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Privacy & Protection

Online Protection

Protect Your Computer and Your Privacy


Online and Email Safety
  1. Malware - Email commonly transports malware (malicious software) that can result in identity fraud or computer damage. Malware describes any program designed to cause harm. Some common types of malware include viruses, worms and trojans.
  2. Phishing - Phishing also threatens email users. It is a type of email fraud in which the perpetrator poses as a legitimate, trustworthy, business in order to acquire personal and sensitive information, like passwords or financial data.
  3. Spyware - A method used to capture data by forcing a download of malicious software onto your computer while surfing the internet. Once downloaded, the software runs in the background without your knowledge and captures your keystrokes often leading to personal information or even logon credentials. Thieves then use this information to further gain access to various things such as your bank accounts, online banking, credit cards or even social media sites which then leads to identity theft.

Following some simple guidelines can help you safeguard your email environment.

  • Never include sensitive information in an email.
  • Never open or respond to SPAM (unsolicited bulk email messages)
  • Never click on links within an email
  • Don't open attachments from strangers
  • Don't open attachments with odd extensions
  • Never give out your email address to unknown websites

The following are best practices for browsing the Internet safely and securely.

  • Be selective about where you surf
  • Use a secure web browser
  • Select strong passwords
  • Don't choose "Remember My Password"
  • Don't use public computers for sensitive transactions
  • Use only secure websites when shopping or banking online. Be sure the web address is "https." The "s" means that the website is encrypted and secure. Make sure to "verify" the security of a website by clicking on the "verified by" logo.
  • Log off when you are done using web sites that require a User ID and Password
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Enable the firewall to protect your computer. Keep your operating system and all other software up to date by installing patches/updates immediately. Software vendors release such updates to fix security issues that have been identified, therefore keeping your system up to date lowers your risk.