Basic rules for online safety
Install antivirus software
Viruses and Trojans are designed to infect the computer or receive data from the computer. Viruses are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex with each passing year. Regardless of whether you are connected to the internet or not, it’s always best to have an antivirus program installed on your PC.
Install Windows updates
Windows Update is a service offered by Microsoft that enables your computer to stay updated and protected against vulnerabilities to malware and other harmful components. Visit Windows Update to update your computer. Microsoft announces software updates that are designed to resolve security threats. All critical updates (important) that are FREE must be downloaded and installed. To install the “update” follow the instructions:
- Click the Start/ windowsbutton,
- Go toAll Programs,
- Select Windows Update,
- Install all critical updates
- You can select the option to automatically install the update.
Install a firewall
A Firewall helps in filtering internet traffic, so malware and hackers do not have access to computers. Almost all internet security packages have a firewall built into them. Windows XP, Vista and 7 come with a built-in firewall.
Install tools to remove spyware / malware
Spyware and malware programs are designed for stealing passwords, identity theft, and creating pop-ups (pop-up window covering other windows). Malware will infect computers with viruses and Trojans.
Install parental control software
With this software, parents can restrict access to Windows; block certain websites and limit access to functions such as Control Panel, documents and much more.
Install a second internet browser
Viruses and spyware often target Internet Explorer. Once a malware or virus infects the computer, they are designed to keep Internet Explorer off internet access. Installing a second browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera will let you have internet access in order to remove the viruses.
Disable Java Script
Create a backup of important documents on your computer. You can back up your documents using an external hard disk (External Hard Drive, Flash Drive – USB) or register for an online file backup and storage service, such as Dropbox, Mozy, Gdrive, etc. It is recommended that the backup is done on a weekly basis. The best alternative is to back up your computer online because this way information is stored permanently.
Do not install unsecured programs from the internet (pop -up)
Internet is swarming with websites designed to download spyware and viruses. A pop-up may appear on your screen asking you to install a game or something else that looks fun, but most of these are fakeprograms and contain malware, spyware or viruses. If you get a random pop-up from a site asking you to install something, select NO.
Never open an e-mail attachment from an unknown sender
Almost all computers get infected with viruses via email attachments. If you get an email with an attachment and a subject line intended to attract your attention which has been sent by someone you do not know, do not click on it. Delete the email immediately.
Create a secure password
When creating a password you should not use your name, surname or generic words. Preferably, the password should be 8-14 characters in length, consisting of a combination of numbers, capitals and lowercase letters, and special characters. Here are some examples of strong passwords:
Weak password Strong password
Never share passwords with others
Do not use the same password on all sites. If it is stolen, all the information that is protected with that password will be compromised.
Keep the Wireless Network secure
We are witnessing a fast growth of wireless network usage, mainly because of their convenience of use. However, if not secured,wireless networks are vulnerable to hackers and data theft. Therefore, you should always take care to keep your home wireless network secure. All computer users have a responsibility to secure Wireless. If you have a wireless network in your home, you should take the following steps to make it secure.
Change your admin password for getting in into your own wireless router. The default passwords set in most wireless routers are “admin” or “password.” Hackers are aware of these default passwords for entering into most routers and that is why you should change yourpassword.
Change the SSID (Service set identifier) name of your network and turn network name broadcasting off. SSID represent your network’s name. If the network name broadcasting is turned on, everyone can see your network’s name. You should turn network name broadcasting off so that your network’s name is not visible to anyone else.
Encrypt your Wireless with WEP or WPA. We recommend that you use WPA with the AES option. WPA will encrypt your wireless networks and ask for a password anytime someone attempts to enter it. AES offers 128 bit encryption and is used by governments to protect data. AES is not only safe, but also very fast. The password you created for accessing your network must be complex and over 10 characters in length.
Public Wireless Networks
Wireless networks are free to use in public places like cafes, shopping centres, etc. These wireless networks are fully open to the public and are unsecured.