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Internet Security - Some threats explained!

Without doubt our going online in the UK has hugely increased. According to the Office for National Statistics 43.5 million of us used the Internet during the first quarter of 2013. By the end of the year this had risen by another 800 thousand. Worldwide the number is over 3 billion (2014). What has also increased, in parallel with this growth, is the incidence of internet crime and a corresponding concern for all of us to be using the Internet safely and securely.
Read more... Internet Security - Some threats explained!


Some simple tips for keeping secure online

Progress with IT, laptop and lock image
  1. Keep your operating system (e.g. Windows) updated. Install automatic updates as they come in.

  2. Keep your anti-virus and firewall programs updated daily.

  3. Carry out a full-system scan with your anti-virus program at least once a month.

  4. Don't click on links in emails that might take you to suspect websites! Instead, if you want to follow a link, either make a note of it and write it into your address bar, the window box of your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox), or use copy and paste to achieve same, and run the link from there - that way you are protected if the link is not kosher.

  5. Web-based emailers (such as Yahoo) run checks on attachments before you can download. This check can be easily overlooked on a home computer client-based emailer. If you are not certain the attachment is kosher the best policy is to save elsewhere - such as your desktop - and run an anti-virus scan on the file before you open it. You'll be able to do this by right-clicking on the file and selecting your anti-virus software to scan it.

  6. If, while online, you suspect things are suddenly happening outside of your control - perhaps you are being taken to a website you never asked to be taken to, or a website is trying to download something onto your machine without your say so - switch off your router immediately, close down your browser, even close down your machine if need be. Reboot and if necessary run a full-system scan. It may not be anything serious but better to be safe than sorry.

Looking for free anti-virus software!?

MS Security Essentials icon

If you are looking for very reliable anti-virus software that is easy to use and free, then look into downloading Microsoft Security Essentials onto your machine.  This program will help 'defend your computer against spyware, viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malicious software.'  It also runs quietly in the background, is unobtrusive, so unobtrusive (it does not drain memory when compared with other anti-virus software that I have used) that it is very easy to forget it is there.  If you schedule your weekly scan and updates (easy to do in the settings), you can in fact leave it to get on with its job and not be bothered by it.  To use or find out more, visit MS Security Essentials.  Note, you must have a legal copy of Windows for it to run.

Housecall - here's another tip for maintaining a clean bill of health on your PC

Housecall icon

Sometimes it makes sense to get a second opinion on the health of your PC - other than from your own anti-virus software.  You can actually do this quickly by using Housecall, an online anti-virus program from Trend Micro. This software basically visits your computer and checks it out for viruses and spyware.  It is easy to use, it's free to use and completely safe.  I use this software on my own machine, and have often used it for a quick second opinion when delivering training on home machines that have not been checked for viruses as regularly as they should be.  To use or find out more, visit Trend Micro, Housecall.

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