Stories of online predators and stolen identities are prevalent in the news today. It is important that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself while browsing online or on a social network. Internet practices include how you behave online and what information you share about yourself over the Internet. Here are a few tips on being safe while using the Internet.
Social Networking Sites
- Don’t share detailed information in your profile (for example: your address, phone number, hometown, school, etc.)
- Only post things you wouldn’t worry about if other people saw them.
- Do not post pictures that are revealing or sexual in nature.
- Do not share too much about yourself (people may look for clues that they can use to convince you that you should hang out when really they are dangerous.)
- Never share a detailed schedule of your day or where you might be at a certain time.
- If you decide to meet someone in person that you met online, make sure to arrange to meet in a busy public place and bring a friend or family member with you.
Safer Internet Browsing
- Use a good web browser. Many common Internet exploits take advantage of the commonly used Internet Explorer. You may want to consider using the Firefox web browser because it has managed to stay on top of many security issues that plague Internet Explorer.
- Stick with websites you know you can trust.
- Tips to remember:
- Only download software from places you know you can trust.
- Never download software that comes with offers that are too good to be true.
- Don’t download illegal software.
How to Protect Yourself from Spyware
- Run regular anti-spyware software, perhaps on a weekly basis. Most software lets you automatically schedule these sessions.
- Run a scan whenever you think you may have a problem that your anti-spyware software can detect and remove.
How to Protect Yourself Against Viruses
- It is essential to have anti-virus software installed on your computer and that you regularly update it.
- Have your anti-virus software set to always on so that your computer will do automatic virus checks.
- Scan e-mails and instant messages with anti-virus software on a regular basis to protect your computer from viruses sent though these applications.
For more information visit the following websites:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Virginia Office of the Attorney General