Posted by: marggran | August 8, 2010

Security Online

Most of us are worried by the possibility of someone ‘hacking into’ our computer system or obtaining sensitive information from our computers and online activities.  Here are a few practices that one can employ to protect online security and personal information.

  • DO ensure that you have you have Virus Protection and Firewall Software installed, and that this is regularly updated.  Most reputable software has an automatic updating facility that checks for updated when you log your computer into the internet.
  • DO NOT open emails or attachments from unknown sources – one of the most common ways for malware to infect your computer is via email attachments, usually purporting to offer you some benefit.
  • DO NOT send personal information, such as banking details by email.  Legitimate banks or financial institutions do not ask you for such details via email.
  • DO regularly scan your system for viruses and harmful programs.
  • DO protect you wireless network with a password.  As wireless networks become more common, it is easy for an unprotected network to be easily accessed and you valuable data load be misused, or your system be hacked into and valuable information retrieved from it.
  • DO protect your online accounts with strong password.  Depending on the value of the information and sites, this password needs to be secure and regularly updated.  A strong password will generally be made up of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.  You should secure your password information where you can readily access it, but not where an malcontent may readily find it.
  • DO NOT stay logged into online locations from a public place.  Be careful about accessing your valuable online sites, such as your bank, form a public place or open wireless connection, and do log out once you have finished using such a service.
  • DO backup your valuable data regularly to portable media.  For valuable commercial data, a portable hard-drive which can be secured, is better that a USB flash drive.  If you keep your valuable data in a laptop, do password protect your laptop and ensure that valuable data is backed up and stored elsewhere.
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