When you are reading e-mail or browsing online, be on the lookout for suspicious links and deceptive web pages, which are major sources of malware. Also be careful of downloadable files since they can introduce malware. And remember that additional browser plugins and unused applications require additional patching to remain secure. Here are some suggestions to make your day-to-day computing more productive, safe, and secure.
- Keep your software up-to-date. Be sure to install antivirus updates and regularly check for and install updates for any applications or browser plugins you may run on your computer. (e.g., Adobe Flash and Java)
- Be more secure! Don’t enter sensitive or personal information into a URL unless you have verified the address and you have ensured its security by checking that it includes HTTPS.
- When in doubt, ignore. Don’t click on pop-up windows or extraneous ads. And, don’t click on links in emails or web sites until you have verified their destinations by hovering your mouse over the link.
- Keep your private information safe. Use a strong, unique password or passphrase for each account, and avoid storing account information on a website. And consider using a digital password wallet such as 1Password or LastPass to secure your passwords.
- Segregate your browsing activities. Consider using separate browsers for sensitive logins and general web browsing.
- Use private networks for sensitive transactions. Avoid checking your bank account, making purchases, or logging in to other websites that include sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi.
Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.