Internet Security...Best Practices and Tools!
Whether at work, or at home...below are 5 quick ways to help protect you and your data/personal information from being attacked:
1. Don't Take Social Media Offers at Face Value
"To ensure safe social networking, never connect with anyone you haven't met, verify the identity of new friends and look out for scam messages, even from trusted friends, which could indicate an imposter," says Joe Ferrara, president and CEO of Wombat Security Technologies in Pittsburgh.
2. Don't Ignore Updates
"You also have to keep your computer's operating system and the programs that run on your computer up-to-date," Merritt says. "Don't ignore prompts to update your operating system or applications with critical security fixes," says Marian Merritt, a Los Angeles-based author of "Family Online Safety Guide," written for Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus.
3. Don't Forget to Eye the URL
"Make sure that anytime that you are putting in sensitive information that the Web address starts with 'https' instead of 'http,'" Eldridge says. "That little 's' stands for secure, so the website has to have additional security precautions on the page keeping you safer and a whole lot less likely to have your information stolen," says Andrea Eldridge, CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer and electronics repair service based in Redding, Calif.
4. Don't Assume Mobile Apps Are Safe
For sheer convenience, it's hard to beat the allure of banking with your smartphone. But before you download an app that promises to turn your phone into a wallet, it's a good idea to ask yourself if you're trading convenience for security.
5. Don't Click on Shortened URLs
Even if you know the person who has posted the link, it's a good idea to proceed with caution. When you see a shortened link "you do not know what the actual Web address is until you click," says Gary Bahadur, CEO of Miami-based KRAA Security and author of "Securing the Clicks: Network Security in the Age of Social Media." According to Bahadur, scammers often use shortened URLs to lead victims to a malicious software, or "malware," website.
Other Helpful Resource:
IBM Offers Free Internet Security Training Tools
IBM has released free training tools designed to help students, teachers, and parents improve Internet security.
Among materials made available by IBM are three volunteer kits provided free to students, parents and teachers.
The three kits include:
1. Control Your Online Identity, a training tool designed to teach teenagers how to be more aware of the image and information they present online;
2. Internet Safety Coaching, a tool for parents and teachers with tips and information on how to prepare young children for social media and instant messaging; and
3. Cyberbullying, a tool for adults on how to prepare youth to recognize and respond to bullying that takes place online.