Being Safe Online

The internet is an essential tool for gathering and sharing information and transacting business.  However, there is some information that you must protect while online, such as your social security number, credit card numbers, and other personal information.  Additionally, it is important to protect your computer from viruses while surfing the web.  Viruses can potentially crash your computer, contaminate or delete files, and give hackers access to your personal information.  Luckily, there are some basic rules that, when followed, will help protect your computer and personal information.  First and foremost, you should never go to a questionable website or open a suspicious e-mail or attachment.  To insure your computer’s health, it is important to have antivirus software installed and to regularly scan your computer for viruses.  To insure that important files and information are not lost in the event that your computer crashes, you should regularly make backups of important files either on separate devices such as a flash drive or a separate hard drive, or off-site onto a cloud.  When you are conducting business transactions online it is critical to use SSL or https sites to protect your privacy.  To safeguard your e-mail, bank accounts, and other online accounts you should have a separate password for each account.  These passwords should be a unique combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and symbols, no less than nine characters in length, and not easily guessed.  Since no password is hundred percent secure, it is a good idea to regularly change your passwords.  I am proud to say that I have followed all of these rules and so far have had no major problems on the internet.  However, one must never let his guard down for good luck in the past does not guarantee good luck in the future.

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