7. Web Basics: Security
A strange person walks up to you while you are using the ATM at your bank. He claims to work for the bank and indicates there may be a problem with your ATM card. He needs to see the card and know your PIN number so he can see if everything is okay. Would you trust this person?
Daily, emails arrive asking people for their bank account information, username/password for banking, credit card, or email sites, or other personal information. Never give anyone this information. OSU indicates that nobody at the university should be asking you for your password.
In addition to people asking for personal information, viruses can be included in attachments to emails – don’t open attachments from sources you don’t know. Especially look out for files with a .exe at the end. Many email programs will search for viruses – but these aren’t 100% effective.
Learn about the different internet security problems in this brief video:
Browsing the web also has security concerns. Your browser will have different security settings (often found under the Tools area on the browser’s menu) to help you. A few general pieces of advice:
- Don’t agree to accept the download of any file which you did not request except from a trusted source
- Avoid giving your credit card information to places other than trusted online retailers
- Don't allow browsers to remember username/password information on public computers
- If a site requires logging on for any reason (example: bank, email, library), log off when done
- Be extra cautious when using public wireless access
- Close all browsers when done using a public computer
- Don’t send your username and password via email
Does your personal computer have security software? If not, you may want to strongly consider getting some. CNET (a site known for technology reviews) has a list of security software (both free and for a charge), with user and select CNET reviews.
The U.S. Government has a page full of tips for using email and the web securely. Check out the US-CERT’s Tips page.