Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Internet Safety

"Consumer Reports" September 2008 arrived in my mailbox with the cover story being, '7 Biggest Online Blunders'. Talk about getting one's attention! Immediately I thumbed to the index and found some rather interesting reading that I'd like to share today. Of course I can't post the whole article here, so I'll just share a brief synopsis of article.
The gist of the article pertains to protecting yourself whilst online and also how to keep your computer safe including ID Leak Protection. So without further adieu here's some helpful information for those of us spending time on the internet.

1. Never assume your security software is protecting you. Regularly check it to make sure it's activated and update it weekly if it's not automatically doing so.
2. If you get an email (they always look so official) asking you to update your personal information via email, do not click that link! This is called 'phishing' and the bad guys are trying to bait you.
3. Never use the same password for all your online accounts.
4. Beware of program freebies such as screen savers. They're usually bundled with spyware that will bog down your computer.
5. Macs are not immune from everything. Seems the incidence of Phishing scams for Mac users are at about the same rate as PC users. The Apple Safari browser has no built-in phishing protection. Get an anti-phishing toolbar like Netcraft or McAfee.
6. Never click on ads scaring you into thinking your PC IS NOT PROTECTED or UNSAFE or CONTAMINATED. This is usually Malware that will infect your computer. Use a Pop-Up protector or simply enable it in your browser settings.
7. Use a separate credit card just for your internet shopping and never use your debit card. Or use a safe third party such as PayPal. Another idea if making a large purchase is to get a virtual account number from your credit card company. It's only valid for that one time use.

Consumer Reports advises the use of Security Suites that include a firewall, anti-virus, and anti spyware that offer real time protection. To read further about how to protect yourself and your family online, pick up the September 2008 issue in your local stores or you can subscribe by going here.
Consumer Reports Mission Statement
We are a non-profit organization that is supported by the subscriptions to our web site and magazine. To maintain our independence, we do not accept any outside advertising and any free test samples.

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