An unprotected computer on the Internet will be compromised within 4–6 minutes. What can you do to protect yourself?

Email Security

By far, the biggest security issue is email. People just want to open their messages, read them, and click on any links. However, recklessly opening every email in your inbox is a guaranteed way to create security issues for yourself. Protect yourself online with these tips:

  • Don’t open emails from people you don’t know.
  • If you receive a suspicious link in an email, check with the sender to make sure it’s legitimate.
  • If it seems too good to be to be true it almost certainly is. Don’t give your bank account information or Social Security number to someone who offers to give you lots of money. In reality, they probably want to take what you have instead.
  • If you receive an email from your bank that says “click here to change your password,” don’t! If there is an issue and your bank sends you an email, it won’t provide a link — you’ll be asked to visit the website.

General Protection

In addition to being cautious about your email, you can protect yourself online by following these practices:

  • Make sure you have antivirus software. Many internet providers offer free antivirus software as part of the service they provide you.
  • Stick with known, reputable sites. For example, if you want to watch a movie, use a known service or your cable provider.
  • Enable automatic updates if possible.
  • If you have a wireless connection from your cable provider, work with their support to ensure there is a strong password in place and that it is configured properly.