Internet Security for the Non-Geek

I came across an article I’d put aside regarding internet security. This article was well written and entitled “Internet safety for grandparents: What to do when you’ve been compromised.” I’d put it aside basically because it was information I was already aware of. But then I had to walk my daughter through an emergency clean up of her machine because somehow she’d gotten so infected she couldn’t even log onto her school site to do her assignments. The first thing I asked her was what type of anti-virus software she was using and I heard a lengthy silence on her end. She eventually admitted she had none. We tried a few clean up tricks, but her computer was too far gone. I ended up walking her through a restoration, which to you non-techies is a complete reformat of the hard drive and setting it back to the way it was when she bought it.

Soooo, I figure that most individuals, even those of my blood that should know better, maybe aren’t up on the basics so I’m attaching a link to Brenda Coxe’s wonderful article. I sincerely hope you take the time to read through the article and indulge in at least the minimum levels of safety on your home and office computers.

Keep virus protection up to date and running in the background. If you can’t afford to pay for the biggies, or even if you can, I recommend AVG Free or AVG Professional. The only difference between the paid and unpaid versions is the amount of control and customizability available in the paid version. Both offer the same excellent protection. Also make sure to set your virus protection to scan email attachments.

Do not open email attachments from anyone you don’t know and question the ones that come from people you do know. Most computers are infected by the users themselves.

Never tell anyone your login information for any website to which you are registered. Most phishing will try to get you to login to a spoof site (a site that looks just like the original) for your bank or paypal or ebay account. Always go to the main site through your browser, not by clicking a link in an email you’ve received.

Use a pop-up blocker. These days, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, all offer free versions. Holding the control key down when clicking on a link will allow the popup. And yes, there are legitimate reasons to use popups on a website, not all are geared toward porn and viagra!

Read the article mentioned above for more information. And have a great day and safe internet experience!

1 thought on “Internet Security for the Non-Geek

  1. I thought this was a very good article and will be using it in some of my securit awareness training sessions at the college.

    –Carlos O aka Cipher.

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