1.) If you receive a suspicious email don’t open it! If you get an email from a website that you do not have an account at just delete it. A lot of viruses and attacks will try to look like a legitimate message from a bank or other website like EBay.

2.) If you happen to open an email you think is suspicious there are a few tell tail signs that something is not right. Look for broken English. People sending fake and malicious emails are not very intelligent and often are not from the US. An email from your bank or any account you have online will almost NEVER have misspellings and poor grammar.

3.) Never click on a link in an email or webpage unless you are 100% sure where it goes. It is possible to make a link like ebay.com go to an entirely different site. Try it- click the previous link that says ebay.com and you will be taken to my website! There is a very easy way to look out for this. Whenever you put your mouse over a link you can see the actual website link in the bottom left hand of the web browser. Take a look at the following image for a demonstration. If you see a site that does not look right DO NOT CLICK on the link. If the link contains and odd extension like .hk (for hong kong) it is probablly a site that will contain a virus. Another sign of bad site is if the link has a series of numbers such as The series of numbers is called an ip address which is a unique number for each computer on the internet, much like a telephone number. If you click on a link like this there is a good change you will be directed to a site containing a virus.


4.) Any time that you enter your personal information into a webpage make sure that the address bar has https:// instead of http:// (see the picture below for a demonstration). This will ensure that your information is being sent encrypted to the website you are viewing. If you do not see the https:// in the address bar then any personal information you enter will be sent in clear text across the internet. Any legitimate website with a login (such as your bank) will use encryption (the https:// in the address bar).


5.) Run an antivirus program. If you are running a PC you absolutely must run antivirus. My personal recommendation is Panda Antivirus (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/solutions/antivirus/). I have had found Panda to work the best and its only $50 a year for a version that can be installed on up to 3 computers. If $50 a year is too much (and believe me its not) there are free programs like AVG Free (http://free.avg.com/) and Avast (http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html).

6.) Update your system. Antivirus programs should be set to automatically update and automatically scan. Windows updates should also be set to automatically update. Software manufactures put out updates for a reason. Most of the time systems updates address security vulnerabilities.

These tips are not meant to be the end all guide to web browsing safety. People writing malicious code are always at least one step ahead of antivirus manufacturers. The key is to be proactive and use caution when browsing the Internet- it can be a very dangerous place.

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