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Safe Internet Use for the Home and Business David Mawdsley

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Presentation on theme: "Safe Internet Use for the Home and Business David Mawdsley"— Presentation transcript:

1 Safe Internet Use for the Home and Business David Mawdsley

2 Major Areas of Concern Programs (Installed and Up-to-date) –Anti-Virus –Firewall Critical Windows Updates Computer Configuration Notes Safe Practices Using … –Passwords –Instant Messaging (IM) –Using E-Mail –Web Browsers –Newsgroups (Usegroups) Best Practices for On-Line Financial Transactions Notes about Freeware and Shareware Concluding Notes about Safe/Unsafe Practices

3 Anti-Virus Program What is it and what does an Anti-Virus Program Do? It quarantines attachments within your e-mail (the bad stuff) before it can infect your computer with... –Viruses / Worms (may damage or destroy your computer) –Trojan Horses / Key Loggers / Password Stealers –or Malware designed to use your computer to spam, take over your computer or to set up attacks on other computers or systems The anti-virus program may be able to clean an infected file. However, most infected files should be deleted. Before deleting a file, write down information on the file since it could belong to a needed part of Windows or to an application you normally use.

4 Firewall Program What is it and what does a Firewall Program Do? Acting as an intelligent gatekeeper, a firewall keeps out... –Adware –Spyware –Port Scanning -- looking for backdoors open to your computer While keeping in... –Personal Information (passwords, credit card info, etc.) –Files youve created and want to keep away from prying eyes. A firewall program cannot prevent deliberate actions you authorize at websites outside of your computer -- such as clicking on a link to download a file.

5 Critical Windows Updates What are Critical Windows Updates? –They are patches to fix security problems with Windows. Unpatched computers are more prone to have problems with intruders coming into your computer through the misuse of your Windows code. How do I get and install them? –Connect to the Internet and start Internet Explorer. –Using the Tools menu, select Windows Updates. –Follow the directions to scan, select and install the critical Windows updates. (Some updates take a long time to download and to install. Be patient!)

6 Computer Configuration Notes Outlook Express –Inside Outlook Express go to Tools | Options | (Read Tab) –Uncheck the box referring to opening attachments in the preview pane. Internet Explorer –Inside Outlook Express go to Tools | Internet Options –Click on the box to remove cookies. –Click on the box to remove files (off-line also). Use of Mozilla –Install Mozilla from to include the complete set. –Use Mozilla for browsing and for your e-mail. (Avoid using Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.)

7 Safe Password Use Strong passwords are like complicated keys for locks. –A strong password should contain random upper/lower case letters and numbers such as "aK7B3r9z. (Hard-to-remember -- Good!) –Using a strong password makes it very difficult for computer thieves to guess (crack) even in a long period of time. The password should not contain... –words found in a dictionary, –names of people or pets, easily imagined strings such as 12345, –or shorter than a total of 8 characters in length. Banking / financial passwords should be… –changed monthly, and –different for each institution.

8 Safe Practices Using Instant Messaging (IM) Know the person you are dealing with before clicking on any enclosure. Never click on a link from an unknown person. Use an alias -- not your real name when using IM. Very sparingly click on an hyperlink inside the message -- only if youre sure about the sender. If it results in a download, be sure to scan the file with an anti-virus program before using the file.

9 Safe Practices Using E-Mail Rarely or never click on a hyperlink inside an e-mail. A file that looks like may not be a link to a website but a download of a malicious command file. Beware of links that end in.cmd,.exe,.pif,.scr,.vbs, (.zip files used to be safe, but now they may include malware. You must anti-virus scan file first before extracting its files.) Never respond to spam or try to write the sender. To do so just verifies that your e-mail is actively connected to a real account. Never respond to a Remove Me option in an e-mail. The spammer will just find out that youre a real contact.

10 Safe Practices Using Web Browsers Only click on hyperlinks inside a webpage of well-known websites. Rarely or never download software, music or movies. (Kazaa, a popular download site for music, may have as much as 45% of its downloadable files containing some type of malware.)

11 Safe Practices Using Newsgroups (Usegroups) Rarely or never click on a hyperlink inside a newsgroup message. Refrain from revealing personal information including an your e- mail address.

12 Best Practices for On-Line Financial Transactions Type the URL in the URL address box--dont click on a hyperlink! A secure site should show its address beginning https:// not http://. A secure site should show a locked padlock symbol on the page. Double-click on the padlock symbol to read who owns the certificate. It should match with the website. Give out only required information. Read everything before continuing to another page. Close the browser when finished. Never do financial transactions on a public computer.

13 Notes about Freeware and Shareware Free is not completely free... –Along with the download of what you want may be some malware you dont want. Shareware may be too cheap... –Really cheap software may be pirated versions of the real thing. Pirated software may work improperly or not at all, or it may introduce unwanted malware programs--without your knowledge.

14 Keep Your Internet Surfing Safe. Do These Items: Keep your anti-virus program up-to-date. Anti-virus scan all files on floppy disks before loading them onto your computer.. Properly configure your firewall program. Use strong passwords. Know what programs should run on your computer. Use Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy to eliminate adware / spyware. Install the critical Windows updates.

15 Stop Unsafe Internet Surfing Practices. Dont... Recklessly open e-mail attachments. Download free software/music/movies. Give out personal or financial information--particularly on a public computer. A keylogger program could be stealing your typing info. Thoughtlessly use Instant Messaging or Newsgroups. Turn the firewall program off. Reconfigure its permissions instead! Install software or files from family or friends without first running an anti-virus scan on the software or files.

16 Making Your Internet Surfing Still Safer Recommended: When you are finished with a computer application, close it. Use an alias when using public forums.* Firewall lock out the Internet when you are away from your computer with the computer left turned on -- or turn off the DSL / Cable unit. Limit or close off file sharing. See a Windows help screen on this. Clear out Temp & Internet Temporary files. ( C:\Windows\Temp, etc. ) Run Disk Defragmenter. ( Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools ) Limit the start-up program list. ( Start | Run [ type: msconfig ] ) Unplug the computer power and phone lines when on vacation. Be aware of any unusual computer activity and record what happens. Record error statements that appear after a program termination. * Be vigilant when using Instant Messaging or Newsgroups

17 Concluding Remarks Safe Internet use requires that you be wary of the unsavory stuff on the Internet, and that you always monitor whats happening in your computer. Dont assume that everything is always okay. If an unusual happening occurs while on-line, first disconnect from the Internet, (DSL or Cable users power off the modem, dial-up users log out or turn the dialer off.) then record what happened and study the issue. Imagine that you are minding a very-busy 3-year old child and that you live in the old, wild-wild west! Visit MadMod Computing at to read the quarterly newsletters for more information about the topics presented in this Happy computing/surfing and thanks for watching. -- Dave

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