The National Cyber Security Alliance presents
Online Security & Safety Tips
National Cyber Security Alliance
With Support Provided by Microsoft
Reviewed by the Federal Citizen Information Center
We have all come to enjoy and rely upon the Internet to learn, work and play. But the same qualities that make the online world so enriching can also make us more vulnerable to criminal hackers who seek to do harm.
Just as you take precauions to keep your home safe from burglars, there are steps you can take to help protect you personal computer (PC) and yourself from cyber criminals.
Here are three steps you can take to make your computer more secure:
1. Use an Internet firewall
2. Get computer updates
3. Use up-to-date anti-virus software
Use an Internet firewall
A firewall is software that helps create a protective barrier between your computer and potentially harmful attacks. Many businesses have firewalls built into their networks, but home users should install firewall software if it was not included in the software package that came with their PC.
Even with the protection of a firewall, it's smart to back up your files on a regular basis to protect them in case your system does get damaged. Copy your important documents and files onto a floppy disk or a CD for safekeeping.
Get computer updates.
No matter what software you use, you need to make sure your computer is protected by installing the latest security updates. Security updates help shield your computer from viruses, worms and other threats as they are discovered.
Check your software maker's Web site for new security updates or use the automated updating features that some companies offer.
Use anti-virus software.
Viruses, worms and other forms of malicious code pose a real threat to your computer, so you need to help defend it by using anti-virus software.
New viruses and worms are emerging all the time, so anti-virus programs need regular updates so they can recognize the new threats.
The more often your anti-virus software is updated the better. Sign up for regular updates from your anti-virus software company.
Other online safety tips.
Following are a few other general tips to help avoid online threats such as spam, spyware, identity theft and inappropriate content.
At Microsoft, helping keep our customers safe from cyber criminals is a top priority. Because there is no single solution to prevent cyber attacks, our approach includes developing improved technology, partnering with our industry peers to increase public awareness, supporting law enforcement efforts to bring cyber criminals to justice, and working with lawmakers to develop effective policies. We are proud to support the National Cyber Security Alliance, which does so much to help consumers stay safe online through their Web site (www.staysafeonline.info).
By using the safety tips in this guide, you too are playing a vital part to secure not only your own system but the broader computing environment as well. There are tools available to help you - check out the links listed on the back of this guide.
If all of us - industry, government and consumers - do our part, we can look forward to a more secure computing experience.
Steven A. Ballmer
There are many great sources of safety and security information on the Internet, Please check the Web Sites of the National Cyber Sercurity Alliance's members and other organizations for more information:
Firewall software resources:
Anti-virus software resources:
Get the Savvy Consumer Newsletter! (FREE)