Online Security

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Things To Remember:

  • Create secure passwords. Keep them private. Change them regularly.
  • The strongest passwords look like a random string of characters to attackers. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Update your firewall, virus protection, and browser software regularly.
  • Use e-mail software with built-in spam filtering. Keep filters current. Don't open e-mails or attachments if you don't know the sender. Limit sharing e-mail or instant message addresses.
  • When doing your online banking and shopping, only deal with known, reputable vendors. Before doing business, look for and verify the company’s physical address, not a Post Office box. Request a catalog by mail. Speak with a company representative over the phone.
  • Don't fall for phishing, mishing, vishing, or other social engineering schemes.
  • Back up all your valuable data and keep the backups under lock and key.
  • Back up anything you cannot replace easily. The following are some storage devices and locations to consider: external hard drive, CD, DVD, USB flash drive, Online backup, and storage service.
  • Eradicate personal data from your computer before donating or disposing of it. Remember: Manually deleted computer files may still be recovered by an identity thief. To remove files, search for "file shredder" or "secure file deletion" to find a program that is compatible with your version of Windows and other software. Call the computer manufacturer's technical services department and ask how to delete personal files. A third option is to have reputable computer engineer safely overwrite your files from your hard drive.

Many easy to read safety and security articles can be found at www.microsoft.com/protect.