Keeping Your Home Internet Connection Secure

Every time you use the Internet you open yourself up to become the victim of crime. Some crimes are passive crimes of opportunity by those simply using your wireless Internet connection for free. More active and sophisticated crimes include phishing and identity theft. However, you have lines of defense that you can put in place to help make your home Internet connection as secure as possible.

Lock Your Wireless Network

By locking your wireless network with a password, you are stopping the most common and most easily foiled Internet crime - stealing data. With more and more Internet service providers imposing data caps on plans, it is more important than ever to secure your network, because freeloaders who are taking advantage of your Internet service can actually be costing you money.

Phony Email Addresses Can Be a Trap

Your security can be compromised if you fall for an email from a seemingly familiar company. Scammers create fake emails that look almost exactly like a known email address. Anytime you get an unsolicited email asking for information or payment, you should be skeptical. Instead, you can call the company to ensure they have reached out to you. Internet service providers and government departments will not reach out to you via email for financial information.

Be Careful of What You Click

Never click links that come in emails as they can be yet another way scammers get your information. Any type of link, even .doc and .pdf can be as dangerous as .html. Don’t open anything that you are not completely sure of. Some email programs provide you with a preview of the contents of a link. That can help you determine whether or not it is safe to open.

Be Wary of Social Media

The use of social media can set you up to be the victim of targeted phishing. There are criminals who use unsecured social media accounts to gather useful information that they manipulate as they reach out to those individuals. Because they have valid information, they appear legitimate and unsuspecting individuals fall into phishing scams. Keep your accounts private so hackers are not getting valuable information. And because your friends may not be careful about who sees their feed, you should also take care in what you post.

Use Anti-Phishing Software

You can take a step in the right direction towards avoiding phishing scams by downloading and using anti-phishing software. Such programs block phishing attempts to reduce the possibility of becoming a victim.

Back Up Online Files

All your online documents should be backed up, both onsite and offsite. This ensures that you never have to worry about corruption or disappearance of your important files, work and pictures. An external drive or a USB drive is a good option.

Choose the Right Websites

Only shop online or do online banking using websites that have secure checkout options. Web addresses should have an “s” at the beginning or end to prove that it is secure.

By using these guidelines you are sure to keep yourself and your Internet connection more secure than you ever thought possible.

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