Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Part 3

It does not matter how safe some of the blogging software may be many boomers are still wary of doing anything on the internet. A recent article in Consumer Reports for September, 2007 shared 19 ways to stay safe online.

I am going to share seven(7) of those points with you. 

1.  Make sure the firewall in your computer activated. (Turned on) 

The operating system or software in your PC and Mac has built in security applications. In addition, turn on the online protection provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) For example, MSN, AOL, Comcast, etc. are ISP providers.


  1. Set your operating system and security software so it will update automatically.


I have often ignored the warnings to update or renew my security software. This is not a good idea. Although you may be busy and rushing on the computer be sure to take time to do this important task.


  1. Upgrade your computer and browser


Consumer reports suggests that we upgrade from lower versions of windows, explorer, firefox etc to current versions. The current versions have more security protections.



  1. Use public computers with care.


Do not use public computers at libraries, hotels etc., to do your financial homework.


  1. Never respond to emails asking for your personal information.


Do not get scared of that official looking web site. When they ask for your social security number, passwords and other personal information I just send it to spam.


  1. Watch what you download.


There are a lot of free games, utilities and other goodies that may be useful but full of viruses. Consumer reports suggests only downloading from well know manufacturers or trusted sites such as ,,

This is a very important point to remember when you have children and grandchildren who love to download stuff on your computer.


  1. Report  phishing.


Before I give the summary here you must know what this strange term phishing means. I like the definition that Wikipedia gives:

In computing Phishing attacks use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers’ personal identity data and financial account credentials. Social-engineering schemes use ‘spoofed’ e-mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account user names, passwords and social security numbers. Hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies, phishers often convince recipients to respond.Ebay and PayPal are two of the most targeted companies, and online banks are also common targets. Phishing is typically carried out by email or instant messaging., and often directs users to give details at a website, although phone contact has been used as well.  Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation user training, and technical measures.

So if we are careful and stay informed we can stay safe online.


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