Internet and Computer Safety and Security Resources

Photo courtesy of Flickr: Nasuni

The Internet offers many benefits; it is a global marketplace, entertainment medium, forum ideas, and a meeting place for people from all over the world. At the same time, however, it also introduces new threats to one's safety. Computer viruses and other malicious software lurk in all corners of the Internet in search of computers to infect and take control of. Cyber criminals, such as scammers, sexual predators, hackers, and identity thieves are not bound by location and anyone can become a target. The key to reducing one's likelihood of becoming a victim is to understand the basic concepts of computer security. Protecting personal information, password safety techniques, infection prevention techniques, network security, and child safety awareness are some of the major issues that users will need to master in order to stay safe online.

Protect Personal Information

Password Safety

  • Create Strong Passwords: Microsoft offers guidance on how to best create safe and strong passwords. The article reviews a method to use when creating passwords and what it makes a password a strong one.
  • How to Protect Your Online Passwords: This page on PC World is an article on secure passwords. Readers learn why they should care about passwords that are easy to guess and about password protection on public computers.
  • Tips for Creating a Strong Password: Information about how to create a strong password for online accounts. Steps to develop this password are given.
  • Learn About Series - Password Safety: Strong password rules are just some of the safety tips that are provided on this Miller School of Medicine web page. In addition, readers are taught how to remember strong passwords and how to protect them.
  • Password Security: A list of questions regarding passwords and their security. For answers to these questions readers can scroll down the page or click the question to go directly to the answer.
  • Password Safety: Information on this web page covers password tools, types and requirements, traditional passwords and signs of misuse. The page includes links to further information about passwords.

Keep Computers Clean and Avoid Viruses

  • Recovering from a Trojan Horse or Virus: A PDF document that discusses how to recover a computer that has been infected by a virus. The process is explained step-by-step and includes a section on how to protect computers.
  • Guide to Online Protection - Protecting Against Malware: A bulleted list of tips on how to protect a computer from being infected by malware. The page also includes links to further information on the website about how to keep computers healthy and protecting personal information.
  • Protecting Your Computer and You Identity: A PDF document that discusses protecting one's computer. Topics of discussion in the document include viruses, spyware, spam, and more.
  • Keeping Your Computer Virus-Free: Guidelines for keeping computers free of viruses are listed on this UC San Diego web page. To read the full information for each of the guidelines, click them to expand.
  • Keeping a Clean Computer: On this page readers will find best computer security practices for keeping both PCs and Macs free of viruses and spyware. Tips are also included on how to prevent both from running slow.
  • Removing Unwanted Software from Windows Computers: Preventative measures, removal goals, and methods of removing viruses, worms and Trojans are discussed in this resource and readers also learn how to remove adware and spyware and are given advanced detection and removal information.

Using Secure Networks

  • Securing Your Wireless Network: Learn how wireless networks work and how to secure them by clicking on this link. This website discusses securing one's router, encryption, and limiting network access for computer security.
  • Protecting Your Wireless Network: The Federal Communications Commission, more commonly known as the FCC, Consumer Task Force reviews the benefits and risks of using a wireless network. The page includes step-by-step directions on how to secure a wireless network. The page also includes additional safety tips.
  • How Can I Secure My Home Wireless Network?: This resource answers how to set-up a secure wireless network at home. Issues such as staying up-to-date, using encryption and changing the default SSID are discussed.
  • Secure Your Home Wireless Network: Learn how to secure a wireless network by clicking on this link. The page associated with the link explains the need for a secure network and the steps that are necessary to secure it.
  • How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network: A PDF document that discusses the steps to securing a wireless home network.
  • Securing a Wireless Network: Problems with wireless networks and the steps necessary to secure them are outlined in this PDF brochure.

Online Safety for Kids

  • Safety Tips: The NetSmartz Workshop for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers a list of tips on how to keep children safe while online. Tips range from where to keep computers that kids use to what to do if cyber-stalking or online sexual exploitation is suspected.
  • A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety: The Federal Bureau of Investigations provides this PDF document on how parents can protect their children from online predators and other online threats. The document goes into great detail regarding how to identify certain risks and reviews what to do if they suspect a predator is communicating with their child.
  • Internet Safe Kids Pledge: After discussing Internet safety with children, print out this PDF Internet safety pledge. The pledge is for younger children and outlines things that they should and should not do while on the Internet.
  • Keeping Children Safe on the Internet: A PDF brochure for parents that reviews ways to keep children safe while they are online. Threats ranging from juvenile crime to predators are also a major part of the brochure.
  • Internet Safety: Online protection tools and safety laws are discussed in this KidsHealth article for parents. The article also shares tips on how parents can get involved in what their kids are doing online, and lists basic rules that kids should follow when using the Internet.
  • Internet Safety or Kids: WebMD reviews common mistakes that kids make that can jeopardize their safety when online. The article also discusses how parent can help.
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