Each month we provide you with tips, suggestions
and ideas on how to make your Internet experience more enjoyable and
safer for your family and your computer.
AUGUST 2007 -
Whether you use Dial-Up or Wireless Broadband access, you could be
vulnerable to hackers (though the percentage is fairly low) and viruses
(which has become a more frequent and serious threat). This month, we take a look at some tips to help ensure
your online security.
Always Use Anti-Virus
And keep the software up-to-date. Over 500 new
viruses are discovered each month. You are not just protecting
yourself when using virus software, but also others to whom you
communicate. A computer virus is a program designed to spread
itself by first infecting executable files or the system areas of
hard and floppy disks and then making copies of itself. Viruses
usually operate without the knowledge or desire of the computer
user. A virus can result in lost data or require costly
repairs to your system. A virus can also spread from your
computer to infect other computers. You can avoid these risks
by installing and using anti-virus software.
Anti-virus software scans your computer
and your incoming email for viruses, and then deletes the viruses.
Most commercial anti-virus software include a feature which allows
you to download updates automatically when you are on the Internet.
Always Use a Firewall
A firewall is an "internal lock" for information on your
computer. A firewall is a software program or piece of
hardware that prevents unauthorized Internet traffic from entering
or leaving your computer. A firewall helps make you invisible on the
Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. Many computer operating systems already have firewalls
installed, you just have to turn them on. The best way to ensure
protection is to use both a firewall and anti-virus software. There are many other
firewalls available to download or buy that help you secure your
Sharing Files is Risky
Learn the risks and rules associated with sharing files or your
Internet connection. You can be exposed to danger via
e-mail, file-sharing, a broadband connection or a Wi-Fi connection.
Peer-to-peer or file-sharing programs allow you to share your files
with others on the Internet -- and vice versa. File-sharing is a new
and interesting technology that shows promise for future
applications. However, just like you shouldn't open email
attachments from people you don't trust, you should be wary about
downloading files from them as well. You never know what you or your
kids may find on the hard drives of random strangers on the
Disconnect From the
Internet When Idle
If you are not using your Internet connection, turn it
off. No one can attack your computer when it is not connected
to the Internet. This is especially important if you have a
Use Unique Passwords
And don't share your passwords with anyone. Your
password should contain one Capitalized letter, lower-case letters,
and at least one numeric value (number). An example would be
something like - " netWest1 ".
Be in Control of Your
The software and operating system on your computer have
many security features, many you may not use. Learn how to
automatically update your operating systems with security patches,
to activate firewalls and to turn off any extraneous options that
leave your computer vulnerable.
Use Tools to Enhance
Learn about tools that can
help to protect you from viruses and hackers.
:: IDENTITY SECURED ::