IBM: Ten Tips to aid Holiday Shopping and Online Security!
|1. Immunize your computer!
Make sure your computer has antivirus software, and ALWAYS
keep it up to date. Believe it or not, IBM's Security
Threats and Attack Trends team continues to see activity
from viruses as old as CodeRed and Nimda, which first
appeared three years ago.
|2. Install a firewall
for your home computer network, especially if you use
an always-on connection like broadband or DSL, and avoid
being a victim of a list-bomb. Intruders are constantly
scanning for home systems they can hijack.
|3. Protect your laptop!
If you like to take your laptop with you and use wifi
hotspots at your local coffee shop or airport, it should
have its own firewall so you can protect your computer.
|4. Be wifi wise!
If your computer uses a wireless device, the device should
use the WPA or WPA2 Wi-fi Protected Access protocol. One
easy way to check is to look at the package label to see
if the box for Wi-Fi Protected Access is checkmarked.
|5. Donít respond to unsolicited e-mail or instant
Even the Unsubscribe function on a Spam e-mail probably
wonít take you off any junk lists, and it may even redirect
you unknowingly to a malicious Web site that could download
a virus on your PC.
|6. Avoid obvious passwords!
Did you know that 40% of all computer users use the word
"password" as their password? When choosing a password,
here are a few ways to slow down programs that are specially
written to crack your password. Donít choose obvious things
like the name of a pet, friend or your birth month. Go
for longer passwords, at least 7 or 8 characters. Mix
letters with non-letters such as numbers and punctuation.
And if you absolutely have to use a real word, misspell
|7. Beware of links in Instant Messagers!
Don't take ANY of your online connections for granted.
Experts project that 2 billion spam messages will bombard
IM applications this year. If youíre an IM user, be cautious
about following links or running software sent to you
by someone else. These are commonly used to build networks
of computers that are unwittingly part of a denial of
|8. Donít be fooled by spoofers!
There is no good reason to give out your password,
social security number, or bank account information in
response to an e-mail or phone call. Most legitimate banks
and Internet service providers would never ask you to
send them that kind of information. If in doubt, call
|9. Is it safe?
If youíre like many holiday shoppers, youíll be doing
a lot of your shopping by pointing and clicking instead
of parking and walking. Before giving out your financial
or account information at any Web site, look for a third-party
privacy seal to ensure that the transaction is secure.
|10. Backup your important files!
Last but not least, when was the last time you backed
up your files? Just in case your system becomes infected,
it's good to have a backup.