Use great care when "surfing the web." Don't give out your primary
E-mail address unless you absolutely have to.
Get a few secondary, free E-mail addresses to use-- particularly for
shopping, random web surfing, or web site reply. These are available at
sites like www.netscape.com and www.yahoo.com.
Delete or filter out unwanted E-mail. Delete singular or infrequent
SPAM messages. If you do not recognize the sender of the email you should
likely delete the message, especially if the subject line contains something
you do not want or are unfamiliar with. You should also be wary of any
email that contains an attachment, especially if you are unfamiliar with
Please be aware that if you are receiving email that is embarrassing
or obscene that it most likely doesn¹t reflect on you or your computer
usage. Some people are afraid that they will ³get in trouble²
for simply receiving such email.
When you receive Internet Pop-ups that ask a question, it is best to
close the windows by clicking on the "X" in the upper right corner.
Many questions are misleading and often answering "no" will be considered
"yes, I agree".
Wait, don't click that link. >> It's very easy to "spoof" links
in email messages so that they look like they're legitimate, but actually
take you to a counterfeit or hostile Web site and it is recommended not
to use the link. You should use Internet Explorer to browse to that
website and then sign-in. Recently, "spoof" emails have been created
with "sign-in" links that lead to a false site designed to capture your
account username and password.
Do not use a computer on the Internet without an up-to-date antivirus.
Most antivirus software can be purchased for a reasonable $20-$30 per year.
Please understand that Antivirus may still not detect a new virus.
It is extremely important to keep Antivirus software updated. (NOTE:
Our school computers are protected by antivirus.)
Do not use a computer on the Internet without a firewall to prevent
unwanted access to your computer. Firewall software is very reasonable
as well and in some cases, free (Sygate Personal Firewall
and ZoneAlarm Firewall). (NOTE:
Our school computers are protected by a hardware-based firewall.)
DO NOT try to unsubscribe. Many times there will be a link at the bottom
of an unwanted email that tells you to click here to unsubscribe. This
is often an attempt by the spammer to validate your email address.
Never open email attachments! That's right, never! Although
it may appear to be from a friend, it may not be. Most viruses spread
by grabbing the addresses from the address book and sending itself to everyone
in it. It may be that you get one from a friend that never actually
sent it. Always verify that your friend actually sent it and even
then don't open it. Instead right click and 'save as' to your PC
and then scan it for viruses first.
Most Internet "Pop-Ups" are unwanted and often lead to spyware being
installed on the computer. It is recommended that users install a
popup blocker. Free popup blockers are available from Google
and Popup Stopper Free Edition.
Many email programs have a feature called "Preview" that allows one
to view a message before opening it. The preview feature of Email
programs like Outlook Express allows you to unwittingly execute the code
in an infected email. It is best to not use the "Preview" feature.
Watch those files. Want to e-mail 20MB of vacation photos to your folks? Better think again: Most ISPs limit attachments to 5MB or 10MB and will strip off anything bigger. Not to worry, you have a few options. You can store files on the Web and tell people where to find them; Yahoo Mail and Hotmail let paying customers stash up to 30MB of files online. Or you can create an account on Znail that lets your store 5MB for free, 20MB for a buck, 50MB for $10, and so on.
Keep your in-box clean. Being an e-mail pack rat can be a good thing--you never know when you'll want a copy of that memo the boss sent three months ago. But leave too many messages in your in-box, and your e-mail software will take forever to load; it may even crash. The solution? Delete the stuff you don't need, and save the important messages to folders organized by sender or topic. And remember to empty the trash periodically--your mother doesn't work here.
Filter that spam. Maybe you're one of the lucky few whose in-box isn't overrun by ads for pills, porn, or personal enhancements. For the rest of us, a spam filter is essential equipment. Some Web-based e-mail services (like Yahoo Mail and Hotmail) and tools (like Microsoft Outlook or Qualcomm Eudora 6) come with spam filters built in. For the rest, you need software that installs itself inside your e-mail client and separates the gold from the garbage.
Use rules. Any e-mail client worth a darn lets you create rules or filters that scan messages as they come in, move them into folders, send automated responses, and so on. Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express go one better and let you apply any rule to messages already in your in-box--so it's a snap to create a rule to look for e-mail from your boss and automatically file it in a folder named Big Cheese.
Deception on the Internet can persuade you to help attack your own computer,
or it can sucker you into a fraud. It's easy to be taken in by innocent
looking email, an enticing attachment, or a slick Web site. Even experts
do from time to time. The wrong click can ruin your whole day. The
most important thing you can do to defend yourself is get a general idea
of the hazards, and then be on guard out there on the Internet.
Trust makes up the essential glue that holds the rapidly expanding online
marketplace together. Con artists that try to pass themselves off as legitimate,
reputable online businesses can do tremendous harm to consumer confidence
in Internet commerce. By using widely available tools which can easily
copy or recreate digital graphics, a computer-literate cyberspace crook
can build a website that looks strikingly similar to that of a legitimate
online business. This bogus website can lure unsuspecting online consumers
into various online scams.
Users who download and purchase software do not have the right to make
additional copies without the permission of the copyright owner, except
to copy the software onto a single computer and to make another copy for
archival purposes only. Software creates unique problems for copyright
owners because it is easy to duplicate, and the copy is usually as good
as the original. This fact, however, does not make it ethical or legal
to violate the rights of the copyright owner.
When you have finished your login-based session, always remember to
properly log-off and close the browser screen. This ensures that any stored
or cached information is deleted from the system and intruders or other
viewers are not able to view your confidential information.
When making purchases over the Internet, it is best to use encrypted
internet access. Encryption is a technology that makes it difficult
for unauthorized individuals to intercept and view your online activity.
Encrypted connections are indicated through "https://..." versus the normal
Do not use file-sharing programs like Kazaa, Morpheus, BearShare, Limewire,
etc. These programs seem too good to be true by providing free files,
forever! The legal and moral issues surrounding file sharing are complex.
The software and music being shared through these programs is illegal in
most cases. In addition, the programs and downloaded shared-software
main contain viruses or spyware.
It is important to be aware of programs running in the lower right corner
of your computer (system tray). Unwanted background software is often
running as an icon in the system tray. Too many programs running
in the system tray will affect a computer's performance.
When making purchases online, it is best to follow this checklist to
protect your investment.