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Security Tips & Advice

Security Tips & Advice

The never ending information stream from the Internet can lead us to forget that this access comes with an inherent risk to our computers and ultimately to us.

Cybercriminals work relentlessly to seize control of your computer, use your email or instant messages (IM) to spread spam, or spy on your online activities in an attempt to steal personal information or money. Hundreds even thousands of malicious software (malware) and viruses are identified daily and without proper protection a computer is vulnerable and can easily be infected, usually when the user finds out is already too late.

Criminals use two main strategies to try to break through a computer’s defenses:

They try to trick you into installing their adware, worms, and other malicious software. They can deliver it in downloads that you think are innocent, such as photos or music, or in links that you click in email or IM, on a social network (like Facebook), or in a game. Or, they may try to scare you into responding to fake warnings that your computer has a virus or needs repair.

They install malicious software on computers that haven’t been updated with the latest security updates, by exploiting older weaknesses in its software or by breaking into accounts guarded by simple passwords.

So how do you better secure your computer? Strengthen its defenses and train yourself to act cautiously as you make your way across the web:

  1. Install an antivirus and anti-spyware programs from a trusted source
  2. Never turn-off your firewall
  3. Keep all your software up to date
  4. Protect accounts with strong passwords
  5. Use flash drives cautiously

Also, please always remember to use common sense when evaluating offers online, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.