Internet and Technology Presentations, Workshops, Training, Melbourne, Australia

Connecting businesses with customers

Making Surfing the Internet Secure

Michael Grose Parenting Report, Volume 9 Issue 1, Page 3
Article by Melissa Norfolk
Accredited professional speaker

Did you know that each time you connect to the internet you open a worldwide connection and anyone else on the internet with the right tools can access your computer. It is then vulnerable to unscrupulous people who want to steal your information or simply create havoc for you?

Unfortunately, this is the reality of the Internet, as great as it is for you and your family to access the most amazing information, you also need to protect yourself from others who choose to use the Internet in a dishonest and corrupt way.

But there are ways to lessen your risk and make surfing the Internet secure.

Firstly, some myth busting:

I have a dial up internet connection so I don't have to worry about security.

Wrong! While you may not be connected to the Internet for long periods or have a permanent connection like you do with broadband/ADSL you are still exposed to the dangers each time you connect to the Internet.

I don't use Internet Explorer and/or I use a Mac so I don't need Internet Security

Wrong! While Internet Explorer and Windows are the most popular targets, your computer is still vulnerable to attacks even if you have a Mac and/or use a different web browser.

I don't have anything worth stealing on my computer

Wrong! Your home address could be on your computer, along with bank account details or personal information contained in documents such as your resume etc. Once a hacker has your personal information they can steal your identity to open up false credit card accounts and run up other expenses in your name. The onus is then on you to prove that you didn't open these accounts or spend that money!

I have antivirus software, isn't that enough.

Sorry wrong again, while it will protect you from receiving a virus, it is not a firewall and can not stop hackers getting access to your computer.

So what do you need to protect yourself, family and computer?

Antivirus programs protect your computer from viruses that spread via email, surfing the internet, floppy disk or other storage devices. These viruses can corrupt or destroy your data, or render the hard drive of your computer useless. An antivirus program can be set up so that each email or file that you load onto your computer is scanned and checked for viruses and if a virus is found you are alerted and that file or email can be quarantined or destroyed.

A Firewall blocks people from accessing your computer via the Internet. You can still get out and surf the net, but they can't get in! Hackers scour the Internet looking for unprotected computers that are easy to break into. Once in, they can delete or steal information or crash your computer. You should install a personal firewall which is a piece of software on your computer.

Spyware Protection software can clean up spyware and pop up windows on your computer and prevent them from being installed in future. Spyware is software that has been secretly installed while you are visiting websites or installing software, it may collect personal information about you, send pop up advertising messages (also know as adware) to your computer screen (even when you are not on the Internet), change the configuration of your computer, slow it down or crash it.

Spam Filters block unwanted or junk email messages, which is a growing problem on the internet. While both Australia and the US introduced Anti spam laws, many spammers use servers outside these countries. While the majority of spam is just annoying, some spam emails can contain viruses. Some ISP's do have spam blocking software available as an "extra" so that email messages deemed as spam are blocked before they reach your inbox. Other spam filters can be installed directly onto your computer and suspect email is sent to a separate folder, so that you can check the folder and delete unwanted email regularly.

There are many individual or bundled software programs available for each of the four internet security issues above, but you need to make sure you have all four to protect your computer. Whether you choose to purchase a bundle, single programs or download free software, it is important to remember that it must be regularly updated so that any new viruses or security threats can be avoided.

Internet expert, Melissa Norfolk, speaks to business, school and community groups about effective use of the internet, finding what you need online, internet safety and online marketing.

For more information phone (03) 9816 3488.

Copyright © 2008 Melissa Norfolk Technology Presentations