Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tips for Secure Browsing and Emailing

Tips for Secure Browsing

* Always use the most current version of your browser.
* Check for the "lock" icon on the status bar that shows that you are on a secured web site. Also check that the URL begins with "https" in the location bar when making transactions online.
* In the Tools menu of Firefox, Tools > Options > Privacy, you can clear your information with one click of a button. This is especially useful when using a computer in a public location.
* Perform transactions (like shopping or submitting personal information) at sites that are well established and that are familiar to you. If you're not familar with a site, make sure that the site has a privacy policy and information about the site's security measures.

Tips for Using Email Securely

* Be aware that it is extremely easy for someone to forge an email message to make it appear as if the message has been sent by your bank, a software vendor (e.g., Microsoft), or another entity with whom you do business. If a message requests that you send your password or other private information, or asks that you run or install an attached file, then it is very likely that the message is not legitimate. When in doubt, just mark the message as "junk" and delete it.
* Be cautious when clicking on links sent to you in email messages. If you do click on such a link, double-check the name of the site as shown in the location bar of the browser, and be especially careful if the site name displayed is an IP address (e.g., "") instead of a domain name (e.g., "www.example.com"); in the former case it is very likely the site is not legitimate. Don't enter any personal information into forms displayed at such a site, and if you have any concerns whatsoever about your security, just close the browser window.

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