Protect Your PC
One of the most important things you can do to protect your family is to secure your pc and be aware of online dangers. The federal government has created a website called On Guard Online just for this purpose.

The Federal Trade Commission offers tips on reducing spam and junk mail

Here are some tips:
  1. Don’t email personal or financial information. Always be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive regardless of who sent them.

  2. Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Phishing emails may contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Combined with a firewall, anti-virus software can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones that can effectively reverse the damage and that updates automatically.

  3. A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It’s especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. To purchase a firewall, check out McAfee’s site or Symantec. McAfee and Symantec also offer anti-virus software.

  4. Make sure that you always update your pc with the latest Microsoft Windows and Mac updates. Having good anti-virus software is also essential to stop viruses and worms from attacking your computer.

  5. Increase security settings on your web browser

  6. Be careful with wireless usage on your laptops. Avoid using them in public places where hackers can potentially steal passwords and other personal information saved on your laptop.

  7. Remember to backup up your computer files. If you do get a virus or your computer crashes, you will always have the backup to fall back on. An external hard drive and some automated backup software to copy the data would be ideal.

  8. Don’t download or install programs or files if you do not know where they came from.

  9. Be wary of file sharing sites and programs that allow you to trade files on your computer. Many times hackers use this as easy access to your computer files.
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