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Internet Safety for Citizens

Internet Safety for Adults

Computer Security Basics Passwords:1260785_84481055.jpg

  • Avoid using an obvious password.
  • Make sure that it is different from your other passwords.
  • Don't tack it on your computer/desk with a sticky note.
  • Good idea to regularly change your password.

Firewalls:

  • Looks for people trying to hack into your computer through the internet and acts as a filter.
  • Particularly good idea for people with high speed internet access or if you're storing sensitive information such as bank a/cs.
  • Minimizes cookies (tiny scraps of program cod placed on your computer from the sites you visit
  • Will filter pop up ads and direct attacks
  • Can download for free or purchase for 10$ to 60$

Viruses:

A criminal act of mischief that can do considerable damage to stored information and impair the use of your computer.

To protect against viruses:

  • Install firewall
  • Install software
  • Update definitions within the anti-virus software monthly
  • Don't open an e-mail you do not recognize.

Managing unwanted e-mails commonly known as spam:

You can control spam by changing the spam settings on your e-mail account and limit use of personal e-mail by making up a hot-mail e-mail account and using this.

Making Purchases over the Internet

Internet has become a popular place to buy and sell goods. Problems can develop as a result of:

  1. Fraud/bogus auction sites/purchase of precious metals,
  2. International boundaries,
  3. Lack of secure site.

Advice before you buy:

  • Look for the name and contact information of the item's owner.
  • Find out about delivery charges, warranties involved or insurance required before you buy.
  • Consider obtaining an internet credit card.
  • Do not enter personal data unless a statement indicating that all information is kept confidential is clearly visible and the site is secure.

Wireless Networking537904_91408413.jpg

  • Uses radio waves
  • Outsiders can "Sniff" out and access your internet connection giving them acces to your computer network and files.
  • If you have this technology research and take the latest security precautions.
  • What your internet service provider can do for you:
  • Advise the internet address of everyone you send an e-mail to as well as when you sent it.
  • The contents of an unencrypted e-mail.
  • The contents and source of every file you download.
  • The address of every web site you visit and the length of time you spend there.

Cybercrime Safety Tips:

  • Don't Trust the identity of anyone you've met on the internet
  • Don't give out personal information
  • Don't send anything over the internet that you wouldn't want seen buy millions, even to a friend.
  • If you do not use a firewall, unplug your internet connection when your computer's not in use.
  • Criminals who scam to take our money are getting better at their craft. Scammers are riding on the good name and credibility of
  • legitimate, well-respected internet organizations (i.e. e-Bay). A product might be advertised on a Classified Ad Website initially once contact with the consumer is made, they ask to switch to e-Bay to give "protection" to both parties. There is no added protection.
  • Many of these scammers are in distant countries pretending to be near or having local presence. In fact, they are using the anonymity of the Internet and operate behind several layers of Internet isolation. You may pay a deposit or the full amount for a purchase and get nothing in return.

Here are some tips to protect you:

Buying:

Scammers can get photos of shiny new stuff easily. Insist on getting a current photo of the item, which may include a dated newspaper headline beside the product; at the very least, it will re-assure you that the seller has the product at the time the item is listed. Get a phone number from the seller and call them back before sending money. Get the exact location of where the product is and then check to see if the address exists. Scammers use addresses of hotels or museums, or simply make one up, which are bogus. Check comparative pricing. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true! Use common logic. Why would someone in England be selling a snowmobile? Well, they wouldn't. There is no snowmobile for sale, and if there were, shipping to Sudbury would be more costly than the value of the item. Someone offering a product for sale from the North-West Territories would encounter significant costs for delivery. If a sale is legitimate, they are more likely to sell their items closer to home.

Selling:

Do NOT accept money orders that exceed the value of the item you are selling - legitimate sales are not done that way. Also, don't be fooled by fake shipping costs. Take cheques to your own bank and get specific advice from them. Cheques from another country can take weeks before they are returned NSF or determined to be fraud. Be alert if purchasers don't refer to you product with specific details. Scammers are sending and receiving hundreds of e-mails daily, trying to catch that one person who has their guard down. They do not take the time to remember details of every item they target, so they may use terms like "Your item" or "The Product".

Stranded:

Do NOT send money to a friend stranded in a distant place unless you verify the problem with family members. Scammers tap into e-mail address books and send "urgent help" messages to friends / loved-ones indicating they have "Lost their wallet and are stuck in _____".

 

Resources

Internet Fraud Prevention