Staying secure online.

Staying secure online.

If you spend any time connected to the internet, it’s essential that you protect your computer from common security problems. If your computer isn’t protected, you’re vulnerable to viruses, Trojans and worms and your computer is at risk of becoming part of a botnet.

It’s also important to be aware of the scams that are used by fraudsters to find out your personal details online. Read our guide to phishing to find out how to protect your personal information.

If you have children and want to make sure they only access parts of the internet that you want them to see, you can use parental control software.

Tips to protect yourself online:

  • Use security software on your computer – McAfee, Norton and Kapersky offer security software which provides protection against viruses. There are also good options available from Microsoft for free.
  • Use a firewall – this is a piece of software that creates a barrier between your computer and the internet. Firewalls protect your computer from attacks and track potential and actual threats. Personal firewalls are included with Windows operating systems from XP service pack 2 and above.
  • Keep software up to date – try and make sure you keep your computer software up to date so it's protected against new threats. Windows updates can help keep your computer safe, so it's worth turning these on.
  • Be careful with unfamiliar attachments – if you’re not sure what an attachment is in an email or on a website, don’t open it.
  • Don’t download pirated software – pirated software doesn’t come from a trusted source and it’s often used to get hidden viruses onto your computer.
  • Create a strong password – a password with at least eight characters and a mix of letters, numbers and symbols will help to protect your computer.

For more information, visit get safe online.

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