Ten thumb rules followed during internet access
It may sound clichéd to hear that Internet is the future.
However, despite the potential and prospects of the medium, many people scared to use it due to security fears (I know my friend will not use internet banking with ICICI and Punjab national bank where has the online accounting facility). At the same time, those who use the Internet often fumble when it comes to security. Here are 10 thumb rules to keep your personal information secure when online.
Favor common sense over technological solutions. Keep personal documents safe, preferably in a locked drawer. Shred bank statements, credit card slips and bills before throwing them away.
Never open unsolicited "spam" messages. Delete e-mails offering cash, free gifts or stock tips. Millions of unsolicited "spam" messages are sent every day in an attempt to defraud computer users.
Basic prevention helps. Protect your computer against identity theft. Install security
software to combat viruses, spy ware and spam and keep it updated.
Know enough about your firewall, the barrier between the public Internet and a personal computer, to know when it is working and when it isn't. Don't worry about the geeky complexity of it all, just know it's operating.
Beware of "phishing", where criminals trick people into revealing personal or financial
details, often by sending e-mails purporting to be from a bank. Never casually reply
to requests for your personal financial details.
Keep your private e-mail address secure. Consider using different e-mail accounts for
shopping, banking, friends and work. There are many free account providers.
Do not use the same password for different sites. Choose passwords with a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Don't use obvious passwords, such as your first name or "123456" and don't write them down. For memory's sake, choosing a basic root word, then rotating numbers, is safer.
Make online payments safely. Never enter a card number unless there is a padlock in the Web browser's frame, rather than the Web page. The Web address should begin with "https" -- the extra "S" stands for "secure". Consider reserving one credit card for Web use or signing up for a separate online payment service like PayPal.
Secure your wireless network at home and be wary when using public access points. Encrypt the connection to scramble communications over the network.
Turn off the wireless network when you're not using it.
Treat your laptop computer like cash -- never leave it in a locked car or turn your back while using it in a public place. The same holds true with your mobile phone: Lock your phone (and any passwords you keep on it) when not using it.