Maintain My Privacy www.maintainmyprivacy.com Protect Your Computer Your computer contains information about you and your family members which can include financial information of all kinds, photos, and music. No one wants any of this information to fall into the hands of criminals or be compromised by a Trojan, spyware or a virus. The good news is that there are measures you can take to better protect what is on your computer and the computer itself. Anti Virus Software Anti‐virus software protects your computer from viruses by scanning your computer and your incoming email for viruses, and then deleting them. Viruses can destroy your data, slow your computers performance, cause a crash, or allow spammers to send email through your account. To be effective, your anti‐virus software should update routinely with antidotes to the latest "bugs" circulating through the Internet. Most commercial anti‐virus software includes a feature to download updates automatically when you are on the Internet. You can download anti‐virus software from the Web sites of software companies or buy it in retail stores. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) actually offer anti‐virus software for free.
Firewalls Firewalls help keep hackers from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission. A firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications from and to sources you dont permit. Some operating systems and hardware devices come with a built‐in firewall that may be shipped in the "off" mode. Make sure you turn it on. For your firewall to be effective, it needs to be set up properly and updated regularly. Check your online "Help" feature for specific instructions. Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems have built in firewalls. If your computer does not include a firewall it’s recommended you have one installed. Your search engine can help locate an online store and some firewalls are free. Operating Systems Each computer runs on a specific operating system (OS) that houses the vital components that allows your computer to work. The most well‐known operating systems are from Microsoft (Windows) and Apple (OS X). OS manufacturers issue regular updates (or “patches”) that fix specific problems or vulnerabilities in the OS. These updates are primarily “pushed” to the computer user, meaning the computer automatically receives and downloads those fixes. You can visit your OS vendor’s website for more information. Web Browsers Hackers are looking for new ways to exploit users of older and out‐of‐date web browsers. Most of the major browser vendors regularly update their software to reduce risk factors. You should make sure you’re receiving the latest updates, running the most current version of your browser, and have all the proper security controls turned on. Here is a list of the more popular browsers, and their respective online resources to help enable consistent updates: • Microsoft Internet Explorer: http://support.microsoft.com/ph/8722 • Mozilla Firefox: http://support.mozilla.com/en‐US/kb/Installing+Firefox • Apple Safari: http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/ Source: Stay Safe Online (www.staysafeonline.org)