What are those badly misbehaving boys and girls doing on the Internet these days? Why, they’re creating viruses to put havoc into our online lives by infecting our computers and mobile devices, which potentially can expose our personal identity as well as infiltrate our online security.
Yes, there are literally thousands upon thousands of “New” viruses which are released on a daily basis, as in today, and then tomorrow, then the day after that as well, bringing the saying ‘Get A Life” to a completely new level.
So it’s important that you, your business and your family and each and every one of the devices which has online access, such as your smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktop computers are protected from these potential threats. Although most are obviously aware of these various risks, surprisingly, very few protect themselves properly.
A ‘How To’ Guide On Protecting Yourself, Your Business And Your Family From Online Security Risks
How You Can Reduce Email Spam
Spam, other than that mystery meat in a can, is unwanted email advertising that is unsolicited and mass-distributed, where the senders are hoping to hit a bulls eye, which becomes a numbers game for them where they will send out millions of spam emails every day, hoping to get a hit or two.
The material can at times be actually legitimate, but it’s methods of how it reaches the end user is not. The majority of spam however, and it’s means of delivering fraudulent emails are mostly information containing links to deceptive phishing type of sites that attempts to lure you into revealing your private information.
Those responsible for sending out spam gets your email address from malware on your computer, chat-rooms and forums, or by just combining a variety of characters until they match up a valid email address.
Those who spam are able to infect computers with malicious emails, potentially turning your computer into robots that are able to send out the spam emails for them. Unbelievably, security experts estimates that spam accounts for close to 80% percent of all global email traffic that’s sent. So it’s critical that you protect yourself from receiving spam by following these steps:
• Make sure that you install comprehensive security software which can detect sophisticated spam and their various tactics for all of your devices which are online and connected to the internet. Make sure that it updates on a daily basis
• Because your email address as well as your instant messaging accounts are extremely important and valuable to you, take it upon yourself to protect them
• Always be wary when you receive attachments with your email messages, especially if it’s from someone you don’t know, delete them immediately
• Make sure that you educate your kids by telling them not to fill out each and every online survey and not registering for every contest or fan club that they come across
• Use Internet service providers which implements superior security measures as well as having an active spam prevention system
Protecting Yourself From Phishing Techniques
Phishing as far as Internet terror goes, is particularly bad. Those who hide in the dark corners of the world will set up fake websites copying a real financial institution such as a bank, an online eCommerce store, or a large credit card company. They will then attempt to fool unsuspecting people online through constantly spamming a targeted list of e-mail addresses, hoping they will get lucky by again playing the “Numbers Game,” in the hopes of finding real genuine customers of these financial institutions or online entities who respond.
The emails will always look extremely convincing, complete with the establishments logo along with a legitimate looking and written email message, for example, from an online store saying something similar like… their recent credit card purchase has been declined. It could also be from a legit looking bank stating that they have recently detected unauthorized activity from an unknown IP address on their account. The messages will almost usually completely emulate and copy what the online bank or retailer would send out to make it seem totally real.
The email message will then ask you to click on a link of some type, which leads you to their fake site. Once there, the site will ask you to enter your private confidential information that can be used to access your real accounts, resulting in identity theft.
How To Avoid Phishing Tactics:
Make sure that your computers operating system always has the latest patched version of the OS of your browser, which should be updated with the most current security technologies.
• Keep in mind that banks as well as credit card institutions should and never will e-mail you directly asking for your PIN number
• Always check the email address of the sender, make sure you properly check the URL of the website, and always look for the “https” indicating it’s a secure site
• Make sure that your Internet service provider (ISP) always implements top notch, up to date anti-spam measures as well as anti-phishing technology and policies
• All of your online connectable devices should be protected with the best security software that’s available, and always keep it up dated or better yet, it should update itself daily
Safe And Secure Online Shopping
When online, practically everyone now buys music, software, books as well as tangible goods such as furniture, computers and even automobiles when on the Internet. There are millions who enjoy the ease and the cost savings of shopping online. The security features which are used on all of the reputable online stores ensure that the transactions are all 100% perfectly safe as well as secure. There are some safety tips however that you should be following to avoid becoming another victim of identity theft.
• Ensure that you’re using a payment method that will give you protection after the sale and always check your credit card statements online if possible directly after the purchase
• The largest and the most reputable online retailers will always offer specialized encrypted technology that verifies your personal identity information, so your purchase will always remain safe throughout the entire transaction
• Make sure that you install comprehensive security software for your online device which can identify as well as block any possible threats while shopping online
How To Be As Safe As Possible When Online Chatting
Instant messaging (IM) is all the rage right now as it’s an extremely simple way to instantly communicate with someone online. However, there are sophisticated methods which can constantly monitor your every text without you ever knowing while Instant Messaging. These attacks can be as frequent as email attacks.
Also, teens and the younger crowd are the ones who mostly frequent these chat rooms, as a means to easily connecting with their friends next door or their families anywhere in the world. They can often become a victim of online bullies, as well as their new found “friends” who can pressure these young kids into revealing their private information.
So You Can Protect Your Family By:
• Choosing your online screen name carefully, this should only be shared with those that you trust, and make sure that your kids ask their friends to never share that screen name with anyone else
• Never when asked or prompted, provide your private identity information such as passwords or account numbers during an Internet Messaging conversation or chat
• Make sure you spend time with your kids explaining the dangers that are lurking when it comes to online chatting
• Always install up dated security software on your online devices
• Try to monitor as well as limit your kid’s usage of instant messaging, social networking and chatting
Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft
Identity theft is becoming rampant as well as an extreme nuisance that affects millions of unsuspecting people yearly. It occurs when someone you don’t know steals and then uses your personal identity information, such as your name, address, passwords or credit card details online, to commit crimes posing as you.
Unfortunately, the Internet is the main source for the stealing of personal information, identity’s and data. Once they have your personal information, these identity thieves will open new credit card accounts under your name, as well as making purchases or even get a job or rent a house using your stolen ID.
You are usually not even aware that you are a victim of identity theft until it’s too late. That’s when debt collectors or credit card companies will begin contacting you about your outstanding debt that you obviously never incurred.
How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft:
• Invest and install in all of your online connected devices a trusted security software program
• Never get tricked or coerced into revealing any of your private information by any type of phishing tactic
• Make sure that your Wi-Fi network is always securely protected by an unbreakable password
• Always carefully check all of your financial statements from your bank as well as the credit card companies
• Keep your kids informed about always keeping their personal information secure by never revealing personal data to anyone
Protecting Your Children While Online
The Internet offers your kids with a great variety of entertainment, allowing them to learn, communicate, explore and learn new and exciting things. But with all this, it also poses great dangers. They meeting a potential online offender should and does rank as one of the worst threats that children can endure. There are other serious concerns as well, such as the easy accessibility to certain unwanted “photo and video” content that’s readily available on the internet, as well as sites that promotes unwanted influences.
The loss of privacy also poses as another risk and a concern, especially because of the prominence of the various social networking sites out there. You can help by teaching your kids in guarding their own personal online identities and information by following these guidelines:
• If at all possible, discreetly monitor your kids usage of the Internet. Some may say it’s an invasion of their privacy, but it’s better to keep them safe, your decision
• Make sure all of your online computers has the latest, strongest and the most secure security software and keep it updated at all times, make the settings kid safe
• Always educate your kids by constantly telling them never to reveal any of their privacy information when online
• Always communicate with your kids as it’s imperative that they immediately let you know if they come in contact with anyone online that they are not comfortable with. Or… Gasp! if they’ve arranged to meeting someone in person that they met online
• Adjust the settings on your Internet browsers to make it “kid safe” or use search engines which are oriented for kids
Protecting Your Online Devices Connected To The Internet
What online thieves do is fool you into revealing your private information and data, they constantly phish to retrieve your financial data or install malicious viruses or malware on any of your devices which has access to the internet.
While there is a wide range of online threats and may at times seem overwhelming, you can protect your computer by following a few basic rules to keep your Web connected devices safe and secure:
• You should never under any circumstances provide your name, work or home address, or the details of your credit card to a site which is not authenticated or secure (https).
• Never install any type of application, software program or open files from any source that’s not reputable. If you do, make sure that your security software scans the program before it’s downloaded
• Make sure you have self updating security software to protect your mobile devices, laptops and home computers
• Create difficult to crack strong passwords, and change them regularly
• Always pay attention and keep track of your children’s activities when they are online
Portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops are a lot more vulnerable than desktop computers, as the security software is not as advanced as they are for home computers and network servers. It is now vitally important that you constantly look after your online property, making sure that all of your devices along with the information that’s stored in them are properly protected.
There are a wide range of options that you can take to protecting your online activity and staying safe while on the Internet. There are those in the cyber world who are always after the vulnerable, they are also becoming more sophisticated, persistent and ruthless on a daily basis.