Saturday, January 19, 2008

7 Tips for Improving Internet Security

With the growth of the internet on a world wide basis, there has also been an increase in the number of scams and attempts to procure money or identity details illegally. This has given rise to the need to exercise caution in the websites frequented and to use credit card details responsibly for online purchases. Here are some guidelines to increase safety and protect your identity. 1. Always ensure that your browser version is keep up to date. This ensures that you are not exposed to old security flaws that are exploited by ‘phishers’. You can also consider using a browser such as Firefox which is less susceptible to attacks than Internet Explorer. 2. Always install operating system updates, service packs and released patches. This prevents outside attacks from exploiting known system vulnerabilities or taking control of system commands. 3. Install virus software and run this on a regular basis. Always update this continually to keep your database current. This will insulate your system against current known agents and help to remove or quarantine any suspicious files. 4. Run regular spyware and malaware checks to remove any files the software considers a problem. With browser hijackers, keyloggers and advertising tracking all presenting potential security threats, running regular system checks will keep your system free of unwanted files. 5. Do not reply to complete security or account details email requests unless you are absolutely sure the email is authentic. Many commercial companies are being targeted by ‘phishers’ who email account holders and direct them to third party websites under the false pretense of updating personal details. Individuals who comply are exposed to potential identity theft. 6. Complete online banking through secure channels and log out immediately after you have finished. Do not provide any account details to individuals over the internet or through email. 7. Install a firewall and keep it regularly updated. This will protect your computer from system attacks and port scan attempts by hackers looking for vulnerabilities. If you follow the above advice you greater improve your personal security and minimize the chances of security breaches and identity theft. The best defense against malicious behavior is to take offensive action by installing appropriate security software and maintaining regular protocols when using sensitive personal details. Andrew Winthorp owns and operates Phishing Learn more about how to improve your computer security.

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