The internet has dramatically changed our lives – from booking tickets, banking and shopping to chatting and sharing music videos with our friends, it seems the internet has made just about anything and everything possible.
But viruses and other security threats also exist all over the internet. These can damage your files, slow down your CPU, or even wipe out your operating system completely. Proper security software and firewalls do offer protection to many of these threats.
But for further protection against new and very powerful viruses, the safe browsing practices listed below are helpful.
’Phishing’ redirects you to fraudulent websites that mimic popular original ones and prompt you to enter personal sensitive information like passwords. To avoid phishing threats:
- Always type addresses directly onto your browser window instead of following links from emails.
- Check for “https” in web addresses and the security checked ‘lock icon’ before entering personal information anywhere.
- Do not visit questionable websites whose security certificates are invalid or expired.
Avoid downloading free software from unfamiliar sites as they can contain viruses or software that tracks your browsing pattern. Using a pop-up blocker helps to avoid malware or inappropriate content that interfere with your browsing.
Most anti-virus software nowadays has spam filters, but these have to be kept current by installing updates and running scans. Additionally:
- Set up your email account to stop images from downloading automatically. Images in emails can contain ‘cookies’ that sends information back to the sender.
- Save your primary email for important transactions and use a second email for other non-essential stuff.
- Uncheck all pre-checked boxes that allow companies to send you promotional material or even to share your email address with third parties.
- Never open attachments if you are unsure of the content, even if it is from a trustworthy source.
If you do a number of online monetary transactions, it is important to protect your identity from being stolen. Using the same password for multiple sites, clicking the auto login features and not reviewing your online banking history are practices that could result in stolen personal information.
If you have young children who use the internet, set up a parental control program to control and review their browsing habits. Talk to them about personal security and the importance of not sharing personal information with online strangers.
Our team at Computer Zen can help make your computer safe against threats by installing firewalls and anti-virus software. Call us on 1300 266 936 for any computer repair or IT support related jobs.