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Computer Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission
03:32
FTCvideos

Computer Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission

There's a lot you can do to protect yourself and your computer from scammers, hackers, and identity thieves. Start by keeping your computer software up-to-date. ******************************************** Transcript: Every day, you hear about scammers, hackers, and thieves… … trying to use the internet to steal your money and your financial information. The fact is– you, me—we—can foil many of their attempts. Every day we do things to make it tough for bad guys to break into our homes and our cars. We can make it tougher for them to break into our computers, too. Here are some way to foil a hacker and protect your financial information: 1. Install security software on your computer. Well-known companies offer plenty of free options. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats. While you’re at it, set your operating system and web browser to update automatically, too. If you’re not sure how, use the help function and search for “automatic updates”. If you get a phone call, an email, a text, or a popup that says your computer has a virus or malware, don’t buy the story-- --or the security software they’re selling. It could be a trick… … to get you to buy software that’s worthless, or even harmful. 2. Treat your financial information like cash. It’s a hot commodity. If someone asks for your financial information-- --say your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number—ask why they need it and how they’re going to protect it. 3. If you think you’ve found a good deal online, But you aren’t familiar with the company, Dig a little deeper. A quick internet search with the name of the company… … and the word “review” or “complaint” can reveal a lot. Always look for a physical address and phone number, too. That way you know who to contact if there’s a problem. 4. Don’t provide your personal or financial information unless the website you’re on is secure. If the URL doesn’t start with https, don’t enter your financial information. That S stands for secure. It means the information you’re sending is encrypted and protected. 5. Make your passwords count. They should be at least 10 characters—and a mix of numbers, letters and special characters. Don’t use your name, birth date or common words. Don’t use the same password for several accounts, as tempting as that may be. If it’s stolen, hackers can use it to access your other accounts. Keep your passwords in a secure place, and don’t share them with anyone. 6. Back up your computer files. For example, copy important files to an external hard drive on a regular basis. That way, if there’s a problem with your computer, you won’t lose everything. Life is online. Whether you live it using a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop, it’s a good time to make computer security a habit. Find out more at OnGuardOnline.gov, the federal government’s site to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. ******************************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review or edit any comments before they are posted, but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches, promotions, urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses
Public Wi-Fi Networks - Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission
03:12
FTCvideos

Public Wi-Fi Networks - Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission

Wi-Fi hotspots — like the ones in coffee shops, airports, and hotels — are convenient, but they often aren't secure. Use these tips to help protect your personal information. Learn more at OnGuardOnline.gov: http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0014-tips-using-public-wi-fi-networks ******************************************** Transcript: Many hotels… … coffee shops… … airports and other places offer free Wi-Fi hotspots. They’re convenient. Unfortunately, they often aren’t secure. That could make it easy for someone else to access your online accounts or steal your personal information. So, what can you do to reduce your risk? Encryption is the key to keeping your information secure online. When information is encrypted… … it’s scrambled into a code so others can’t get it. How can you be sure… … your information is encrypted? Two ways: one, use a secure network to access the internet. Don’t assume that a public Wi-Fi network uses encryption. In fact, most don’t. You can only be sure that a network uses effective encryption if it asks you to provide a WPA or WPA2 password. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to assume the network is not secure. The second way to protect your information is to send it through a secure website. A secure site will encrypt your information—even if the network doesn’t. If the web address starts with “https,” then your information is encrypted before it’s sent. The “s” stands for “secure.” Look for the “https” on every page you visit, not just when you log in. If you use an unsecured Wi-Fi network to login to an unencrypted website. .. strangers using that network can hijack your account and steal your private documents, contacts, family photos-- Even your user name and password. If that happens, an imposter could use your e-mail. .. or social networking account to pretend to be you and scam people you care about. Or a hacker could use your password from one website to try to login to… … a different account and access your personal or financial information. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself when you use a public Wi-Fi hotspot: - Only log in or enter personal information on secure sites that use encryption. Again, look for a web address that begins with “https” Don’t use the same user name and password for different sites. It could give someone who gains access to one of your accounts access to many of your accounts. Never email financial information… … including credit card, Social Security, and checking account numbers, even if the network and website are secure. Don’t stay permanently signed in to accounts. When you’ve finished using a site, log out. The bottom line? SecureWi-Fi hotspots require a password. Secure websites start with https. And remember: it’s easy to find trusted information about computer security. Just visit OnGuardOnline.gov, the federal government’s site to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. ******************************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review or edit any comments before they are posted, but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches, promotions, urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses
Online Shopping - Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission
03:29
FTCvideos

Online Shopping - Security Tips | Federal Trade Commission

Shopping online? A little research can help you get the best deal and avoid unnecessary hassles. ****************************** Transcript: Day by day, more and more people are shopping online. It’s convenient, and you can bring a world of choices to your computer, phone or tablet. Are you one of the millions of people looking to buy something online? If you are, there are steps you can take to avoid hassles, get the right product at the right price, and protect your financial information. First, plan ahead by setting a budget. Ask yourself, “How much do I want to spend?” Be sure to include delivery costs in your budget. Second, determine what’s most important to you about the item you’re thinking about buying. What are the “must-have” product features? Are there features that would be nice to have, but you can live without? This will help you choose the product that meets your needs. Take a few minutes to compare products. Type the name into a search engine along with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Read online reviews from other people who bought the item or from product experts. Look for feedback about how well the product works and its overall quality. If you’ve never heard of the company selling the product, look for reviews about their reputation and customer service. Read a few reviews so you’re not relying on just one source. Of course, you’ll also want to know the total cost of the product. Check shopping comparison sites to compare the price of the product at different websites. Remember, shipping costs and other “add-ons” may not be included in these prices. Look for online coupon codes. Search the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts,” or “free shipping.” Before you decide where to buy, check out the terms of the deal. When will you get your order? The law requires sellers to ship items within 30 days of the sale. If you have to return the item, can you get a refund? Who pays for return shipping? Is there a restocking fee? Next, decide how to pay. Paying by credit card gives you some protections that other methods of payment may not. If there’s a problem, the law gives you the right to dispute charges and temporarily withhold payment while your dispute is investigated. If someone uses your credit card without your permission, some companies will cap your liability at $50. Others will waive the charges entirely. Before you enter your credit card or other financial information online, check if the website address starts with “https”. The “s” stands for “secure” and means that your information is encrypted before it’s transmitted. Now, you should be ready to enjoy whatever you’ve bought online. If you have a problem with an online purchase or charge, try to work it out with the seller first. If you can’t resolve the problem, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, at ftc.gov/complaint. By planning, comparing products and costs, and making sure you check out securely, you can make your online shopping experience safer—and more enjoyable. Remember: it’s easy to find trusted information about online security. Just visit OnGuardOnline.gov, the federal government’s site to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. *************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review or edit any comments before they are posted, but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches, promotions, urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses
Protect Your Computer from Malware | Federal Trade Commission
03:47
FTCvideos

Protect Your Computer from Malware | Federal Trade Commission

Malware is short for "malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Learn more about how to avoid, detect, and get rid of malware. ****************************** Transcript: Would it surprise you to learn that millions of computers in the US are infected with malware? That's a lot of computers. So what's malware, and why should you care? Malware, short for malicious software, includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer or mobile device without you knowing it. Criminals use malware to steal personal information and commit fraud. For example, they may use malware to steal the login information for your online accounts or to hijack your computer and use it to send spam. An infected computer can lead to serious problems, like identity theft. The good news, there's a lot you can do to protect yourself and your computer. One of the most important steps you can take, install security software from a reliable company and set it to update automatically. The bad guys constantly develop new ways to attack your computer, so your software must be up to date to work. Set your operating system and your web browser to update automatically too. If you're not sure how, use the help function and search for automatic updates. Don't buy security software in response to unexpected calls or messages, especially if they say they scanned your computer and found malware. Scammers send messages like these to trick you into buying worthless software, or worse, downloading malware. What else can you do? Use a pop up blocker, and don't click on links and popups. Don't click on links or open attachments in emails unless you know what they are, even if the emails seem to be from friends or family. Download software only from websites you know and trust. Free stuff may sound appealing, but free downloads can hide malware. Make sure your web browser's security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. For example, use at least the medium security setting. Even if you take precautions, malware can find its way onto your computer. So be on the lookout for these signs. Your computer runs slowly, drains its battery quickly, displays unexpected errors or crashes, it won't shutdown or restart, it serves a lot of popups, takes you to web pages you didn't visit, changes your home page, or creates new icons or toolbars without your permission. If you suspect malware, stop doing things that require passwords or personal info, such as online shopping or banking. Use a different computer, maybe one at work or at your local library, to change your passwords. Update your security software and run a system scan. Delete files it flags as malware. If you can't fix the problem on your own, get help from a professional. Your computer manufacturer or internet service provider may offer free tech support. If not, contact a company or retail store that provides tech support. Keep in mind, the most important thing you can do to prevent malware is to keep your computer software up to date. And remember, it's easy to find trusted information about computer security. Just visit onguardonline.gov, the federal government site to help you stay safe, secure, and responsible online. ****************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review or edit any comments before they are posted, but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches, promotions, urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

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