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Internet security guide available from Network Box

Network Box : 26 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
Free guide on performing transactions more safely on the internet has been produced by Network Box with 10 simple tips
Managed security firm, Network Box, has produced a simple guide to Internet security, designed for IT managers to give to computer users within their organisations. The guide, which can be downloaded free from the Network Box web site, includes simple steps that all Internet users should take to ensure their and their company network is secure.

Simon Heron, Internet Security Analyst at Network Box, attributes many security breaches to simple human errors that could easily be avoided if employees were more aware of the risks: "We want to help IT managers make their company employees more aware of the risks they take when, for example, they click on a link in an email, or don't check the URL of a website properly. We did a survey recently that showed that 61 per cent of IT managers think that the single biggest threat to their company comes from malware downloaded from the Internet, and we want to help them combat this threat. Following a few simple rules can make all the difference to your security."

The guide gives 10 simple tips for staying virus-free, including:.

1 Ensure your desktop has the latest updates, and that your antivirus, firewall and intrusion detection protection are working properly and kept up to date.

2 Treat all email attachments with caution. Hackers frequently send viruses via email attachments; even files like pdfs, word documents and Excel spreadsheets have carried viruses in the past. Make sure you know and trust the person sending you an email. Only open attachments that you are expecting. If in doubt, email the sender to check that the message is genuine.

3 Don't try to unsubscribe or reply to spam. This confirms your email address to the spammer, and could lead you an infected website.

4 Never buy from spam - you have no guarantee who is taking your details.

5 Email addresses are easily forged. An email may not be from the person it says it is from.

6 Beware of phishing emails. If an email or website asks for details that you'd expect them to know (such as your bank asking for your account number or PIN), be suspicious. No bank will ask for your PIN over email.

7 Never give your financial details over email. It is not secure and only phishers will ask you do this.

8 Never click on a link in an email as these links are frequently fake. Always open a browser and type in the URL.

9 Some websites have been set up by hackers specifically for criminal purposes. Things are not always what they seem online; the Internet is unregulated and you should be cautious of anything that seems suspicious. If an offer seems too good to be true - it probably is. Be sure that you are visiting the right site (by checking the URL), and check that when you're accessing a secure site (for example, when you're making a purchase online), that you can see a padlock sign at the bottom right of the screen. Check the content of the site - if the grammar is bad and the site looks to be low quality, then it may be fake. If in doubt, don't use it. Don't update your system because a website tells you to - this is a common way of a hacker installing a virus on your computer.

10 Finally, remember that your work computer is the property of your employer. So, if you're using your work computer, your employer can monitor your activity on it, including your email and surfing. Anything that goes against company policy, or that is not acceptable, may result in disciplinary action being taken.

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