Father and daughter play as father surfs online at the kitchen table.

Computer Security

Knowing how to secure your computer is one of the best ways to protect yourself while you’re online.

Here are some tips that will help you to avoid online fraud, malware infections, and identity theft:

  • Use credible antivirus and antimalware (av/am) software and keep it current. There are some excellent software systems available. The important take-aways related to this software is to verify that it is running and that you’re keeping current with your updates.
  • Consider installing anti-spyware (as) software onto your computer. Not all av/am systems protect against spyware. These systems monitor what’s leaving your computer more than what’s coming into your computer. If it sees credit card numbers, social security numbers, or what appears to be passwords attempting to leave your computer, it will stop the transfer and alert.
  • Firewalls are great tools for preventing outsiders from getting into your computer. These are different from av/am/as systems because firewalls monitor all the traffic entering or leaving your computer and create a barrier between parts of your computer that are supposed to talk to the Internet and parts that aren’t. Your computer probably already has a firewall installed, but you should make sure that it’s turned on and working.
  • Turn on automatic updates for your operating system and any software that you’ve installed. Most viruses and malware take advantage of programming errors in your operating system or other programs that scammers can exploit and use to help them get into your computer. Once these vulnerabilities are found, the software manufactures will create updates for their software to eliminate these errors and distribute them to you in the form of updates.

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