Stay Safe Online
- Make sure you only download files from trusted sites. Some disreputable websites contain viruses disguised as legitimate downloads and pop-ups that install malware.
- Check security certificates before entering personal information online to ensure the website is legtimate.
Think Before You Click!
Double-check the URL! The URL for a website will tell you whether you are browsing securely or not. Check to see if it begins with http or https. Https means you are accessing the site on a secure connection.
- Never open an email attachment that you aren't expecting, even if it looks like it comes from someone you know. If it asks for personal information or requires you to click on an email link to login, it's usually a scam.
- Email spam is often harmless, but some spammers disguise messages to look like legitimate email. You should never download attachments from unfamiliar sources or send passwords over email.
- Remember that organizations such as PayPal or your bank will never ask for account numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information over email.
Spyware and Malware
Malware is malicious software that hinders your computer's performance and may be installed without your knowledge. It is generally difficult to remove from your computer.
Spyware is a type of malware that is used to siphon personal information from your computer.
When downloading anit-spyware software, make sure you're downloading a legitimate software:
- Look at the website of the anti-spyware website, and read a few of their descriptions and introductions. Most of the fake anti-spyware websites will be full of spelling errors and poor English.
- Do not install any programs that make you uneasy or that seem suspicious to you.
Making Your Public Profile More Private
There will often be different levels of security that you can customize on your social media platforms. While the most restrictive option is generally the best, it's up to your discretion to configure these settings. Just remember:
- Categories such as "Friends of Friends" may include parents, bosses, and a whole host of people whose access you have no control over.
- Making information available to an entire network could include teachers, administrators, or any of the people mentioned above.
- If you leave a particular category completely open, then anyone with a computer seeking information about you will be able to access it.