Use an anti-virus program Your Comcast account comes with free anti-virus software called Constant Guard, but it is not automatically installed. You will need to install it There are also good free and low-cost programs available
Purchased Software Provides additional features Norton McAfee Kaspersky Webroot Free software also has paid versions
Clean up after yourself! Every web page you visit and every picture on those pages stay on your PC until you delete them These “cookies” and temporary internet files build up over time and can slow down your PC Set up your web browser to clean these automatically
Web Browsers These are the programs you use to connect to the internet. The most popular are: Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google chrome – PC and Mac Safari – PC and Mac
Each browser has its own personality: how it looks, the menus, etc. The best one is the one that works well for you!
Every time you visit the internet, there is the potential for software attacks against your PC and the accounts you are logged into.
E-mail There are many good free e-mail programs available: Most of you probably use Comcast Gmail (from Google) Yahoo mail (from Yahoo)
Always use a strong password Never use any part of your name Don’t use birthdate or address or other easy to guess numbers Use a combination of Upper Case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters Try to make it at least 8 characters long Change it periodically
Wow – look at these great e-mails! I just won the Irish lottery! My grandson is stranded in Budapest and needs money! My good friend sent me an email telling me I need to click on this link, even though it looks odd… What could possibly go wrong – let’s read these!!!...
Are you kidding??? Don’t Open Them!!! These are spams and scams Someone got your e-mail address from another infected computer Clicking on links and opening suspect e-mails is inviting hackers into your system Delete all questionable e-mails If it was legitimate, they’ll write back!
OK – enough gloom and doom – Let’s go shopping! What could possibly go wrong? This web site sells green rubber boats, and I have my credit card!
Is Your Shopping Site Secure? We have all heard on the news about web sites getting hacked and customer info getting stolen. There is no 100% guarantee that this will not happen to you, but with some awareness, you can minimize your risks…
Reputable sites will indicate that they are secure and protected. The site address will start with: https The ‘s’ at the end means ‘secure’ There will also be a ‘padlock’ image Here is an example from Amazon.com:
Social Media Online programs that let you interact with others: Facebook Twitter Skype
Use common sense and sound judgment when using these sites Remember when we learned to drive, that we were taught to “Drive defensively – watch out for the other guy”? The same is true when using the internet.
ALWAYS assume that any information you share and post on these sites is publically accessible, unless you are positive that you have set your privacy options correctly. The burden falls on you to make sure your online information is private.
And here is Facebook’s: When you sign up for Facebook, you are required to provide information such as your name, email address, birthday, and gender. In some cases, you may be able to register using other information, like your telephone number. Information you choose to share: Your information also includes the information you choose to share on Facebook, such as when you post a status update, upload a photo, or comment on a friend's story.
Bottom line for social media: Do you really need it? Set up tight security – give the minimum info possible to allow you to create your account Never share personal info
Online Harassment Unfortunately, there are people that monitor social media websites for the sole purpose of harassment. They will send messages intended to provoke, frighten, disgust or anger you. Clearly, by no means should you respond to these messages.
What can you do? There are laws against this abuse Print or write down the offending message, including the sender’s user name Call the police Call the site it came from As a last resort, delete your account and create a new one with a different name
Phone calls This one is important! We regularly get reports about scam phone calls received by the residents. The caller will say they are calling to repair/update/check your PC. If you didn’t call them, hang up immediately.
This is a simple scam for the caller: They may just ask for your personal info, including your social security # They may have you turn on your PC and go to a web site they give you. This will allow them to “remote control” your PC, and get access to its information, including your e-mail address book, and personal files Hang up, and inform the front desk
The IT staff is available to assist you on a time-available basis. When you contact us, we will set up a time to meet with you. We will never ask for, nor do we need, any of your personal information when we work on your equipment! If needed, we will have you enter your password yourself.
Selected references you may enjoy Majority of Seniors Online – But Are They Practicing Safe Surfing & Social? http://seniorcarecorner.com/seniors-online-safe-surfing-social Safe surfing for seniors or watch out for Internet scams http://www.fiftyplusadvocate.com/archives/5556 Practical Guide: Teaching Seniors How to Surf the Web Safely http://m.softpedia.com/practical-guide-teaching-seniors-how-to- surf-the-web-safely-250673.html Book: Using the Internet Safely For Seniors For Dummies