- Change Passwords Frequently:
Change all online passwords and change security answers frequently. Don’t use the same password for every online account you have. Create hard to guess passwords. You may use a password generator to help you create hard to guess passwords that include upper and lower case characters, symbols, numbers, and ambiguous characters. You could also use password management software such as RoboForm or MyPadLock to easily login, store, and create passwords securely for you.
- Anti-Virus Protection Software:
Scan your computer often using anti-virus software for Trojans, worms, and email viruses.
Only engage via IM (Instant Messenger) with people you know and trust, as someone you don’t really know can easily send you an IM worm in chat.
- Clean and clear your computer:
Clean and clear your Internet cache, lost file fragments, orphaned registry keys, temporary files, deleted e-mail messages, and other temporary files on your computer often.
- Social Networking Sites: Use caution when using social networking sites:
– Accept friend requests and follow requests from people you know and trust.
– Don’t post too much personal information to your accounts such as birthdate, email address, home address, phone number, mother’s maiden name, the city and state you were born, your age, etc.
– Avoid adding applications to your social networking account.
– Click on links from people you know and trust.
– Block users who spam or send harassing messages to you.
– Save and print out harassing messages as evidence in case the user harasses you again.
– Report any abuse to site administrators.
- Treat your email address like it is your phone number:
– Share your email address with people you know and trust.
– Read the fine print before signing up to any newsletters as your email address could be shared with third parties who may end up sending you spam.
– Don’t open emails with attachments from senders you don’t know or trust, as the email attachment may be a virus.
- Socializing on Message Boards:
Using online message boards is a terrific way to share information, ideas, and to connect with new people; however, openly giving your email address can come at a price; be careful who you give your email address to. Treat your email address like it is your phone number. Would you give out your phone number to everyone that asked for it? Alert the site administrators if someone is harassing you and save all harassing messages.
- Socializing in Chat Rooms:
Never give out your home address or phone number to someone you don’t know. Be cautious who you give your email address to. Treat your email address like it is your phone number. If someone is harassing be sure to alert the chat room monitor.
Using a Virtual PO Box is if you don’t want to reveal your home address on the Web. It’s simple to obtain a Virtual PO Box and inexpensive too. A Virtual PO Box provider forwards your mail to your home address without revealing your home address to anyone online.
With sites like Flickr, Twitpic, Photobucket and the like, it can be easy for your photos to get indexed in an image search engine such as Google Image Search or Bing. If you want to prevent having your photos appear in an image search, don’t tag your photos using your first and last name.
Don’t post photos with identifying landmarks of your whereabouts. Examples of identifying landmarks are your workplace, school you attend, your house number, etc. Only post what you feel comfortable sharing with the public.