are when hackers pretend to send you emails from legitimate business like PayPal, your bank or some other highly respected institution.  Never click on a link in an email, instead open a separate browser and visit the website directly.  You can also call the business directly to make sure the email is legitimate.
  6. Fun and carefree online gaming.Millions of people play games everyday online, it’s fun and they can be educational too…but, be careful communicating with other players and never turn off firewalls or antivirus to play any game.
  7. Pay attention to your children’s online activities.Move your computer to a public location in the home and watch the sites that your children visit.  You have parental controls that you can use to keep them from landing on websites they shouldn’t be on or that aren’t age appropriate.
  8. Make sure you have a good antivirus program.Most people are only concerned with their computer getting a virus but you also have to worry about spyware, adware, spam and other programs that are meant to steal personal information.

This is basic stuff to keep your information out of the hands of hackers and identity thieves.  It’s not just a computer virus you have to worry about anymore there is a lot of information on your PC you don’t want in the hands of a criminal.