Friday, August 28, 2009

Tips to Stay Safe Online and Protect Your Privacy

Don’t reply to spam.
Ever get one of those strange, unexpected e-mails for real estate, weight loss, work-at-home or speculation opportunities? Your best bet is to delete those e-mails without opening them. Never reply to these e-mails, even to remove your name from their lists. Replying will alert the sender that your e-mail is a “live” e-mail attached to an actual person.

Secured Web sites only.
Before you purchase a product or service online with a credit card, make sure the connection is secure or encrypted. Look for a small lock icon on the Web site, or look at the URL address line; a secure connection will begin with https:// instead of http://.

Beware of public wireless sites.
Don’t send personal or confidential information when using public wireless connections in coffee shops and other public places. Fellow wireless users could potentially monitor your Internet usage from their laptops, only a few feet away.

Watch your cookies.
Cookies are tidbits of information that Web sites store on your computer. Some cookies are useful, such as those that store information about you so you don’t have to retype it every time you go to that site. Other cookies, though, can be used to track your motions through a Web site, the pages you visit or the links you click. Some companies keep this data to themselves – however, some companies sell this information to other marketers. You can monitor and edit the cookies on your computer through your browser.

Install anti-spyware.
Spyware is sneaky software that rides its way onto computers during the download of screensavers, games, music and other applications. Spyware sends information about what you're doing on the Internet to a third-party, usually to target you with pop-up ads. spyware removal will help block this threat.

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