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Cyber Hygiene

FOR EVERYONE

TOP 5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF ONLINE

  • Use anti-virus and separate anti-spyware software, and keep them up to date.
  • Do not open emails or attachments from unknown sources. Be suspicious of any attachments—even if it appears to be from someone you know.
  • Use hard-to-guess passwords and keep them private.
  • Update all your software regularly to ensure that you get security updates. Check monthly or more often.
  • Back up your computer files frequently.

FURTHER READING

AT HOME

These following are useful resources for ensuring online safety at home.
OnGuard Online
Stay Safe Online
NetSmartz
e-Scams
Fraud
Homeland Security | Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign
US-Cert tips
Before You Plug In
Home Network Security
Home Router Security
Technology and Science Security

DON'T OPEN UNSOLICITED (SPAM) EMAILS!

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) urges computer users to not open unsolicited (spam) e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages. Even if the sender is familiar, the public should exercise due diligence. Computer owners must ensure they have up-to-date firewall and anti-virus software running on their machines to detect and deflect malicious software.

The IC3 recommends the public do the following:

  • Adjust the privacy settings on social networking sites you frequent to make it more difficult for people you know and do not know to post content to your page. Even a 'friend' can unknowingly pass on multimedia that's actually malicious software.
  • Do not agree to download software to view videos. These applications can infect your computer.
  • Read e-mails you receive carefully. Fraudulent messages often feature misspellings, poor grammar, and nonstandard English.
  • Report e-mails you receive that purport to be from the FBI. Criminals often use the FBI's name and seal to add legitimacy to their fraudulent schemes. In fact, the FBI does not send unsolicited e-mails to the public. Should you receive unsolicited messages that feature the FBI's name, seal, or that reference a division or unit within the FBI or an individual employee, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

If you receive unsolicited email offers or spam, you can forward the messages to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.