Online Protection 12 Tips to help Protect You online

However, there are some ways you can protect yourself from these computer predators.  By utilizing these simple steps, you can give yourself a fighting chance against these online cybercriminals:

1:  First, if your computer’s operating system has a firewall, spam blocker or some other security application built in, make sure you activate it.  Also, if your ISP provides you with protection, use it.  Email services offered by Yahoo, Google, and MSN offer protection for email spam and are easily activated.

2:  Next, most operating systems have a setting for automatically updating the security on them.  Many operating systems need to have their security updated to catch the latest threats.  Set them up to automatically update or manually update them.

3:  If your computer and Internet browser is outdated, make sure you updated them.  If you are running an older version of Windows, update to the latest such as Windows 8 that allows you to surf the Web more protected.  Upgrading your Internet browser will at least will notify you about known forged or phished Web sites.

4:  When not using your computer for long periods of time, shut it down.  Or at least unplug your Internet cable to reduce the chance of a remote invasion to your computer.  Of course, you will also be saving energy as well.

5:  Avoid using computers at libraries, hotels, or airports for conduction personal business.  Also, avoid using your own personal computer on a public wireless network.  Especially if you have not disabled the computer-to-computer network connection on your system.

6:  Try to download from only from well-known manufactures or trusted sites.  With the millions of free utilities, games and other software on the Internet that can be useful, many are full of viruses and spyware.  Download carefully.

7:  Antivirus software works, so use it.  Antivirus software programs will help prevent virus loaded  files from being transferred from PC to PC’s.

8:  Stay one-step ahead of spam email.  Create a disposable email address that you use for shopping only.  Many of the free email services such as Yahoo, Google and MSN are easy to setup.  If that disposable email address begins to fill with spam, abandon it or change to another email address.

9:  Unbelievably, using your credit cards online offers better protection than most other online options.  Another way is that some credit card issuers let you generate a virtual account number that is valid for a single purchase for a fixed dollar limit.

10:  Just because the site says its certified safe, it may not.  Some sites may seem reputable but there is no assurance that it is.  Read the fine print and research a site by getting recommendations from friends and checking reviews online before giving that site any personal information.

11:  Never respond to an email requesting personal information such as passwords, social security numbers, or user names.  Many cybercriminals use sites that look very official and can fool many users.  Call the company and verify by phone before giving out any information.

12:  Lastly, review your accounts regularly.  Review your credit card and bank statements every time you get them.  If you see a suspicious charge or withdrawal, report it immediately.