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Module 1: Computer Security and Privacy

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3.1 Measures to Protect Your Privacy

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Measures to Protect Your Privacy
* Lesson 3 - PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM SECURITY THREATS
3.1 - MEASURES TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY [1] Measures to
Protect Your Privacy

With the growing popularity of computers and the Internet, there are
multiple ways in which your privacy is compromised. You and your family
members need to prevent these threats to privacy. You can take the
following simple measures to safeguard yourself and your family members
against invasion of privacy.

Shield Your Identity 

Avoid sharing your personal information with anyone, unless you know the
person. This is the golden rule of protecting privacy. While exchanging
e-mail messages or chatting through instant messenger, ensure that you do
not reveal personal details about you or others known to you. Also, use
strong passwords for access to your computer and e-mail connections.

Make Regular Backups of Your Computer and Important Data 

It is a good practice to back up all types of the important and sensitive
data on your computer. Important data might be documents, databases, or
contact information. You can use various storage media such as compact disc
or another hard disk to back up your data. If you regularly back up the
data stored on your computer, you can recover the data in case the original
data is damaged or deleted. Also, it is advisable to store the backup data
in a secure place and restrict access to it by using passwords and
encryption.

Check Current Security of Your System Regularly 

Check the current security level of your computer regularly. Modern
operating systems have built-in features that help you track the ability of
your computer to safeguard against various threats to security and privacy.
For example, Windows Security Center is a component in Windows Vista, which
helps you to maintain firewall settings, set up schedules for software
updates, and check the validity of the antivirus software installed on your
computer.

Run Virus Scans Daily 

Each day when you access the Internet, there is a chance that your
computer is infected by viruses. Therefore, it is important that you run a
virus scan on your computer everyday. You also need to keep the antivirus
software on your computer up-to-date to protect your computer from new
viruses.

Use Antispyware 

Spyware programs can secretly enter your computer and transmit personal
information about you and your family. Use antispyware software to keep a
check upon these malicious programs, and keep the software up-to-date.

Perform Online Transactions on Secure Web Sites with Reputable Vendors 

When you perform an online transaction, you need to provide your personal
information, such as your credit card details or bank account details, to
the Web site. This information, if disclosed to others, can be misused for
financial fraud. Therefore, it is important that you carry out online
transactions only on secure Web sites.

Report Abuse to the ISP 

Most reputable ISPs have a set of terms and conditions that does not allow
its users to follow any unethical or illegal practices. You should report
to the ISP whenever someone attempts to invade your online privacy by
sending you spam or attempts to hack your computer. This allows the ISP to
take action against such individuals.

Filter E-mail Messages from Unknown/Anonymous Senders 

You may receive a number of e-mail messages from individuals unknown to
you. Such e-mail messages, referred to as spam or junk mail, can often be
carriers of viruses or spyware. Hackers attempting to retrieve your
personal information can also send you junk mail. Therefore, it is
important to be careful while dealing with them. With e-mail software
programs, you can create e-mail filters that help you block the junk mail.
You must also ensure never to respond to junk mail because it can lead to
an increase in unwanted messages and accidental sharing of personal
information.

Encrypt Sensitive E-mail Messages, If Possible 

Using encryption is a simple and effective way to ensure that your e-mail
communication remains confidential. Encryption is the process of encoding
the e-mail message in such a manner that it appears unreadable to everyone
except the intended reader. Most e-mail software, such as Windows Mail,
provides this e-mail encryption feature.

Using encryption is a simple and effective way to ensure that your e-mail
communication remains confidential. Encryption is the process of encoding
the e-mail message in such a manner that it appears unreadable to everyone
except the intended reader. Most e-mail software, such as Windows Mail,
provides this e-mail encryption feature.

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