The Prevent Defense: 4 Tips for Safe Internet Browsing

The mere thought of being infected by a computer virus is enough to send someone into a panic. A cyber attack can compromise everything, wipe out your photo and music collections, steal your passwords, and render your desktop into a $1,000 paperweight.

Though antivirus software can fix most problems, their success, and the best practice to fight against uninvited problems is prevention. Here are a few tips to keep your computer virus-free and running properly:

1. Use Your Street-Smarts on the Information Superhighway: If you were driving down the street and came across a sign reading, “Free gas for a year,” you’d probably suspiciously wonder what the catch is. The same doubt should creep in when you browse the internet. An offer “too good to be true,” generally is. Do not give your credit or personal information to a site offering free cash, plane tickets, etc. unless you know it to be reputable. Similarly, avoid opening e-mail, especially attachments, from unfamiliar parties as they may contain malicious files.

2. Use the Most Up-to-Date Antivirus Software: Antivirus developers work tirelessly to research and counteract online threats. For a fraction of the cost of repairs, or a new computer, you can use a Norton 360 coupon to purchase industry-leading software to scan your files for infection, detect fake or “phishing” websites, and analyze the performance of your computer.

3. Keep Your Software Updated: At times, pop-ups reminding you to update your browser or system may seem intrusive. Ignore these warnings and you leave your computer vulnerable. The most recent versions of Internet browsers not only give you new and exciting ways to make surfing the web easier, they provide built-in protection and tools to customize your security.

4. Keep Personal Info Secure: Losing your passwords or credit information to an unknown party can cost you time, money, and frustration. Be wary of false websites or emails asking for any sensitive information. Change passwords regularly, and be sure to use strong passwords including some combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

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