Nine Tips Get to Be a Safe Computer User and Create a Safer Internet

Posted by John Larkin - February 12, 2014

It was Safer Internet Day yesterday! The theme this year is “Let’s create a better internet together”. Meanwhile, as common users, we can make ourselves safe Internet users.

Yesterday, February 11th, 2014, we had celebrated the tenth ceremony of a new and important holiday – Safer Internet Day. Dating back to 2004, the name is given to remind net people of how the Internet can be made like the Wild West. As more and more people use computer, Internet develops fast but meanwhile causes many serious security problems, such as flush mobile phone viruses, personal information lost and furious Internet ransom. It is necessary to create a safe Internet environment. As the holiday name indicates, we cannot gain a 100 percent safe Internet but we are carrying out to create a safer platform for people to surf the Internet. Individually, we can make our own Internet experience much safer without great computer skills or tough problem-solve measures. It is just a few of good habits.

1. Keep Antivirus software
Antivirus software and firewall programs can protect our computers from most PC viruses. Though most antivirus finds it powerless when being confronted with new computer viruses, it is also a good barrier against threats.

2. Enable auto updates of system programs
Love updating all programs especially those usually used. At first, the Operating System, web browsers, important contacting tools should be taken into first consideration of updating. Besides, some Flash player, Java and PDF readers should be updated promptly. Updating will take you a few minutes but will do a good job in protecting the computer.

3. Disallow all disks from running automatically
USB disks are always used to spread viruses. If you are not cautious about the affected removal devices, you may provide the virus with a big chance to attack your computer. Later on, your whole system could be taken over while important data or information would be stolen for illegal usage.

4. Love your check in startup items
Usually, PC viruses will immediately add new items to Startup menu. Always checking startup items will help you find weird items and get prompt removal if they are viruses. Though it is tedious, it is not a bad idea to prevent the machine from being affected and further damaged. To do this, you can type “msconfig” in Run, and then search the suspicious item online. Meanwhile, you can have a professional tool in your computer to automatically clear useless and dangerous files.

5. Well manage the password
Hard as it is to remember passwords to various websites like blogs, e-mails and MSN, it is necessary to use long and complex ones instead of 123456 which is commonly used last year. In addition, it is highly advised to use a password manager to protect the password from easy cracking. Meanwhile, it is also not a good choice to store passwords on web browsers as they could be hijacked by malware, adware, or even ransomware, and so on.

6. Be careful of links
Without doubt, links can make life much easier: by just a light click on the links, you get to desired pages like disposal windows. However, the misfortune is that web criminals usually take advantage of links to deceive net users into downloading pesky PC viruses or other computer threats. It is not easy to tell bad links from good ones, but we can take care of unknown links especially from strange e-mails or instant messages. Some criminals even send e-mails disguising as coming from legitimate companies.

Meanwhile, it is essential to look out of risky links from pop-up windows. For example, when you are visiting a funny site you may receive a popup with banners like “You have won a prize”, “You need to update your java” and “Get your computer work faster”. Such messages can be told as 100 percent fraudulent.

Moreover, using popular and professional web browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will be helpful to safeguard the computer. They will always warn you of dangers.

7. Learn to propose reports
We should know that Internet threats include not only malware or viruses but also forum “trolls”, bullies and provocateurs. Innocent net users especially children or teenagers are rather assailable to such type of threats. When we report to any forum, chat or social network containing a “report spam”, “report abuse” or “block user” button, other people will gain benefit as well. This is just like what we do in daily life like encountering violence.

8. The smartphone is a small computer
As is usually mentioned, people can download, install and launch programs or software in smartphones. That is, smartphones are like small computers that can surf the Internet, pay money in shopping sites and watch videos, and so forth. Web criminals could target smartphones especially those without well protection tools.

9. Talk to vulnerable groups including kids and seniors
Most recommendations we mentioned above are simple and easy-to-use. But obviously, certain groups of computer users such as children and seniors are lack of PC knowledge. Apart from teaching them the tip of “Be careful of links”, doing favor in protecting themselves from malware and web criminals, it is smart to plant an idea that not all said on the Internet is real or true.

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