Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cyber Safety - Aspects to Remember

. General Guidelines On Cyber Safety :

Do not give out identifying information such as your name, home address, or telephone number in a chat room. Even vital details like age, gender should never be divulged to anyone.

Do not send your photograph to any one on the net unless you know the person well enough.

Do not respond to messages or bulletin board items that are obscene, belligerent or threatening.

Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone who you have just ‘met’ on the Internet. In case you have to meet this person, make sure you have someone with you for the meeting. And inform someone of the person and place you will be going to. Remember, people online are not always who they seem to be.
 . Email Safety :

If you ever get an email containing an embedded link, and a request for you to enter secret details, treat it as suspicious. Do not input any sensitive information that might help provide access to your bank accounts, even if the page appears legitimate. No reputable company ever sends emails of this type.
 . Virus Warnings :

Virus warnings are a very common occurrence in the mail box. While you shouldn’t take these warnings lightly, a lot of times, such warnings are hoaxes and will do moe harm than good. Always check the story out by visiting an anti-virus site such as McAfee, Sophos or Symantec before taking any action, including forwarding them to friends and colleagues.
  . Guidelines To Make Your Child's Internet Usage Safe :

By taking responsibility for your children’s online computer use, parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online. 

Make it a family rule to never give out personal information - home address and telephone number - while chatting or bulletin boards (newsgroup), and be sure you’re dealing with someone that both you and your child know and trust before giving out this information via E-mail.

Be careful before revealing any personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information while chatting.

Never post photographs of your children on web sites or newsgroups that are available to the public.

Consider using a fake name, avoid listing your child’s name and E-mail address in any public directories and profiles, and find out about your Internet Service Provider’s privacy policies and exercise your options for how your personal information may be used.

Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. If you don’t know how to log on, get your child to show you. Ask your child show you what he or she does online, and familiarize yourself with all the things that you can do online.

Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without your permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child.

Do not respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Ask your children to tell you if they respond to such messages advice them not to do that. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your ISP, and ask for their assistance.

Instruct your child not to click on any links that are contained in E-mail from persons they don’t know. Such links could lead to sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate web sites.

Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can’t see or even hear the person it would be easy for someone to misrepresent him- or herself. Thus, someone indicating that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could in reality be a 40-year-old man.

Remember that everything you read online may not be true. Any offer that’s "too good to be true" probably is. Be very careful about any offers that involve you coming to a meeting, having someone visit your house, or sending money or credit card information.

A child’s excessive use of online services or the Internet, especially late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential problem. Remember that personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters.

Be sure to make Internet surfing a family activity. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child’s bedroom. Get to know their "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends.
 . Protect Personal Computer :

If you think that your home computer was safe from outside attacks, think again. Home computers are as susceptible as office computers to online attacks. Here are some extremely important guidelines for home computer owners -

. Use the latest version of a good anti-virus software package that allows  updating from the Internet.

. Use the latest version of the operating system, web browsers and e-mail programs.

. Don't open e-mail attachments unless you know the source. Attachments, especially executables (those having .exe extension) can be dangerous.  Confirm the site you are doing business with. Secure yourself against "Web-  Spoofing". Do not go to websites from email links.

. Create passwords containing at least 8 digits. They should not be   dictionary words. They should combine upper and lower case characters.     Use different passwords for different websites.

. Send credit card information only to secure sites.

. Use a security program that gives you control over "Cookies" that send information back to websites. Letting all cookies in without monitoring them   could be risky.

. Consult your system support personnel if you work from home. 

. If you use your broadband access to connect to your employer's network  via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other means, your employer may  have policies or procedures relating to the security of your home network.   Be sure to consult with your employer's support personnel, as appropriate.
  . Use a firewall :

We strongly recommend the use of some type of firewall product, such as a network appliance or a personal firewall software package. Intruders are constantly scanning home user systems for known vulnerabilities. Network firewalls (whether software or hardware-based) can provide some degree of protection against these attacks. However, no firewall can detect or stop all attacks, so it’s not sufficient to install a firewall and then ignore all other security measures.
 . Don't open unknown email attachments :

Before opening any email attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize. The Melissa virus spread precisely because it originated from a familiar address. Malicious code might be distributed in amusing or enticing programs. 

If you must open an attachment before you can verify the source, we suggest the following procedure:

. Be sure your virus definitions are up-to-date 
. Save the file to your hard disk 
. Scan the file using your antivirus software 
. Open the file 
. For additional protection, you can disconnect your computer's network connection before opening the file. Following these steps will reduce, but not wholly eliminate, the chance that any malicious code contained in the attachment might spread from your computer to others.
 . Don't run programs of unknown origin :

. Never run a program unless you know it to be authored by a person or  company that you trust. Also, don't send programs of unknown origin to  your friends or coworkers simply because they are amusing - they might contain a harmful program.

. Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use   Turn off your computer or disconnect its Ethernet interface when you are  not using it. An intruder cannot attack your computer if it is powered off or  otherwise completely disconnected from the network.

. Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible.

. Be aware of the risks involved in the use of "mobile code" such as ActiveX, Java, and JavaScript. A malicious web developer may attach a script to something sent to a web site, such as a URL, an element in a form, or a database inquiry. Later, when the web site responds to you, the malicious
  script is transferred to your browser.

. The most significant impact of this vulnerability can be avoided by disabling all scripting languages. Turning off these options will keep you from being  vulnerable to malicious scripts. However, it will limit the interaction you can have with some web sites. 

. Many legitimate sites use scripts running within the browser to add useful  features. Disabling scripting may degrade the functionality of these sites.

. Make regular backups of critical data.

. Keep a copy of important files on removable media such as ZIP disks or recordable CD-ROM disks (CD-R or CD-RW disks). Use software backup tools if available, and store the backup disks somewhere away from the computer.

. Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised.

. To aid in recovering from a security breach or hard disk failure, create a boot disk on a floppy disk, which will help when recovering a computer after such an event has occurred. Remember, however, you must create this disk before you have a security event.

 . Preventing Credit/Debit Card Fraud :

By taking certain precautions, a user can prevent their credit or debit card from being misused both online and offline.

 Do not provide photocopies of both the sides of the credit card to anyone.  The card verification value (CVV) which is required for online transactions  is printed on the reverse of the card. Anyone can use the card for online  purchases if the information is available with them.

 Do not click on links in email seeking details of your account, they could be  phishing emails from fraudsters. Most reputed companies will ask you to  visit their website directly.

 While using a credit card for making payments online, check if the website  is secure The CVV will also be required.

 Do not give any information to persons seeking credit card information over  phone.

 Notify your bank / credit card issuer if you do not receive the monthly credit card statement on time. If a credit card is misplaced or lost, get it cancelled immediately.

No comments: