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Online Scams - Don’t just click, it could be a trick
Tip Sheets

Are you having trouble keeping track of all the information you've learned so far? Don't worry, we're here to help. We've developed several tip sheets for you to look at whenever you have a security question or want to remember something you forgot about. Our tips are simple, but effective. Print them out and bring them to the office, your school or give them to friends. It's just another way you can "Slam the Online Scam."

For the Home User
  • Install anti-virus software: Digital bugs are still the most common and damaging threat to most computers, and they require a solid defense.
  • Get a spam blocker: Spam doesn’t just mean annoying ads anymore—it introduces all kinds of new threats, such as phishing scams.
  • Guard against spyware: Obtain reliable anti-spyware software. Crooks want to know what you’re doing online and they’ll use that information in harmful ways.
  • Build a firewall: Don’t worry, it isn’t hard to do. A firewall is just a digital barrier that keeps hackers out. They exist on most operating systems, so make sure yours is turned on.
  • Create penetration alerts: Set all of the above defense software to notify you when suspicious activity is occurring.
  • Setup effective encryption keys on your wireless home networks: Always use long, automatically-created network encryption keys and rotate them regularly. You can also find wireless protection software that can walk you through this process.
  • Install security patches: New vulnerabilities are regularly exploited in many software platforms. You should check for and install updates on all software you use.
  • Backup important files: No amount of protection is a guarantee, so take preventative steps to save your data before it can be damaged.
  • Always watch for Internet scams: Online criminals always think of clever new ways to rob you. Don’t get lured in by emails telling sad stories, making unsolicited job offers or promising free money.
  • Take care when shopping online: Look for indicators that the site is secure, like a small lock icon on your browser's status bar, a trusted seal like those from VeriSign or TRUSTe and a website URL that begins “https” (that “s” stands for “secure”).
  • Don’t open unknown email: If you have no idea where an email comes from, take the safe course and delete it before opening it.
  • Treat IM seriously: Attacks can come through instant messaging programs as easily as they can through other channels. Treat it just as you would email and stay on guard from nasty files.
  • Beware of file sharing: Make sure you scan shared files for viruses. Also, set up the file sharing software carefully and take the time to read the software’s User Agreement to be clear about any side effects that may be built in.
  • Create smart passwords: Your online and computer passwords should be at least 8 characters long and incorporate letters, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different accounts, change them every 90 days and never share them with anyone.
For the Home User with Kids
  • Parents, educate yourselves first: Know about online predators, financial scams, viruses, cyber-bullying and the pervasiveness of pornography on the Internet.
  • Talk to your child: Open communication between parents and children is important to keeping your kids safe. Ensure that they can talk to you about things on the Web that make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Monitor your children: Consider options like sharing an email account, checking your browser’s history, keep the computer in a common room and maintaining access to your kids’ accounts.
  • Recommend kid directories: There are a number of search sites geared for children. Others are targeted at teens.
  • Parental control software: One option is to purchase software that establishes computer user time limits and controls access to sites, games, chat, and file sharing. It can be adapted to offer different levels of control for different ages of children.
  • Install the right defensive software: Make sure you have quality anti-virus, anti-spyware, spam blocker, and a personal firewall, and keep security patches up-to-date.
  • Carefully select mobile devices: Look for digital device models that are "child-safe," which often don’t provide camera or Web access. Some child-safe phones even let parents limit the numbers the phone can call.

Tell The Kids

  • Don’t give out personal information: Make sure to never give out your name, email, home address, phone number, account numbers, Social Security number, picture or any other personal information.
  • Look out for Internet scams: Online criminals think of clever ways to rob you. Don’t get lured in by emails telling sad stories, giving away money or promising fun times.
  • Take care when shopping online: Check with your parents first and then only buy from trusted online stores.
  • Don’t open unknown email: If you have no idea where an email comes from, take the safe course and delete it before opening it.
  • Treat IM seriously: Instant messaging is fun, but there can be dangers too. Treat IM just as you would email and stay on guard from strangers and unknown files.
  • Beware of file sharing: Discuss file sharing with your parents first and if they’re okay with it, make sure to scan your downloaded files for viruses.
  • Create smart passwords: Your online and computer passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include letters, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different accounts, change them every 90 days and never share them with anyone.

 



Real People.
Real Scam Stories.
Real People. real StoriesI had just been fired from my job when I saw an ad on a local classified website that said "help wanted" for a job "processing online ads". The ad indicated that there were only a few positions available…

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