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Silver Surfer Online Safety


We all know that we need to keep ourselves safe on the internet, but knowing how to do this is slightly harder. Trying to protect yourself from an unknown, unseen hacker who might be trying to steal banking details, or a virus that could destroy the information you have saved on your pc can be a confusing business.




Work at making your password something that can't be easily guessed. Try not to use family names, dates of birth, or other data which someone could work out. To make your password as safe as possible, try to include random letters, numbers and non-alpha numeric characters such as !, $, * or %. By doing this, you prevent it from being easy to guess your password, and therefore you make it harder for someone to hack into your system.


Change your passwords regularly - particularly for online banking sites, as the less frequently you change your passwords the easier you make it for a hacker to try to find out what it is.


Have different passwords for different sites just as you have different keys for different locks around your house. This way, if password gets hacked into, they won't have access to everything else.



Anti-Virus Software

Make sure you install, or get someone else to install, a good quality anti-virus software on your computer, and that you scan the pc regularly every few days. The best way is to have it set to automatically scan at a particular time on a particular day, and to make sure your computer is switched on at this time so that it doesn't miss a scan too often. There are a number of good quality free versions of anti-virus software available out there these days, so you shouldn't have to spend too much doing this.


If you do get a virus on your computer, first of all use your anti-virus software to try to remove it, and if you can't then you can either look online for a removal tool for that particular virus, or you can call an expert and ask them to do it. Most viruses are fairly easy to remove these days, but there are some which can be rather harder to remove, so make sure your computer is clean before you access the internet again so that you prevent the virus from being passed on to other places.



Firewall Software

Firewalls are basically pieces of software designed to help keep your computer safe from hackers. The firewall acts as a gateway blocking unauthorised access to your computer, while allowing data that you choose to send or receive through. It is as important to have a firewall installed on your computer as it is to have anti-virus software.



Update Regularly


Your computer has an operating system on it such as & 'Windows'. The companies who make these operating systems are constantly trying to help you stay safe by re-writing little pieces of code called patches and updates to make them more secure. Allowing your computer to automatically download and install these updates from the internet, will help you to keep your pc safe.



Backup Regularly


Backing up your data regularly is the best way to make sure that if something does happen to your computer, you haven't lost all the information stored there. You can back up your computer in different ways, but one of the easiest is to have an external drive that you can back up onto. This is very simply a storage device like your computers hard drive, but that's not inside a computer. You plug it into your PC, and copy the data from the computer onto the external hard drive so it's safe. It's a bit like keeping a duplicate copy of important documents at someone else's house really, it safeguards them in case of need.


For further information please visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/



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