While it seems impossible to keep your computer completely safe from Malware, you should know that devious websites are not the only place you can contract such infections. Simply clicking on the wrong link or website at the wrong time can often be the culprit. To try and avoid this possibility, here are some tips for you to help keep you and your information safe from potential dangers online:
- The web browser you choose to use can affect your chances
a. Increase your browse security settings to filter out questionable websites
b. Use anti-virus (The Mouse Pad Recommends AVAST) and a software firewall (hardware firewall if possible)
c. We recommend Google Chrome as the most reliable browser & search engine
d. Keep an eye on plug-ins & browser extensions that get installed. Make sure you only run those that are absolutely necessary
- Disable stored passwords, use smart passwords that you can remember
a. Come up with a system for using unique passwords for different websites that you can still remember (for instance, a prefix phrase containing capital letters and numbers, followed by the first few letters of the website/service you are logging into.
b. Examples (using “4MyP@ss” as your common prefix
i. For Ebay, the password would be 4MyP@ssEBA
ii. For Facebook, the password would be 4MyP@ssFAC
- Before entering a Password on any website, make sure the URL starts with HTTPS.
a. This verifies that the site is secure
- A website you visit can be disguised as a “Spyware Trap”
a. A pop-up you click on, even to close it
b. A deceptive link that you follow
c. A clickable graphic that takes you to a questionable site
d. Web code / scripts attached to emails are often infected
- Avoid questionable websites
a. Ad’s on social media
b. Links on social media, emails, or from other sites leading to different sites
c. Adult sites
d. File sharing web sites (especially if they are free)
e. Any downloadable links or free templates
- Only download software from websites you trust
a. Evaluate free software and file sharing applications before downloading them
b. Look up reviews on websites and programs, sometimes someone will leave a path to the truth on a forum to protect others.
- Keep your browser software and computer software up to date
a. If you don’t want to manually check for updates, there are options to have these things automatically update themselves
- Run anti-virus software frequently
a. You can often scan items through your anti-virus before downloading them
- Beware of Phishing attacks
a. Hacked accounts will often send out emails searching for sensitive information disguised as someone you know.
b. Never give out private information over the web
c. If something like this occurs, ALWAYS question it, and verify the source personally
- Read privacy Policies.
a. Privacy policies provide details on how your information is collected, protected, and used
- Avoid using free WiFi
a. Online attackers use this high way to compromise wireless information
- Turn on your browser’s pop up blocker
a. If you are in a situation such as downloading software, this blocker can easily be disabled. Just immediately reactive once process is complete