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Friday, 13 April 2012

Online Security Measures:

Guarding financial and personal information: 

Includes credit card, bank account, driver's license, PIN and NIC numbers etc. Store such information in writing away from the source to prevent easy access and unwanted disclosure.

Being ward of imposters:

Crooks pretending to be from companies one does business with, claiming they need to verify personal information. It is always wise to authenticate before responding especially if the asked for information is previously provided.

Staying safe online: 

Clues about security on Web sites should be followed, especially where asked to provide financial or other sensitive information. Despite the browser's indication to safeguard information, there is no guarantee that the company will store it securely.

Disposable email addressing:

While registering for websites, social networking and chat rooms etc. It is a good idea to share an email address that is not actively used. This aids in preserving ones identity and keeping businesses private.

Taking Facebook Safety Measures:

Face book is the most popular site for networking also where privacy could be easily invaded. A privacy setting where photographs, videos and status etc. is only accessed by 'Friends Only' is highly recommended. Also, posting personal information e.g. about going on a vacation or business trips makes one vulnerable to break-ins. The following tips can help:
  •   Creating a password using upper and lowercase letters mixed in with numbers.
  •   Leave your birth year off your profile to help prevent identity theft
  •   Use the site's privacy controls and recheck them off and on

Turning off your computer:

When working long hours on the computer it is advisable to turn off the wireless switch or the remove the internet cable to avoid any possible access to the computer through the internet. Turning off the computer will not only protect unauthorized access, but will also save energy and give the required rest to the system.
Buying a security suite: Computer come with a few security components, such as a firewall that can be turned-on on use. Additional security measures are always helpful and wise.

Being careful with downloads:

Claiming to be approved by the better business Bureau or being secure is no guarantee that the site will spyware that may compromise security.

Using wireless connections:

A wireless connection should only be used personal or financial business if it is secured and restricted to access. Special care is to be taken if the system is public or through shared computers.

The Vulnerablility to internet Addiction:

Internet addiction is defined as using the internet for more than eight hous a day, or loss of control over the use of internet. As teenagers nowadays stay logged on the web for its convenience, many have revealed worrying signs of internet addiction. This could be identified with someone cannot clearly differentiate between cyberspace and reality which may damage mental and physical health.
According to a research survey, 18% of high schools students develop an internet addiction which may cause problems in learning school performance, developing healthyrelationships and controlling impulses. Initially denied, this condition is now being considered as a new addition in the Offical Handbook of Mental Disorders (DSMV).

The Exposure at Internet Cafes:

It become unavoidable at times to use a public computer while away from home which might not include the essential security settings and firewalls for protection. Private information such as credit card information (Online shopping), bank account details( internet banking ) and personal emails should be avoided. Using a public computer just for anonymous browsing ( e.g. weather, news, updates etc.) is alright. Risks of using internet-cafe and public-computer include:
Unscrupulous owners and managers:
There is a chance that the person running the internet cafe might be involved in the internet business or the identity-theft business.

Phony 'customs' or internet-cafe patrons are there to spy: Some cyber criminals can see precisely what you are typing regardless of how fast you can type.

'Security' Cameras:
The visible security cameras are for public safety; while the invisible cameras could be recording all windows viewed and each keystroke made, together with recording all 'immoral' acts by users in the booth; to be later used for blackmailing purposes.

Corrupted computers:
Most publicly used computers are infected with malware, have viruses, worms and Trojan horses.
Being used previously by cyber criminals is also a possible.

Booby-trapped Computers:
The cafe manager could install spying devices that would record each keypad movement. Such devices are impossible to locate, without disassembling the computer.

Unsafe Wi-Fi devices:
Internet cafes often provide local Wi-Fi hot spots.
The information even if encrypted could easily be accessed by Wi-Fi spes.