Don’t open any emails or email attachments that you don’t expect to be receiving. Some emails will look legit and very believable, but don’t fall for it.
Don’t click any links in junk mail or emails that are forwarded around like chain letters.
Don’t blindly search the internet and click on websites that you are not familiar with and don’t know if they are reputable or not.
When surfing the internet use well known reputable websites for research or shopping.
If you know a company’s website address, key it in on the address bar at the top of the browser window instead of using Google or Bing to search for it. IE…Don’t Google “Chad Deason”, type chaddeason.com orwww.chaddeason.com in the address bar at the top of page. By keying in the address it helps assure you are actually on the right web site. Hackers may setup a website that looks like your bank’s website and trick you in to believing that is real. If you Google your bank’s site or any other then you can possibly be taken to the wrong site.
When using social media use extra caution when clicking on links that take you outside of those social media sites. Some users will post links to YouTube that might be legit. And some retailers or news media may post legitimate links to their own website. If the posts doesn’t look like a normal post from your friend definitely do not click on those.
Don’t click on the ads displayed on any website reputable or not. IE…Don’t click on the ads that you see on the side of pages like msn.com, yahoo.com, or facebook.com. Even though the site maybe reputable, the ad may not be and could be fake.
If you ever get a call from someone claiming to be Microsoft or anyone else and tries to convince you that something is wrong with your computer and wants to remote in to fix it, hang up immediately. It is a scam. No one should ever call you out of the blue about security issues on your computer. Once they remote in they will claim you have issues that they can resolve for a fee. The fee is normally between $100 and $300. It will be like paying them to give you a virus instead of paying them to fix your computer.
Stay away from free music and free movies. There may be some apps like Pandora and some radio stations will stream music that are okay.
And use extra caution with free PC and cell phone apps. I understand some apps have free versions with ads and paid for versions without ads that are reputable. Do the research and make sure the app is reputable.
Make sure you have an up to date and reputable anti-virus software. My picks for paid for version are Trend Micro Internet Security and Norton Anti-virus. Free version picks are Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast Free. For those using Sandhill Telephone Cooperative for internet service they offer Trend Micro for free.