Keep Your Business & Employees Safe on The Internet

While you are innocently surfing the Web, you may not realize that you could be picking up spyware, downloading malware, or even visiting fraudulent sites. Of course, you do not have to be afraid of every click you make, but there are some simple precautions you should take to stay safe while you’re browsing.

Step 1: Understand Your Browser’s Security Features

Most browsers have similar security functions, although how you access these functions and what they’re called can vary. This tutorial will focus on showing you features from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. If you use the Safari or Opera, many of these concepts will still apply.

Step 2: Be Careful of What You Download

One of the easiest ways malware, spyware, and adware can access your computer is through downloads; therefore, it’s important to take precautions when downloading content to your computer, whether it is a software program, the latest pop song, or a cool game. There are two things that provide the best defense against infected downloads: your computer’s security programs and your own judgment. This is why it’s important to make sure all of your security programs are up to date and that your firewall is turned on.

You can also protect your computer by  treating all downloads as suspicious until you determine they are safe. The following tips will help you download content safely.

  • Save downloads instead of running them – When you are prompted to save or run your download, it’s best to save the download to your hard drive before you run it.  This will give your antivirus software a chance to scan it before you install it on your PC.
  • Watch Out for Freeware – Everyone loves to download backgrounds, free images, games and applications such as news and weather apps.  These programs are fun but often free programs comes packaged with malware or spyware and will be installed on your PC.  Be sure to check the license agreements and privacy statements before you install any software.
  • Don’t Allow P2P File Sharing – Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs like limeware and BitTorrent are notorious for containing malware, adware and illegal downloads.  It’s best to not allow these programs to be installed and used on your business network.

Step 3: Understand You’re Being Tracked

Did you know that your actions and what you click on may be tracked when you browse the Internet? If you’re surprised, you may be wondering why and how this is happening. Sometimes it is done for website efficiency, other times it’s used to collect data, and in some cases it’s used for spying or cybersnooping. Here’s how your browsing may be tracked

  • When you visit a website they may place a cookie on your computer so they can remember certain data so it can speed up your browsing experience the next time you visit.
  • Many shopping sites like Amazon, eBay and Netflix collect data about your preference so they can make appropriate suggestions to you.
  • Google tracks and analyzes activity to provide statistical data to companies. These companies may use this data for marketing or advertising purposes, or to analyze the effectiveness of a website.
  • Sometimes by downloading a program  or signing up for a website, you agree to allow the program or site to collect data that may be provided to third parties for advertising.
  • Most malware or spyware is used to track and obtain sensitive information like credit card numbers and bank account passwords that can be used for identity theft crimes.
  • If other users use your PC they can spy on your activity by reviewing your browsing history.

In order to protect your privacy and become a safe surfer you need to understand the ways your browsing habits can be tracked and learn the methods to preventing them. There much more steps that you need to know in order to be protected while surfing online.  For more information on keeping yourself and your employees safe while online visit this FREE Internet Safety site sponsored by Goodwill.