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Safe Surfing Practices
You now know not to surf with the sharks. And it helps to know where the coral is. That was covered in Step 1. You should probably know how to swim too. That's what this page is all about, analogically.

Rules to surf by

  1. Your wits and vigilance are the most important protection you have out there on the Wide Woolly Web. Think twice before you click that link in an email message that promises not-to-be-missed delights, or something similar on a slick Web page.
     
    Stay away from the rough districts and back alleys of the Web. Be cautious when you visit a site that you "stumble across" or know nothing about. If you want to go to an dubious site, consider using a fully passive browser like Off-by-One to check it out first.
     
  2. Set up a good defense system. Pay particular attention to your system and to your browser settings, and keep Windows, your browser and your default media player up to date and patched. This basic strategy is designed to prevent any unknown computer code -- no matter where it comes from -- from running on your computer without strong safeguards. For example, a tricky email could take you to a dodgy Web page that triggers hostile code.
     
  3. Be very suspicious of any Web page, pop-up box or window that shows up out of the blue. They may offer or instruct you to download software, request personal information, instruct you to "log on again," etc. Don't click any of the links or even the "X" button to close the page. Use the hotkey combination "Ctrl+W" to close them. If that doesn't work, click Ctrl+Alt+Delete > highlight your browser on the list of applications > click "Close Task" > and then close Windows Task Manager window.
     
  4. Websites will never ask you for your private information such as credit card information or your account password unless you were the one who initiated the contact. [Scams, Hoaxes, Fraud and Identity Theft
     
    Blocking pop-up windows is another way to reduce your risk. If it ain't there, it can't do any harm, eh? Mozilla does a great job of blocking unwanted pop-ups and letting the ones you want through.
     
  5. Be cautious with Web mail too, if that's what you use -- it's also in HTML format. You can never tell when one of those messages will contain hostile code. Usually there's a way to delete suspicious messages without even opening them. Find it and test it before you need it.
     
  6. Be careful when you do download files. Consider the source before you do, and be careful with any file, even those from trusted sites.
related page > downloading
"Inside every older person is a younger person, wondering what the hell happened." -- Cora Harvey Armstrong
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