Online/Computer Safety

Seven Steps for Safe Computing

With Internet access, the world is at your fingertips. Make purchases, stream movies, reserve a hotel room, download music, check your account balance or access your workplace all from a remote location of your choice.

The flip-side is that the Internet — and the anonymity it affords — can give online scammers, hackers, and identity thieves access to your computer and the personal information it holds.

With awareness as your safety net, you can reduce the risk of an Internet mishap. Being on guard while online helps you protect your computer, your information and even yourself. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, encourages consumers to adopt these seven security practices.

  1. Protect your personal information. It's valuable.
  2. Know who you're dealing with.
  3. Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them regularly.
  4. Be sure to set up your operating system and web browser software properly, and update them regularly.
  5. Protect your passwords.
  6. Back up important files.
  7. Learn who to contact if something goes wrong online. provides more practical tips to help you secure your computer, protect your personal information and defend against Internet fraud.

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