Safe Web Surfing: Do’s and Don’ts

Safe online surfing continues to get harder every day.

Jan 11, 2011

Safe online surfing continues to get harder every day. Even though you can’t eliminate all the risks, there are ways you can reduce some of the danger.

Do educate yourself about the types of scams on the Internet, so that you’re properly equipped to avoid them. Read up on the latest phishing scams, for example, and learn how to recognize them.

Don’t skimp on the firewall. Firewalls monitor traffic between your computer and the Internet, and they’re your first and best line of defense. Most operating systems come with a good firewall – but it won’t help you if you don’t activate it.

Do click with caution. When checking email or instant messages, never click links in messages from people you don’t know. Such links could connect to phony websites designed to solicit personal information, or they could download malware designed to steal personal information.

Don’t “overshare.” When considering financial institutions or other sites, run away from those that ask for too much personal information. Most legitimate sites don’t ask for such information, but instead require registration ahead of time.

Do practice safe shopping. Shopping online or planning vacations via the Internet can be a terrific tool, but be careful with sites you’ve never used before. When on the checkout page, look for the lock symbol or some other indication that the page is encrypted. Be sure to evaluate the site’s security and privacy policies.

Don’t forget to update your security software. Your security suite should be from a top, well-known company you can trust, and you should set it to update automatically. This is the way to provide maximum protection from viruses, spyware, and other cyber-threats (which also are being constantly updated!). Conduct regular malware scans of your computer, and update your operating system and browser with the manufacturer’s latest security patches.


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