1. Never give out your password to ANYONE.
• Your password is the most important thing that you can lose while using a computer. If your password gets compromised you could lose money, credits card and even your identity.
• Make sure to never give out your password to anyone and keep it in a safe place.
o It is a good idea to frequently change your password and try to not use things that include your name, birthday, spouses name or any other personal information. Try to not use the same passwords for all of your sites and accounts.
2. This goes right along with your password. Do NOT give out your username or email address to random sites or people.
• Your username/email is very important because if these are find out it can make it much easier to break into your online account.
o Your email address is usually used as a username for a lot of sites so that is why it is a good idea to not sign up for newsletters and random sites that you do not trust.
3. Do not give out personal information over the phone or through email.
• There are times that people will pose as Microsoft or another big company and call your home or send you email to get you to divulge personal information.
o Double check email address that you receive because these can be fraudulent. You might see an address that is email@example.com, if you notice closely there is a 0 instead of an o in there. Just be weary of email from people you do not know.
4. Keep anti-virus software and firewall turned on and up to date.
• Anti-virus software is not perfect, but it is %100 better than not having any kind of protection at all. The best practice is to check anti-virus version at least once a week because most update daily and they need to maintain a current database.
o Firewalls close open ports and are the first line of defense when someone tries to attack your computer. Make sure it is turned.
5. Keep your computer up to date.
• Windows systems are updated every second Tuesday of the month. These updates are essential at keeping known flaws fixed and not providing openings that can threaten your protection.
o All computers use third party software like Flash Player or Java. From time to time these will flash up on the screen asking to update. Double check what the update is for before clicking install.
6. Do NOT share your location on Facebook or any other social media site.
• Social media sites can track your location via GPS and can cause big problems for people. Many kids post where they eat or check in at locations and this can cause a potential threat to their safety.
o Another good practice is to not post any pictures while on vacation because this shows people that you are not at your home and can cause a threat to your house.
7. Turn all privacy settings off on all social media.
• It is not a good idea to leave your Facebook, Twitter or other social.
o Many people will stalk and keep tabs on people through social media so the less people can see the better.
A good rule of thumb is to never post personal information on the web that you think people can use against you.
8. Make sure that the site is secure before entering confidential information on the internet.
• There is a little lock at the upper left hand corner in the website address bar that shows whether the site is secured by HTTPS or not.
o Sites can be duplicated very easily and they can be very convincing.
9. Do not click on ads.
• Ads are everywhere. These little buggers can be nasty and like to cause issues. They can be very tempting to click on because sites track what you look at and show you ads based on those.
o Ads can be false links or contain a hidden download and can infect your system very quickly.
It is a good idea to install an ad blocker on your web browser to help prevent these in the first place.
10. Avoid downloading anything from the internet.
• It is very hard to figure out what can be good or bad before downloading it from the internet. It is always a good idea to do research on anything before downloading it.
o This is where a good virus protection can come in handy because many of these things are already being blocked by the anti-virus software companies and will flag a lot of potential threats immediately.