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Back to school: Computer security.

It is back to school time. Security is something that needs to be checked periodically. In the article below are some tips for keeping your child and your computer safe.    Click Here

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Feature Article


Back To School: Computer Security

It's time to head back to class. Before you – or your child – head off to school, you should take some time to secure your computer and educate yourself about online security. From viruses and spyware to phishing schemes and cyber bullying, there are threats online that you should be concerned about.

  • Be online savvy: The first line of defense against an online threat is you. Be careful about clicking links on Facebook and even Twitter. These could infect your computer with malware.

  • You should be wary about emails asking for your passwords or other confidential information. These might seem to be official, such as coming from a bank or your university's help desk, but really they are phishing schemes. Cybercriminals use these emails to try to trick you into giving them confidential information that they can use for identity theft, fraud or to drain your bank account.

  • Stay up to date: Homework is not the only thing students need to keep up to date with. Programs such as iTunes, Flash and Java and your Windows operating system are updated on a regular basis to patch vulnerabilities and improve the software. By updating, you will not only get a better performing program, but a safer one as well.

  • Use a security software: In a recent survey of U.S. Internet users, 77 percent of teenagers said they were very or somewhat confident their computers would not be infected by a virus. However, 65 percent of parents said their computers had been infected! You need to have a firewall and virus or spyware protection.

  • Keep bullies at bay: Many teens say they have been bullied online or by text messages. More girls than boys said they were bullied. It is usually best not to respond to bullies and not to retaliate. You should keep copies of what has happened just in case the situation escalates. You should “unfriend” the bully or block their instant messages or texts.

  • Review your Facebook Privacy Settings: How much do you or your child want to share with everyone? Now is a good time to review the privacy settings for Facebook and other social networking sites.

  • Use good passwords: Could your computer, bank account or social networking accounts be easily hacked? Take time to review your password and see if it is time for a change. Longer passwords (more than eight characters) that have numbers, letters and special characters (such as punctuation) in them are recommended. You do not want to use words that people could easily connect to you, such as your significant other's name or school mascot. You also should avoid words found in a dictionary. Some security experts recommend choosing a password that would seem like gibberish to someone else.

  • Back up your files: Malware, power surges or outages and a variety of other things could damage your computer's memory. You have worked too hard not to back up your files. There are a variety of options for doing this, including flash drives and cloud storage services.

We know you have plenty on your mind in back to school season. However, a little time spent now thinking about computer security could save a lot of headaches later in the school year.

As always, if you need help with any computer issue or have a question about your computer, please call.





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