Posts Tagged ‘safe’

Tech savy advice…

Practical advice from the front-lines.

We’ve just gotten past the latest plague of malicious software infections. Started about mid-December, tapered about mid-January. If you didn’t get hit, consider yourself lucky because a lot of victims were NOT sloppy internet users or people who open every email they’re sent. You got lucky.

A couple pieces of advice:

1)      STOP using Internet Explorer! It is the number 1 target of every hacker out there.

Use Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari as your primary browser. Internet Explorer might be needed for some sites you visit but use it for only that.

2)      GET a PAID antivirus on your PC. We recommend NOD32 available at www.eset.com . Although we’ve seen this last infiltration get past every AV out there, the infections appear milder with the paid antivirus solutions. The cost of prevention is less than $50 each year. The cost of cure can be 4-5 times that. And that doesn’t count your lost productivity.

Stay safe out there, and happy computing!

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Safe shopping and banking online!

Is it safe to shop and bank online?

 In a word, yes.

 You’re more likely to have your personal or business information stolen by other people while making transactions in public places.  Or not shredding all those bank statements or credit card offers.  Identity theft via an online data breach is estimated at about 2% of all identity thefts.  So it’s pretty low.

 Still, the weak link is how protected and up to date is your PC?  Current AntiVirus? Check.  Current AntiSpyware? Check.  We’ll assume you didn’t skimp on those, right?  Are you responding to an unexpected email that requests identifying information?  Um, hold on there… don’t do it.  Even if you recognize the bank or the online store, they should never ask you for identifying information.  That’s a big red flag.  Use the phone at that point.

 But…. NOT your cell phone and not an older cordless phone.  A cell phone signal can be tapped just about anywhere, so don’t use those to transmit your private info.  The key is public places.  An internet hotspot is public (coffee shop, hotel, library, etc…)  So don’t bank online at any of those. 

 Remember the three “P’s”:

Protected PC.

Private internet connection.

Plugged-in phone.

 And you’ll be okay.

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