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Today, we are more dependent on computers and the information that they store than ever before. From spyware, viruses, and Trojans to identity theft and computer hardware malfunctions – any disruption can have a huge impact on our lives. No matter how savvy the user, safe computing practices are a combination of physical protections using computer software, security settings and the secure actions of the user.
Checking your firewall sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Go to your control panel and type “firewall” in the search box. If your firewall is “on” or “connected,” then you’re good to go. Making sure you have a firewall in place can go a long way toward keeping criminals out. Make sure that you share some of your folders only on the home network. If you don’t really need your files to be visible to other machines, disable file and media sharing completely.
Backing up your data protects you in the event of a computer crash or electrical outage or surge, like a lightning storm might produce. It also helps if you fall prey to the newer type of ransomware, which encrypts your sensitive data.
Spotting a rogue website can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to hone your skills. Look for a green lock in the address bar and the code prefix “https://” at the beginning of the URL while entering your credit card data or accessing your web mail.
Some websites are known to lure customers in with an amazing deal, and once they have your credit card information they’re never to be heard from again – your identity may be compromised and there’s not even a product to show for it.
No matter what website you’re on, be careful of the sensitive information you reveal; you should be just as careful with your social media profiles as well. Revealing information as innocent as your pet’s name or mother’s maiden name could lead to identity theft, because you probably use the same data as the security question on some other website.
Never open an email from an unknown or suspicious source, and definitely never open any attachments contained in them. You have to be careful of emails coming from people on your contact list as well, especially if the sender’s account has been hacked.
For more information on how to keep your home computer secure, visit theabcbank.com/fraud-education-center.
The American Bank of Commerce (ABC Bank) has been a proud West Texas business since it's inception as Wolfforth State Bank in Wolfforth, Texas, in 1962.
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