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Scare off Computer Security Issues

October is Security Awareness Month. We are keeping you safe with computer security tips and information.

Welcome to October! You have the fall air, the changing colors and Security Awareness Month. What is Security Awareness Month? Well it is a national initiative to have people pay more attention to the security on all their technology devices. I will list some websites later that you can visit for even more information.

Since we are talking about security, it is important to remember that computer security is EVERYONE'S business. If your computer is not secure at home and you send confidential information about work, you are compromising the entire business. If someone is accessing your wireless network and doing illegal activities, you could be held liable. There are many reasons for keeping your computer safe. I am going to cover a few in this blog.

Many of us have used a free Wi-Fi spot to check our e-mail or look something up online. How many people have thought about the security at that Wi-Fi spot? Most of the time if you are allowed to access the Internet through a free connection, the security is very minimal. This means that information you send over the network is up for grabs.

So you don't use a computer at public Wi-Fi spots? What about at your house? Is your wireless connection secure? Do you have a smart phone? Many of these phones are programed to connect to an open Wi-Fi spot. You have to be very careful about the data you knowingly or unknowingly are sharing. There are many software packages out there that will help you encrypt or secure your transmissions so they can not be easily intercepted.

You can also make sure that you only use encrypted websites. An easy way to tell if a website is encrypted is to look at the address of the website. Instead of saying http://www.yourbank.com you would want to the address to read https://www.yourbank.com. The added 's' means that there is more security on the site to protect you.

No matter where you use your computer or device (phone, tablet, etc...), make sure your system software is up to date, your virus and spyware scanners are up to date and all your program software is up to date. There is no “silver bullet” to protect your computer. It is a series of steps and staying current with your system that will help keep the bad guys out.

Here are a few websites you may want to read through for even more ideas.

http://www.staysafeonline.org

http://www.onguardonline.gov

http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips

During this month, I will be blogging about security and steps you can take to keep your computer and your information safe. Enjoy the month of October and stay safe–both online and offline!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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