Today, February 8, 2011 is Safer Internet Day.   It’s more than a game, its your life.  One can’t  over emphasize how important it is to pay attention when you and your family are online. The internet is integral to our daily lives.  Online is where we live and we need to stay safe online. 

 Here are a eleven  tips to achieve that goal:

  • Know who is on the other side of the conversation:  Know with whom you are engaged online (the true identity with whom you are exchanging data)
  • PII/PCI:  Never give out personal or financial data without knowing with whom you are providing the information (the true identity)
  • Security Software:  Keep your security software updated
  • Be alert to Phishing email (suspicious email): Guide your family to not reply or click on links within emails asking for personal or financial information
  • Passwords:  Practice good cyber-hygiene – Passwords are like toothbrushes – you should not share them with others and you should change them often (every 90-120 days or when they are exposed). 
  • Guidance & Direction: Guide your young. The internet is to receive information only and not to be used to share information. Only Mom & Dad share information over the internet.
  • Browser Settings: If available configure your browser log-in to HTTPS (S=secure) and avoid having your password sniffed and grabbed when connecting via an open (not secure) network connection.  Always look for this option when configuring Facebook, Google Mail, etc. — Where are you the most vulnerable – those open wireless connections  your local shopping center or coffee shop.
  • Computer Settings: Disable Auto-Run – just like putting your safety-belt on when you take your seat in the car, take a primary safety step and anti-virus scan all media being introduced to your PC, even if you received it from a trusted source, their USB/CD/DVD may be ill and contain malware/crimeware and why allow it to infect yours?  
  • E-mail: If a retailer or vendor asks you to “email your credit or debit card data” – Say “Absolutely Not” and don’t do it. 
  • Public Computers: Use an internet connection at the library, airport, etc? Clear the browser’s history and cache’s when you are finished to remove “easy” accessibility to the websites you visited (and your personal data). 
  • Children & Profiles:   Do your children wear their Name, Address and Age on the back of their jacket when playing in the neighborhood? Then why post it on a website’s profile.

Online safety is important to me, please make it both important and a priority for you and your family. 

LINKS:  Safer Internet Day:  Insafe