National Cyber Alert System provides timely information about current
and emerging threats and vulnerabilities as well as advice about protecting
your computer and networks. Sign up for their security bulletins at:
are some tips for protecting your computer and network against scams,
viruses and hoaxes:
Leave suspicious sites.
If you suspect that a website is not what it purports to be, leave
the site immediately. Do not follow any of the instructions it presents.
Be alert for scam e-mails.
These may appear to come from a trusted business or friend, but actually
are designed to trick you into downloading a virus or jumping to a
fraudulent website and disclosing sensitive information.
Don't reply to any e-mail that requests your personal information.
very suspicious of any e-mail from a business or person that asks
for your password, social security number, or other highly sensitive
Be aware! Phony "look alike" websites are designed
to trick consumers and collect their personal information. Make sure
that websites on which you transact business post privacy and security
statements, and review them carefully.
Open e-mails only when you know the sender. Be
especially careful about opening an e-mail with an attachment. Even
a friend may accidentally send an e-mail with a virus.
Be careful before clicking on a link
contained in an e-mail or other message. The link may not be trustworthy.
Do not send sensitive personal or financial information
unless it is encrypted on a secure website. Regular e-mails are not
encrypted and are more like sending a post card. Look for the padlock
symbol on the bottom bar of the browser to ensure that the site is
running in secure mode BEFORE you enter sensitive information.
Use strong passwords
or personal identification numbers (PINS) for your Internet accounts.
Choose passwords that are difficult for others to guess, and use a
different password for each of your accounts. Use both letters and
numbers and a combination of lower case and capital letters if the
passwords or PINS are case sensitive.
Make sure your home computer has the most current anti-virus software.
Anti-virus software needs frequent updates to guard against new viruses.
Make sure you download the anti-virus updates as soon as you are notified
that a download is available.
Install a personal firewall to
help prevent unauthorized access to your home computer. This is especially
important if you connect to the internet via a cable modem or a digital
subscriber line (DSL) modem.