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Backing up your computer so if it is attacked and damaged you can recoup most if not all of your data. Remember you have a great deal of information as well as personal data that you would hate to loose.
Your computer's Internet browser is a powerful piece of software that can open up a whole new world, but there are a few precautions you can take before exploring the web. Because you'll be using your browser to shop, do your banking, and send private and personal messages to friends and family, you need to take care to help ensure no one can intercept or exploit the information that you're sending. Here are some tips for browsing safely.
The most important is this little padlock symbol. It appears in the top or bottom of your web browser window, and indicates that the site you're sending information to can't be accessed by anyone else at the same time. That means you're protected from people who might want to get your banking details, home address or other personal information. A secure connection like this scrambles the information like a code as you're sending it to the website, and only unscrambles it once it's safely arrived. The padlock symbol usually appears with these letters, and you should check for them whenever you're banking, handing over credit card information, or doing anything else that requires important personal information.
When it comes to staying safe online, the simplest way is to just exercise some common sense. For instance, don't give out more personal information than you really need to: your date of birth, driver's license number, bank account details, or Medicare number. This is all important data that people can use to steal your identity or access sensitive information. If a site asks for this information, be suspicious. Even when a site just asks for your e-mail, you should think twice, because you may end up with an inbox full of junk, and by junk we mean actual junk mail, like all those unwanted catalogues and ads you get in your physical mailbox. It's mostly advertising and mostly stuff you're not interested in, and most of all it's really annoying.
Speaking of e-mails, if you get an e-mail from someone you don't know, be suspicious of it too. Now, you'd be surprised how many people fall for scams because an unknown e-mail offered them money. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, well, that's because it is.
When you're online spending money, don't use direct debit, bank deposit or money transfers, because once that money goes, it's gone forever. You should be cautious of any site that insists on direct money transfer rather than a credit card or one of the big transfer services like BPAY or PayPal. If you use a credit card, you can contact your bank if anything does go wrong and there's a good chance you can recover the money. PayPal is another service that offers good protection for buyers. A PayPal account is free, and a good alternative if you don't have or don't want to use a credit card.
When you use a public computer, like at the library, there's a chance it may not be secure, and that's because so many people use these computers, and not all of them might be, well, honest. You should avoid giving out personal information while using a public computer, just in case someone intercepts it.
So much of the world is online now, and that means there's good information out there about how to stay safe. Follow our tips and use some good common sense, and the online world can be a safe one for the things you want to do there.