Learn how to become a more discerning computer user and how to keep your security systems current no matter where you are. Here are some tips for safe computer use:
- Change your Password - Remember to change your password every 30-60 days.
- Selecting your Password - Create a password that only you will know by using combinations of alpha and numeric characters, upper and lowercase letters, special characters (~!#$%^&*), and intentionally misspelled words for the strongest security (i.e. "sEKURE1!" instead of "secure"). Avoid using the same password for your e-mail accounts and your online bank accounts.
- Protecting your Username & Password - DO NOT give out any passwords or account numbers online. DO NOT store Internet Banking IDs or passwords on your computer. DO NOT write your password down.
- Use a personal firewall - Many Internet service providers offer this feature. A personal firewall protects your home computer against unauthorized access. A personal firewall is designed to protect only the computer on which it is installed. It protects you by controlling the traffic that comes in and goes out from your computer. It watches for attempts to access your system and blocks communications from and to sources you do not permit.
- Beware of malware infection with drive by download - Drive-by downloads may happen when visiting a malicious or vulnerable website, viewing an e-mail message or by clicking on a deceptive pop-up window. Malware is malicious software installed on your computer which has a harmful intent that can, for example, capture your login passwords and other personal data. Examples of malware include software such as spyware, adware, viruses, etc. The best way to protect yourself from malware is to exercise caution before installing programs on your computer or opening e-mail attachments.
- Installations - Only install applications and software from well-known companies you trust.
Here are some precautions that are important to take:
- Updated Operating System - Keep your operating system and browser up-to-date with the latest security updates and patches.
- Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and malware detection software - The best defense against computer attacks is preventative software. You will need to update the software regularly to guard against new risks, so download updates from your provider as soon as they're available. Or better yet, set the software to update automatically.
- Use a pop-up blocker - Set your browser preferences to block pop-ups-aside from being annoying, these pop-ups can contain inappropriate content or have malicious intentions.
- Always sign off - When you are finished with your online session, do not forget to select "Exit" and then close the browser window.