How to protect your Identity and your money online.
Protect your Computer
- Firstly you need to make sure the computer is protected. This means install an antivirus program and antispyware program (what is a computer Virus?). There are various free ones out there. Please check out our free tools pages for free to download ones. However it is better to pay for a more complete protection, the saying goes “you get what you pay for”. Do not install more than 1 Antivirus program as this will impede performance.
- Make sure windows firewall is turned on. (Click Start, click Run, type Firewall.cpl, and then click OK, On the General tab, click On (recommended), Click OK.) - (what is a firewall)
- Make sure Windows is up to date with latest service packs and patches.
If you’re shopping online, try and make sure you are buying from a well know and reputable company:
- Do they have a real-world presence? I.e. do they have offices somewhere, can you see their address and phone number?
- Does the company have a returns policy and after sales support?
- Is their website secure? Look for ‘https://’ at the beginning of the address bar and the padlock icon should be bottom right of the window you are using. This is especially important when you are paying for any items or passing across your personal information.
- You could also check the internet for feedback on the company. Other customer reviews can be helpful in determining whether to use them or not.
- Always try and use companies that are in the same country as you. This way you know they are bound by the same rules as companies in that country. Also you will avoid any potential import duties.
- When buying online use safe ways to pay, such as pay pal or credit cards. This way the transaction is protected if something goes wrong.
- Do not open any emails from sources you do not know.
- Do not click on links from sources you do not know.
- Even if an email is from a person you know, be aware their computer may be compromised so if it’s an email about free money, or you’ve won a competition, be very wary.
- If you are unsure, it’s best not to open it.
- There are many email scams out there. Popping the heading of an email into a search engine will often take you to a page which will let you know whether or not the email is a scam.
- Legitimate companies will NEVER ask you to confirm username and passwords in an email. Never click on a link if you get one of these emails.
- Do not store personal information on your computer
- Do not store passwords on your computer.
- Do not give away too much personal information on social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace.
- Do not add people you don’t know onto your social networking site
- Use different passwords for each website and change them regularly.
- Use a strong password. A strong password is one that is 8 characters or more using Capital letters, numbers and symbols. Using real words weakens the password. Using words linked to you such as name, work name, are not good passwords.
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