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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Internet Security- Why Should You Use a Firewall?

What is a firewall and how it will protect your internet security?

A firewall is usually part of the internet router and basically works by passing traffic between secure and insecure areas.

There are to kinds of firewalls: proxy servers and packet filters. Proxies are generally more expensive than packet filters.

Computers are identified by IP numbers a firewall can tell if a source is legitimate by comparing it to a set of rules that it employs. With a packet filter, the firewall won't let in sources that do not pass the rules. It more or less stands guard over your computer and won't let things pass through that do not adhere to its standards.

While firewalls are meant to keep things coming in, in some rare cases it can actually prevent users from getting out as well. This can be frustrating when you are trying to visit a site that you know is secure but for some reason your firewall has a problem with it and won't let you access it.

If this becomes a major hindrance, you can reconfigure your firewall settings. Of course, if you are part of an Intranet, such as at a place of business, there is little that you can do unless you, yourself, have access to the main computer and passwords. If you do have access, however, you can always add the site that you are trying to access as a 'safe site” so that the firewall will let you in in the future.

You can purchase internet security programs that contain firewalls. It is best to do some research on them first to get a good feel of what you are purchasing. Some are created superior to others. If you get a good program, it should also come with some adware and spyware blockers as well, and perhaps an anti-virus program. Of course, most good anti-virus programs also come with firewalls.

Although people often bemoan firewalls and the fact that they try to keep people out of sites that
are sometimes legitimate, they can be a great way to protect your computer from harmful attacks. If you own and operate a business and have employees accessing the internet they can be especially helpful, too. It can be difficult to protect your internet security when you are dealing with multiple internet users. It's hard enough being safe yourself!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Make Sure Your Emails Are Safe: Tips for Internet Security

The last thing you want to do is to have an unwanted e-mail wreck havoc on your computer. However, this happens everyday. At the best, it can make your computer run slower. At the worst, your personal and financial information can be stolen, or your entire computer can crash and everything could get lost due to a virus.

The following article includes some tips for internet security when it comes to your e-mail.

- Don't open attachments from people you don't know. This should go without saying. However, people do it all the time. Usually, the subject lines of these unwanted e-mails either make it look as though they are sending you something that you requested
(“here's the information you asked for”) or they make it appear as if they know you
(“Hey, it's me, John”). However, if you weren't expecting any email with an attachment
and you don't recognize the sender's address don't open it. It could contain a virus.

- Don't give out any information. On the other hand, sometimes your internet security can be
threatened from senders who pretend to know you and try to get you to give them information. For
instance, if you are applying for jobs on various search sites, someone might contact you and say
that they found your resume. They could then send you to another site and ask for your personal
information, like your social security number, by pretending to have you fill out an application. Unless you are applying for a state or government job, or have already been through the interview
process and they need to run a background check on you, you should never give out your social
security number.

- Don't use the same passwords. Never use the same passwords for your email account as you do for your expedia account, online banking account , or any other website that stores financial information. It is fairly easy to figure out email passwords and once a hacker has it, they can get into your other accounts as well and your information can be used.

- Change your passwords. Also, remember to change your passwords from time to time. Try including numbers, as well as letters, in your passwords. It makes it harder to figure them out.

- Don't let other people access your email account. Never give someone else your password when it comes to your email accounts. It's difficult enough for you to keep tabs on your internet security, much less trusting other people to keep it safe.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Internet Security- Make Sure Your Passwords Protect You

In this day and age, protecting our internet security is very important. We store important information on the internet such as our personal information as well as out financial information. Identities are stolen everyday and getting yours back and clearing up the damage that it can cause is expensive and time-consuming.

One of the most important things you can do is to protect the passwords that you use for your various accounts. Why is this important? Because if someone gets a hold of your password, they can have all sorts of information about you.

Most people use their same password, or a variation of it, for all of their accounts. Needless to say, this is not a good idea. After all, if someone gets that password they can tap into almost any internet account you have and thus breech your internet security.

So what can you do?

First, don't use your same password for everything! And adding “1” after the password in instances when you need a number does not make the password different.

Secondly, don't store your password on your computer. Yes, it can be a pain to type it in
every time, but if someone broke into your house they would be privy to all of your accounts.
Also, don't store your passwords on a notepad right there by your computer, or in a document
on your computer called “internet passwords.” They should be a little harder to locate than that.

You can also use Microsoft's Password Strength Tester. This program lets you enter in a password to see what its strength is. If you give it something that doesn't test very strongly then you need to change it in order to make it more secure.

One thing that you can do is to make your password a combination of letters and numbers. This is more difficult to figure out. Also, don't ever use your social security number, driver license number, or zip code. You shouldn't be storing your social security number on the internet to begin with like that and your zip code is too easy to figure out. In addition, don't use your child's name, your partner's name, or your own name as a password. Again, these are quite simple to figure out.

By following these tips when it comes to your password, you should be able to strengthen your internet security. While it is a hassle to come up with several different passwords and to remember them, it is more of a hassle to straighten out the mess that can result from not doing it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Internet Security- Protecting Yourself When You Shop Online

The internet can be a great place to go shopping! You can do it right from your home with little to effort. However, there are horror stories from people who have had their credit card and even entire identities stolen. So what can you do to protect yourself from this happening to you?

- Keep in mind that a lot of credit card companies have provisions for challenging fraudulent charges. If you see something that doesn't look right on your bill, give them a call. Also, print out a copy of every receipt of what you buy.

- Only shop at sites that contain a physical address and a telephone number. If you feel leery about them, either trust your gut or give them a call or email. See how quickly they return your message. If you call them, don't just talk to a machine, talk to a person. Remember who you spoke to. Ordering from a trusted site might be better than one you have never heard of. For example,. Ordering straight from Old Navy is probably more secure than ordering from a random woman online who sells Old Navy.

- Don't ever provide personal or unnecessary information like your social security number or checking account information in order to process credit card transactions. All they need to know is your billing address, telephone number, credit card number and type of credit car, and the security number on the back. Never give out your social security number. It is not necessary.

- Look for sellers who have secure servers. Some companies that are considered safe are Equifax, SecureSite eBusiness, Thwate, and Verisign. The encryption technology is always changing and while it already makes shopping pretty safe, it keeps adding additional features for the security and protection of shoppers like yourself. There should be a little emblem in the bottom right hand corner of protected sites to watch for.

- When you are on a secure page, right click with your mouse on any blank space and you should get the options box. Scroll to the bottom of the box and click on “Properties.” A table that is the security certificate should appear. You can check this out to help put yourself at east.

- If it give you an option to store any information, just say no. If you return, you can enter it
all again.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Internet Security- How to Deal with Spyware

So what, exactly, is Spyware? Spyware is software that can collect your personal information, change your computer's configuration, and install advertising on your computer without you even knowing it. Spyware generally does this without your consent, which is what makes it threaten your internet security.

There are a host of problems associated with spyware, too, and some of these problems include trying to get rid of it.

Why do people use Spyware?
Spyware is typically used for marketing purposes. When a company makes spyware, they get contracts from other companies that pay them well. They can direct traffic to other websites that are similar. For this reason, they can be be good.

However, like most things, spyware can be abused, too. Sometimes, things pop up on your screen that are unwelcome, such as adult content. Or, sometimes hundreds of things pop up at once. This is annoying and can make you not want to return to that particular website.

What kinds of spyware is out there?
Most spyware is adware. Adware captures data for advertising that is targeted. Malware, on the other hand, causes problems with your computer. Malware can be a virus that harms your computer, for example, or hijack your computer's information. This can then be used for identity theft purposes. Your personal information can be sold to other people who can then use it to open accounts and purchase things in your name.

What else can spyware do?
It can cause you to lose control of your computer. It can also cause error messages and make your computer run slower, which is a big annoyance in and of itself. Your computer can even be used to send out emails that contain viruses or for illegal purposes if the right hacker gets into it.

How can you get rid of it?
Of course, now you want to know how you can get rid of it. Well, resist the urge to use the “uninstallation” part of the program. While it might appear to take the spyware off of your computer, it generally doesn't. In fact, it might even set off a trigger that installs more. Instead, spend the money and invest in a reputable cleaner or spyware detection program. These sometimes have to be updated every year which might require a new subscription but it's worth it to get your computer cleaned. It's better to spend money on that than trying to recover
your identity later. If you don’t have protection download XoftSpySE

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Internet Security- Protect Your Wireless Connection

Using a wireless connection when it comes to your internet can be great. It's fast, it's easy, and you don't have to deal with cords. Plus, you can hook up at a lot of different places-from airports to McDonalds.

While wireless routers are great, they are not as secure as hooking up your computer to a wall  in your home. Other people can use your routers and hook up to the internet. They can also access your own personal information and be privy to things such as your financial information and other things that you don't want other people to have access to.

Hackers are notorious for breaking into unsecured connections. Actually, you don't have to be very technologically advanced to do it, either. Even someone with limited technological skillscan use your router for their own computer. This is especially true if you do not set apassword or make your connection secure.

Sometimes, people just want to use your router to access the internet themselves. Othertimes, they want to steal information or send you viruses. Nobody wants to deal with that. A  virus can crash your computer, sometimes to the point that it is not salvageable.

But how do you make sure that your internet security is good when you use wireless internet?

First, if you are not using your wireless router then you should turn it off. This is one of the best
ways to protect your internet security.

You should also disable the router's DHCP service. What does this do? This basically gives the computer access to the wireless connection. However, when you disable it and figure it manually then you can give your network a distinct IP address and make it more secure.

It is also important to setting up a strong password in order to encrypt the server. Make sure that the password is something that is strong enough that it can't be figured out. It is always suggested that you do not use the same password over and over for all of your accounts and that you try to make it a combination of letters and numbers. Don't ever use your name, zip code, social security number, or even telephone number.

Setting up and then activating a firewall is an additional way to protect your internet security. This is important whether you are using a wireless router or not. A firewall can protect you from viruses.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Internet Security- Popular Online Scams

Nobody wants to get hooked into a scam, but some of them are so clever that you can get caught up in them without even realizing that you are doing something that threatens your internet security.

So what are some poplar internet scams?

1. Cashier's checks. This is a new scam that is becoming popular, especially on craigslist. Let's say that you post something for sale. A person writes you, without seeing the item, and says that they want to purchase it. They offer you a cashier's check that is sometimes even over the amount that the price is set for. They even tell you to deposit it and to that they will wait until the money shows up before they pick up the item. The money shows up in your account, they get the item, and then suddenly, the bank calls. Turns out the check wasn't good to start with. To avoid this, only deal with local people. Never accept a check that is more than the amount. If possible, have your bank check out the cashier's check with the bank account that it was drawn upon.

2. Online auctions. Although the sites might be legitimate, the products might not be. To protect yourself, always purchase from a seller with positive feedback, make sure that it is a reputable auction site (like Ebay), understand the payment terms, use a safe payment method, and don't accept cashier's checks for items.

3. Phishing. In this scam, someone writes you from a legitimate company, like a bank, and tells you that your information has been compromised. They then direct you to another site where you are asked to enter your personal information in order to protect everything. Don't fall for it. If it was for real, you would have received a phone call or something from the mail. To be on the safe side, call the company by looking up the number in the phone book.

4. Disaster scams. A disaster strikes and the next thing you know, someone is writing you asking for donations. Look them up on the internet before you write a check.

5. Work scams. These can come in the form of work at home scams or scams in which the person tells you that they found your resume online and want to offer you a job. Never do anything that requires you to pay money upfront or provide your social security number of bank account number.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Internet Security- Downloading Music off the Internet

Today, most people have downloaded music off of the Internet. Not only is it convenient, but it
is also fun and very inexpensive. In the past, if you liked a song you either had to wait until it came on the radio to record it or you had to go out and buy the entire album. Not only was this
expensive, but it could be a hassle, too, if it was the only song off of the album that you wanted. Downloading music, however, costs less than $1 per song in most cases. It also downloads quickly and you can burn it on a CD for your home or vehicle. However, downloading music off the internet comes with internet security risks as well.

When a peer to peer (P2P) site is used, each person's computer acts as a host for a song or download. After installing software, a person can decide if they want to only download from other people or let other people also get into their computer and download from them. Obviously things like this can cause problems where internet security is concerned. By letting other people into your computer to download music, other things on your computer are also at risk from being taken as well. This is especially true if a good hacker gets in control of your computer. Files might be stolen, or deleted, or a virus can get into your computer and infect it, causing you to lose everything. Not really worth it for a couple of free songs.

There is another problem with downloading music in this way as well. Music is copyrighted. When you download it without the artist's consent, you are basically stealing. It is punishable by law. You have probably heard of pirated music or pirated movies before.

A common argument is that artists are already rich and downloading a couple of songs shouldn't matter. However, it does matter. Artists, by the way, don't really make that much money off of their CDs. For a $13 CD, some of the profit goes to the songwriter, some to the record company, some
to the musicians that played on the album, some to the distribution, and some to the record store that sold it. Unless the artist was also the songwriter, they are getting a very low profit, usually only a dollar or so.

If you are downloading music, have a good anti-virus software program available, as well as a strong firewall. This will protect your computer, but not your rights if you get sued.