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Consumer's Guide to Computer Privacy and Security

Consumer's Guide to Computer Privacy and Security

The internet offers many ways to connect with friends, research places to visit, and find out the latest news. Aside from the millions of websites and things to do, the internet can become a pitfall for common users looking to occupy their time. Not only can it be a total waste of time, it can lead its users to the wrong areas where predators or criminals lurk.

To stay safe online, you need to protect sensitive data including payment numbers and personally identifiable information.

The dangers of the internet have grown since its inception, placing children and adults at a great risk. This means that parents and teachers need to educate children about ways to recognize and prevent themselves from becoming a target of criminal activity. It also means that you need to remain vigilant of common ploys found on the Internet, such as fraud, social media scams, spam, phishing, and cyberbullying predators.

For more information on some of the latest online crimes that are circulating, please review the following information.  Please feel free to share the information with family, friends and others that can benefit from the information:

Internet and Computer Fraud

Identity theft and other types of fraud have affected tens of thousands of computer owners worldwide since the late 1990s. Many modern identity thieves target younger computer users, and early education can help to limit risks. These links provide detailed identity theft resources including contact information for reporting potential incidences of fraud.

Social Media Safety

The rise in popularity of websites like Twitter and Facebook has opened up entirely new methods of communication. However, scammers and fraudsters often prey on uneducated social media users, using various methods to collect and use personal information. These resources are intended to provide social media education for users of all ages.

E-Mail Safety

By clicking on the wrong email attachment or failing to recognize the warning signs of a phishing attempt, you could unintentionally give scammers access to your personal information. Use the links below to learn how to safely use email without taking unnecessary risks. Includes specialized tips for teenagers and younger children.


Some emails are not what they appear. Phishing attacks are typically performed via emails that include harmful links, often presented as safe, well-known websites. To avoid becoming a victim of these attacks, you need to know how to recognize them and when to report them to your email provider. The links below contain tips for staying safe and avoiding phishing attempts.

Reducing Spam

While most unwanted email is not dangerous, it can still waste time and create an unnecessary annoyance. Email clients typically have built-in spam filters, but in order to substantially reduce the amount of junk messages you receive, you can use better browsing practices to prevent spammers from obtaining your email address in the first place. These resources will help you get started.

Keeping Children Safe

As soon as children begin using computers, they should be regularly monitored and informed about the potential dangers of the Internet. Parents often have trouble deciding when to introduce certain information to their children or how to lay appropriate boundaries for Internet usage. The articles below provide excellent starting points along with valuable resources that limit risks.