The internet can open up a world of wonder, information social opportunities and entertainment all with a single click of the mouse. There are innumerable sites for all these activities and most of them are safe and exactly what they say they are. On the other hand, a few simple steps can make safe internet surfing much easier and guard against the few hazards the internet can represent.
The web browser on a computer is the first line of defense against spyware and unsafe websites. Setting the tools options on internet security to medium security settings is the minimum advised but high security is even better. Firewalls and virus scanners can help complete the protection of a computer and secure important personal information.
Most people who use the internet also use email programs and they are incredibly useful for keeping up with friends, entertainment and news that interests us. Do not however run attachments or download programs programs attached to emails unless you know who it is from and why they sent it. Attachments to emails can contain malicious programs which install on the computer in the background.
Check internet settings on your web browser. Allowing scripts to run in background or automatically can result in a less secure computer and possibly unsafe program installation. Carefully read the terms and conditions on any program installing on your computer. If you do not recognize it or did not initiate it, do not allow it to continue.
Personal information on the web should be guarded just as closely as in life. Giving out personal information over the phone or to some person on the street is something few people will do, and the same should apply to giving it out online. It is important to know why the website needs the information and who exactly is requesting it.
Practice good consumer habits and read the fine print carefully on programs you download, you can even choose custom installation and then see what is being installed. When a program says it is free, it may well be but unless you want your search engine changed or more toolbars it is wise to check what else is being installed. If a site offers illegal downloads then you are also taking the risk of downloading more than the program or movie for which you were searching.
Online surfing and entertainment is easy to get to and to use and usually safe but just like driving, a few rules of the internet road should be obeyed. It is important to consider before entering any personal information into any website and know why they feel they need it. It is important as well to do a virus and malware scan to examine anything you download to be sure it contains nothing more than the program you wanted.
The last secret to safe internet surfing is to assure that the passwords used by you to access sites are all different. The most effective passwords use a combination of letters and numbers and usually won’t be found in a dictionary. Almost every password is case sensitive so it is important to write them down exactly as you typed them and then put them in a secure location to which only you have access.
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