Being aware of internet hazards
Technology offers amazing opportunities that students 20 years ago would never have imagined. With these opportunities comes a degree of risk.
Despite attempts to reduce spam, viruses continue to spawn at an alarming rate. Perhaps more concerning is that the internet is seen by many as safe. More students than ever are spending considerable time online on what some consider dangerous or disreputable sites. Some simple steps can help reduce your family’s exposure to risk as they head back to school.
The most important thing to do is basic computer safety maintenance.
Before surfing the web, take these steps:
Use an internet firewall; it can protect you from unwanted intrusions on the web. Updating your software is often the best way to avoid viruses, as most platforms will make regular security updates available. Many programs can be set to update automatically.
While spyware programmes are not particularly dangerous, they can severely limit your computer’s performance so it is best to keep anti-spyware software updated. Most viruses come by email but they have to be opened by an end user, so do not open email from someone you do not know. Many email messages will appear without a subject line or with a hodgepodge of letters; these can be dangerous. Never open a file that is attached. It is better to lose your friend’s email than to corrupt your entire system, and possibly the school’s.
Schools are aware of the importance of technology infrastructure. Being aware of security as your family goes back to school can save you money, time and anguish over lost or stolen materials.