Department of Information Technology

Protect Yourself Online with Safe Browsing Habits  

Image of a security lock on a computer screenIn this digital age, spending a lot of time online has become a part of our daily routine. However, while the internet offers a wealth of information and entertainment, it also poses certain risks, such as cyber threats and online frauds. To ensure a safe online experience, it is crucial to practice safe browsing habits. Protect your information and avoid online scams by following these online security basics.

Keep your systems and software up-to-date

The first step towards safe browsing is to ensure that your systems and software are up-to-date. This includes your operating system, browser, and antivirus software. Most software updates contain security patches and bug fixes that protect your system from online threats.

Use a reliable antivirus software

A reliable antivirus software can provide an additional layer of protection against online threats such as viruses, malware, and phishing scams. Make sure to update your antivirus software regularly.

Use a complex password or a password manager

Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your online accounts. Use strong passwords that are hard to guess and include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. You can also use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords securely.

Practice safe searching

Scammers are getting good at SEO, so their malicious search results often appear above the organic results in search engines. Avoid search terms that are commonly linked to online scams, such as:

  • Free Credit Report
  • Tech support phone numbers
  • How to make money online
  • Free people search
  • Crypto wallet

Back up your data with Microsoft OneDrive

Using OneDrive for backup is a safer alternative than storing files locally on your computer. Microsoft 365 uses a common virus detection engine for scanning files that users upload to SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. The built-in anti-virus capabilities are a way to help contain viruses.

What to do if you were scammed

  • If you paid a tech support scammer with a credit or debit card, you may be able to stop the transaction. Contact your credit card company or bank right away. Tell them what happened and ask if they can reverse the charges.
  • If you paid a tech support scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Tell them you paid a scammer with the gift card and ask if they can refund your money.
  • If you gave a scammer remote access to your computer, update your computer’s security software. Then run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
  • If you gave your username and password to a tech support scammer, change your password right away. If you use the same password for other accounts or sites, change it there too.

What to do if you think there’s a problem with your computer

If you think there may be a problem with your computer, update your computer’s security software and run a scan. If you need help fixing a problem, contact the Technology Service Desk for 24/7 support: 

Categories: Science and Technology

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