Staying Safe Online

Since I discussed Antivirus I mentioned that I am not that concerned about it because I’m “smart” online.  How else can you be smart to avoid getting those pesky viruses? Here ae some great tips and tricks of the trade…

WARNING YOU HAVE A VIRUS ON YOUR SYSTEM!!!!  –  For the love of all that’s holy please ignore these warnings.  You don’t, I promise, they LIE!  As soon as you see something like that pop up close it immediately.  Sometimes you are not even able to click the x.  I would right click on the task bar (the long bar across the bottom of your screen) and select Task Manager.  Highlight Internet Explorer and End Task!  Those liars are pretty tricky and they disable the nice little red x that is usually your friend.  Clicking on the red x may lead you to an eternal loop of message boxes telling you that you REALLYREALLY  need to install their “antivirus” which is really just a bunch of Malware (bad software) that will completely jack everything up!  So end task and then reopen internet explorer vowing to never visit the site you were just visiting.  🙂

YOU HAVE A VIDEO FROM A FRIEND! – This is typically related to Facebook and other social networking sites.  If it looks suspicious don’t click on it.  If it’s kind of generic, like “look at you in this awesome video” then REALLY don’t click on it.  If it was really from a friend it may look more like ….”hey Sarah!  Remember when we were in High School and made silly videos in the Pit? I just uploaded it, you gotta check it out”… I’d say that is probably pretty legit.  Something that is funny friends will likely just post it to their own profile, and not post it on yours.  That’s one of your first clue’s that it’s not what it claims to be.  If you question it, don’t click on it, just send a message to your friend that posted it, asking if they really posted it.  If they said yes they did, then click away!  It’s safe!  If they say no my account got hacked!  Delete it from your profile, and be grateful you dodged a bullet.

FACEBOOK, PAYPAL, MYSPACE, YOUR BANK, ETC NEEDS TO UPDATE YOUR INFO… PLEASE CLICK ON THIS VERY SUSPICIOUS LOOKING LINK IN MYEMAIL! – Even if it says it doesn’t mean that the link actually points there… go ahead click on that facebook link….You can put anything you want behind that text and direct the user to a totally different site.  Once in this random site, that looks a bit like facebook, you enter your username and password, or maybe your account number, etc. and now the person that sent you the email has all of your information.  It’s called Phishing.  If you have any questions about an email, don’t click the link, simply open a new browser and type in the address yourself.  Do not rely on a link in an email to get you to the right place.

DO YOU KNOW ME? – Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.  It’s just common sense.  If you don’t know them, then do you really want them knowing things about you?  If you are curious about it send them a message asking how they know you.

So be smart out there, and you’ll keep your system clean too.  🙂  Stay tuned tomorrow for tools to help you keep your pc clean.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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