INTERNET SAFETY FOR EVERYONE A QUICK AND EASY CRASH COURSE But I already know how to use the You use the internet every day, and internet! nothing bad has happened so far. So, you must know all about internet safety, right? Wrong. Even experienced internet users unwittingly do things online that put them at risk. Internet-based crime can happen to anyone.

If youre not aware of internet safety, you might be at risk of Infecting your computer with a virus. Allowing unknown persons to access your personal data and passwords, which may enable them to commit identity theft. Revealing personal details about your location, financial situation, and identity

that might allow someone to target you for a real world crime. Being harassed or bullied online. Being tricked into giving away money or personal information. Things you might not know about internet safety: Studies estimate that up to 48% of American computers are infected

with malware, which is an intentionally malicious program or code. f Of the internet fraud cases reported to the FBI in 2009, only 38% of the victims knew the perpetrators state of residence-- making most wrongdoers very hard to track down. ! d

As many as 10 million Americans are affected by identity theft--one of the biggest dangers on the internet--every year. p Only 38-48% of victims of identity theft learn that theyre being victimized within four months of the theft beginning. That means, by the time most people realize whats going on,

major damage has already been done. Okay, okay, I believe you! So what can I do? Dont freak out! There are several easy steps that you can take to protect yourself online. Always keep personal safety in mind. Identity theft and invasions of privacy can have very real consequences. Taking certain precautions and

adopting safe habits can go a long way toward protecting you from personal harm. Guard your personal information. Never respond to an email asking for any passwords or account numbers, even if they seem to come from a trusted source. Before revealing personal details like your full name or home address, ask yourself if its really necessary to share that information. Use privacy filters and settings on social networking sites to limit the amount of information you share with strangers. Browse cautiously. Before you enter a username and password

into a site, double check the web address to make sure youre at the correct site and not an imitator. The most popular browsers offer tools and settings to help protect you from bad sites. Update your browser frequently and avoid sites it deems unsafe. Download safely. Download only from trusted sites. Malware is often disguised as an innocuous program or file. Download from a site you know and trust, or use the search tool at to search for downloads that have been verified as safe. Save the files you download instead of running

them. This gives your computer more of a chance to verify that downloads are safe. Read the privacy and licensing agreement. Its a pain, we know, but if you dont read the fine print, you may be unintentionally agreeing to install spyware or adware on your computer. What about my computer? Isnt it at risk, too? Computers have the potential to be subject to a number of attacks, including viruses, worms, and spyware. Sound scary? Dont worry. You can keep your computer safe with a few

simple precautions and regular maintenance. What protection do I need? The best defense against internet threats is a good antivirus software. Antivirus software can protect you from infected email attachments, corrupt websites, internet worm viruses, spyware and more. What to look for in

an antivirus program: Antivirus Anti-spyware Firewall Specifically protects against viruses Protects against malicious software that may be gathering your information without

your knowledge Screens out threats that try to reach your computer over the Internet Things to consider before you buy: Investigate Your Computer Some computers come with security software, but you may need to subscribe to it after a trial period. Windows 7 and Mac OS already have built-in firewalls. Make sure to turn them on. Free vs. Paid Premium Software There are a number of free antivirus programs that can offer an adequate amount of

protection. However, many free antivirus programs dont include technical support and may have limited functions and updating capabilities. Is that all? Not really. This has its downsides, though--with new content, applications, and technology come new viruses, scams, and risks. Luckily, there are an abundance of sites and programs that help keep you safe and up-to-date. ? One of the great things about the internet is that its constantly changing

?? More resources: A free internet safety tutorial Presented by An extensive global resource on internet safety A tool to help you create stronger passwords A comprehensive internet safety resource maintained by the Federal

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