Internet Security: 10 Tips
Here are 10 tips for keeping your Internet connection secure:
- Purchase security software. This should include anti-virus, anti-spyware, and other protective features. Many high-speed Internet providers offer free security software to their customers. Other powerful security technologies are available at various price points.
- Use a password. Program your computer so that you have to re-enter your password every time you turn it on or wake it up, or even if it's been inactive for a certain period of time. This can be tedious, but it's worth the inconvenience if anyone else has physical access to your computer.
- Change your passwords frequently. Don't use the same password for all functions and devices. If you have to write your passwords down, keep them in the safest place you can find, preferably on your person.
- Don't click on links in e-mails you receive from people you don't know.
- Don't download files from people you don't know. Even if it's from someone you know, if you're not expecting it, e-mail that person and ask whether the file is safe before you download it. (Some viruses take over your contact files and send e-mails without your knowledge.)
- Don't respond to any e-mails that have to do with your bank accounts, your investments, or your tax situation. If you suspect that there actually is a problem with any of these, contact the proper people by telephone or in person.
- Respond to software updates. Your software providers--especially providers of security software--are constantly improving their products to make them safer.
- Don't share private information or details of your life, and be very careful about the information you disclose online. Of course, if you do much online shopping, you have to allow yourself a degree of trust.
- Back up your hard drive at regular intervals, or, better yet, arrange for periodic automated backup to a remote location.
- Educate your family. If they don't know about Internet security, they can cause breaches accidentally.