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Internet Security

Online Safety First!

We've got top-notch tech and security standards to safeguard your info and meet all those data protection rules. But you? You've got a role to play, too. Let's team up to keep you doubly secure. 

 

Meet Antivirus Software

Antivirus software: the superhero scanning your hard drive for viruses, booting them out of the system. But here's the catch: it only knows about the villains it's seen before. New baddies pop up fast, so hit that update button weekly, minimum.

 

With tons of antivirus options out there, do your homework. Make sure your pick's set to update every time you power up, and keep it scanning quietly in the background. Updates are a breeze, taking just a couple of minutes, all behind the scenes. Stay safe out there! 

Shielding Against Spyware

Spyware: the sneaky spy of the digital world, snooping on your computer activities without you even knowing. It slinks onto your system through deception and sends your private data to third parties, all without your consent.

What's it up to? Well, in its milder form, it's known as adware, playing the nosy neighbor tracking your online habits for companies, and occasionally popping up ads as you browse.

In its darker guise, it's like a Trojan horse, grabbing your passwords, banking info, and credit card details, then handing them over to cyber crooks when you connect.

So, how do you fend it off? Spyware removers are your heroes, hunting down these rogue programs just like antivirus tools, plus they can put the kibosh on those pesky pop-up ads. Plenty of free anti-spyware programs are out there, like Ad-Aware.

Watch for signs! If pop-up windows sprout like weeds on your screen, spyware or adware might've invaded. Run a scan with tools like Ad-Aware or Windows Defender to evict them. And if you're on Windows XP Service Pack 2 or newer, activate Internet Explorer's pop-up blocker like so:

  1. Click on 'Tools.'

  2. Go to 'Internet Options.'

  3. Head to the 'Privacy' tab.

  4. Check that 'pop-up blocker' box.
     

Keep those digital spies at bay!

Demystifying Firewalls

So, what's a firewall, you ask? It's like the guardian of your personal computer and home network, shielding them from all the nasty digital tricksters out there. The main villain? Malware, the troublemaker of the cyber realm.

Now, a firewall has two ways to keep the bad stuff out:

  1. It can let everything in except the data that doesn't meet certain criteria.

  2. Or, it can play it super strict, allowing only traffic that follows a predefined set of rules.
     

With a sea of firewall and antivirus products to choose from, it's wise to do some detective work. Most antivirus packages throw in a firewall as a bonus, often at no extra charge. You can set them up together, a real two-for-one deal.

Here's a tip: Make sure your firewall software auto-updates. If you don't have a dedicated firewall and rely on Windows, keep the Windows firewall switched on. You'll find it in the Security Centre of the Control Panel.

And for that extra layer of protection, set your chosen firewall to check for updates whenever you power up your computer and let it do some background scanning. Those updates are quick, usually just a couple of minutes, all behind the scenes. 

Unpacking Browsers

Wondering what browsers are? Well, they're like your trusty sidekick for the internet, software that lets you explore and visit websites. Now, for a safe online journey, we've got some advice: Stick with the latest version of your favorite browser.

Microsoft's got your back with security updates and support for Internet Explorer 11 and Edge. But here's the kicker: if you're rocking an older version, your PC or Mac could be a tasty target for viruses, spyware, and other digital nasties. Stay up to date, and surf with confidence! 

 

Switching Up Your Browser Settings

Let's tweak those browser settings for Internet Explorer, whether you're on a PC or Mac. We're talking privacy today:

  1. Click on 'Tools.'

  2. Go to 'Internet Options.'

  3. Pick 'Privacy.'

  4. Choose a setting (but leave 'Block all cookies' unchecked – we suggest 'Medium High').

  5. Click 'Apply.'

  6. Then, hit 'OK.'
     

There you go, a more secure online experience awaits! 

Stay Up-to-Date with Software Updates

Here's the deal: Keep your operating system and all your applications on the radar for automatic updates. That's your ticket to computer security. Get those patches and security updates to plug up any new holes that cyber villains might try to sneak through. Stay sharp, stay updated!

 

Level Up Your Privacy Game

For those of you customizing your Internet Explorer settings, don't forget this important step:

Ensure the 'Always allow session cookies' box is checked within the Advanced Privacy Settings.

That way, you've got your privacy locked down like a champ!

 

Lock it Down with Encryption

Here's a golden rule: Encrypt any personal info stored electronically that could spell trouble if it ever fell into the wrong hands. It's your digital fortress against loss or theft. Keep it safe!

 

Backup Wisdom

Don't play games with your data. Take regular backups of your computer info and stash them in a separate spot. That way, if your computer takes a nosedive, your precious data won't go down with it. Just remember, keep those backups encrypted and give 'em a test run every so often. Safety first!

Guard Against Email Scams

Beware of those sneaky fraudsters who might slide into your inbox. They're after your sensitive info, like logins, IDs, or even your bank deets. Here's the deal: GoldPhish will NEVER ask you for personal info via email. And neither will the police. So, if you ever get an email from GoldPhish asking for your details, username, or passwords, or if anything smells fishy, hit that delete button ASAP. Don't call any numbers or reply to the email. Legit emails can always be sent again. Stay sharp and stay safe!

 

Last Updated: 18 October 2023

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