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Are You Making These Internet Mistakes?

You may believe that your Internet connection is safe and secure because you have anti-virus software running. This is actually a common misconception for too many people, because online security requires constant vigilance and properly configured software to guard you and your family against the latest threats. Let’s look at some common Internet mistakes people make.

Using Weak Passwords

Weak passwords mean your computer, online accounts, and router are vulnerable to hackers. Hackers use programs that simply run down numbers sequentially or use “dictionary attacks” to guess common passwords. If your password is a common word or series of numbers, it can be easily guessed.

A strong password has a minimum of eight characters and a mixture of numbers and letters. You could replace your “a’s” with “@”, for example. Make it as random as possible and change it every few months.

Clicking on Phony Links

If you receive an email or see a link in social media, don’t automatically click the link. It can take you to a “phishing” site where your personal information can be stolen. Many people receive official-looking emails from banks or other institutions that are actually clever disguises by hackers. Don’t click on a link unless it’s from a trusted person or you recognize the Internet address.

Not Updating Your Software

Hacking is basically an arms race. When you fail to keep your software updated, particularly your anti-virus software, you are losing ground to hackers who exploit vulnerabilities in software. Keep your anti-virus software updated with the latest virus definitions.

Downloading Free Software From an Unknown Source

Many people automatically click on free software downloads they come across while browsing the Internet or in their email. After all, it’s okay because it’s free, right? Wrong. Many such programs are actually malware or spyware in disguise.

Some of these programs come bundled with more legitimate software you actually need. Make sure anything pre-checked in the installation wizard for that program is something you need.

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How to avoid spamming people on the Internet

How to avoid spamming people on the Internet
If you have been using the computer and the Internet for a while, you have surely come across the term “spam” before. Spam refers to transmitting some form of communication to an individual in an excessive amount, such that the recipient becomes overwhelmed and irritated. For example, imagine someone sends you so much email that you are not even able to get through reading it all, let alone respond to each message with a coherent thought. You may receive spam for several reasons: perhaps your friend or contact’s email address has been hijacked; many scammers out there utilize this method because it’s an efficient way to send their advertisements to someone and have it look like it’s coming from a trustworthy source. They couple this with automated computer scripts to enable them to send as many emails as they want to as many people as they want–your entire contact list, for example. In order to avoid any of your accounts from becoming hijacked or “phished”, meaning someone has gained access to your login and password, you should be sure to keep a secure password that contains both upper and lower case letters with at least one number and symbol. On top of that, be sure to change your password periodically, just in case, and where possible, do not use the same password for more than one online account. If any of your accounts have been phished and are being utilized to spam your contact list, you will most likely become quickly aware of it, as you will notice your friends complaining to you about suspicious emails that try to prompt the reader to put in credit card information or other kinds of personal property. Lastly, it’s important to keep your computer clean of any viruses, malware and spyware. This means doing regular system scams with your favorite anti-virus software to maintain system security.