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✔ Tips for a Total Online & Offline Security

Whether you’re at work or at home, your computer probably contains documents with personal information such as client data or sensitive household records (budgeting spreadsheets and tax calculations). These are the files you’d prefer that a stranger not see if your computer were to be lost, stolen or accessed by hackers.
With the sudden rise in the Internet usage across the globe over the past few years, there has also been a rise in the amount of online scams and frauds. Today most of the Internet users are unaware of the most prevailing online threats which pose a real challenge for their safe Internet usage. As a result, Online Security has become a questionable factor for the most Internet users. However it is still possible to effectively combat online insecurity provided that the users are well aware of the common scams and frauds and know how to protect themselves. A study shows that over 91% of the Internet users are unaware of the online scams and are worried about their security. Well if you are one among those 91% then here is a list of 10 tips to ensure your total online & Offline security.

1. Use a secure web browser. Internet Explorer is also (arguably) consistently the worst as far as computer security is concerned. Even its latest version IE7, still contains several vulnerabilities that are easily exploitable by hackers. Plus, its lack of add-on capability means that you cannot customize it with security enhancements. For these reasons, you should consider using browsers with better security performance ratings, such as Mozilla Firefox, Chrome or Opera.

Use a personal firewall. A firewall is a program that protects your computer from unauthorized access by filtering all information that comes through it. Windows comes with its own firewall, although some anti-virus programs may also have their own versions. You may adjust the setting from highly restrictive to highly permissive, but the default setting is recommended for optimal browsing. Whatever your choice, having a firewall running at all times is a must for safe system operation.

3. Always install a good antivirus software like Quickheal, Kaspersky, ESET Nod32, McAfee, BitDefender, avast!, Norton etc and keep it up-to-date. Also install a good anti-spyware to keep your PC away from spywares.. i recommend you to use anti-spyware softwares like Doctor,Windows Defender, Malwarebytes Anti Malware, Spy Sweeper etc.

4. Be responsible in choosing the sites you visit. Always visit known and trusted websites. If you are about to visit an unknown website, ensure that you do not click on suspectable links and banners.

Your web browser should show a little "Golden lock" symbol on the bottom. It is usually in the bottom right corner on most browsers. If the "Golden lock" is closed, then you are on a secure page. If the lock is open, then you are not.

5. Perform a Virus scan on the files / email attachments that you download before executing them.

6. Any external storage devices like Pen Drive are Most dangerous devices which allow viruses to get spread into the system very very easily.. So the solution is to Perform a virus scan of every external devices before executing them..... After scanning also if you are not sure then open 'My Computer' , Right-click on the external storage device and choose "Explore".
Never open any devices directly by double clicking or by using Enter Button.

7. Regularly Update your operating system and browser software. For a better security it is recommended that you surf the Internet through the latest version of your browser programs.

8. Never share your password (email, bank logins etc.) with any one for any reason. Choose a strong password (A blend of alphanumeric + special symbols) and change it regularly, eg. every 4-5 months. Avoid using easy-to-guess or Weak passwords. (eg. pet’s name or kid’s name)

9. Before you enter your password on any login page, ensure that you see https instead of http. ex. instead of . HTTPS protocol implements SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and provide better security than a normal HTTP. For more information on HTTPS and SSL see Know More About Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

10. At the time of login please be sure you unchecked your 'Remember me' check box below user name & Password.
Beware of phishing emails! Do not respond to any email that request you to update your login details by clicking on a link in the body of the email. Such links can lead to dummy/ duplicate or Fake Login Pages (Spoofed Pages). Here is a one of the example of dummy Orkut login Page. This page is at ">> <<" (If you click on this link, Please DON'T try to Login... your user name & password will get Hacked by that site owner)..

11. Always hit the logout button to close your login session rather than abruptly terminating the browser window. Also clear your web browser caches after every session to remove the temporary files stored in the memory and hard disk of your PC.

12. Avoid (Stop) using any public computers or computers in the Internet cafes to access any sensitive/confidential information. Also avoid such computers to login to your email/bank accounts. You cannot be sure if any spyware, keystroke-logger, password-sniffer and other malicious programs have not been installed on such a PC.

13. Ask yourself who you are actually giving your credit card information to. Very often when you go to pay through a website it actually takes you off their website to a credit card processing service. There are lots of these out there and some are more reliable and secure than others. Some of the more well known companies are PayPal and VeriSign.

14. Regularly create back-ups of your data. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your computer might still become compromised or damaged beyond repair by malware. Just in case this happens, make sure you have back-up copies of the files you cannot afford to lose. Burn them onto CDs or store them on portable hard drives. This way, if you ever have to reformat your computer to rid it of a virus, your files will still be safe.

By following the above tips your online security can be guaranteed upto 90%. I hope this will help my readers for keeping themselves safe from any of the online insecurities.
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