Internet Security Information and Alerts
How can you enhance your computer, laptop and wireless security?
What are the 7 internet security information basics?
The Internet give online scammers, hackers, and identity thieves access to your computer, your personal information, your finances and more. Being on-guard online helps you protect your information, your computer and your money.
Our basic internet security information can provide you with a safety net so you can minimize the chance of an Internet mishap – or disaster! To be safer and more secure online, there are 7 essential practices when it comes to Internet security information to be aware of and address:
- Protect your personal information. It’s valuable and it’s what identity thieves need to steal your identity. Millions of people are victims of identity theft each year. “Phishing” scams ask for personal or financial information (under the guise of a legitimate business) such as your bank or credit card numbers. When you are online shopping or making other transactions, look for a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or look for a URL that begins with “https” – s means secure. Also, make sure that you read the site’s security policy to see how this information will be used and how it will be protected. For software that protects your information against phishing scams, follow this LINK to our recommended software solutions.
- Know who you are dealing with online. It’s easy to check out a local business in your town, but not so obvious how to check out an online vendor. One simple way is to call the seller’s phone number listed on the site and ask questions. This way you’ll know that you have a live number to call in case you have a problem. You can also do a Google search for the company and website and see if anyone has posted a complaint about the company. You can also download a software tool bar that rates websites and lets you know which ones to steer clear of. Be absolutely sure when using file sharing services that you aren’t exposing sensitive personal files to outsiders.
Download a free toolbar that rates websites HERE
- Use security software programs, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall that update automatically. Keep your Internet security software active and current. At a minimum, your computer should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall. You can buy stand-alone programs for each element or a security suite that includes these programs from a variety of sources, including commercial vendors or from your Internet Service Provider. Internet security software that comes pre-installed on a computer generally works for a short time unless you pay a subscription fee to keep it in effect. In any case, security software protects against the newest threats only if it is up-to-date. That’s why it is critical to set your security software to update automatically.
Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses that can destroy your data, slow your computer’s performance, cause a crash, or even allow spammers to send email through your account. It works by scanning your computer and your incoming email for viruses, and then deleting them.
Installed on your computer without your consent, spyware software monitors or controls your computer use. It may be used to send you pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites, monitor your Internet surfing, or record your keystrokes, which, in turn, could lead to the theft of your personal information. A computer may be infected with spyware if it slows down, malfunctions, or displays repeated error messages, won’t such down or restart, serves up a lot of pop-up ads, or displays them when you’re not surfing the web, displays web pages or programs you didn’t intend to use, or sends emails you didn’t write.
For a list of top-rated security software programs/suites that automatically update your system, visit our Internet Security page link.
- Keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date and learn about the security features they provide.
You have browser software (such as Firefox or Internet Explorer) and operating system software (such as Windows or Mac’s operating system) which need to have the latest security updates so hackers can’t exploit any flaws. Microsoft and Apple issue security patches to plug these holes. To install these patches automatically, you need to set your operating system and web browser software for automatic updates.
- Keep your passwords secure, safe and strong.
Creating a strong password is easy and a necessary task to keep your personal information really secure. The strongest passwords are at least 8 characters long, 14 or more characters is even better. Mixing letters, numbers and characters (such as ?) makes for a stronger password. If you use only letters, then the string of letters needs to be longer than if you mixed characters for the strongest passwords. Avoid sequences of letters and numbers, your login name, your birthday or other data that identifies you. Also, don’t use the same password for every login – mix them up. This is important Internet security information to know -- and use!
- Back up important files.
Online backup is usually designed as an automatic application – you sign up and your computer’s hard drive is backed up at a remote location usually once every 24 hours. A subscription to this type of service is usually licensed to one computer or you can buy a license for multiple computers (mainly for business use.)
You can also choose an online safe deposit box. The advantage of this type of online service is that you choose what to deposit into the box and physically upload those files only. Since the box is password protected, you can get to the contents anywhere you have an internet connection. If your computer or laptop is stolen, you can still get into your safe deposit box and access your files.
Online backup and online safe deposit box service recommendations can be found at my-personal-files.com.
- Learn what to do in an emergency and who to contact for help. The first step to eliminating malware on your computer is to scan it with security software and follow the recommended procedures included in internet security information. If you are still having problems, you can get professional help from the manufacturer (check your computer’s warranty for this service.) More Internet security information and tech help is available at retail stores or by phone from trusted tech providers.
For additional internet security information and alerts visit these valuable sites Cyber Security Alerts and Computer Security Practices.
Top Rated Security Software Programs/Suites
Computer Security Practices
Cyber Security Alerts
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