Internet safety

Parents rely too much on schools to teach online safety, say teachers

Parents rely too much on schools to educate their children about staying safe online, according to teachers. Although 85% of parents surveyed said the topic should be a dedicated part of the education syllabus, nearly two thirds of teachers told online security company AVG that they have not been formally trained to teach their pupils about Internet safety.


How can I prevent identity theft?

Here are some great ideas to help prevent identity theft.

1. Educate yourself about how identity theft happens. Remember you are the most important part of your identity and personal information security.

2. Protect your personal information. Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information; don’t just throw them in the trash.

3. Don’t make your wallet a one-stop-stealing opportunity. Don’t keep social security numbers, birthdays and other personal information in your wallet.


What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam conducted by cyber criminals, or hackers, to steal your online username and password, as well as "shared secrets" such as your pet's name. Often phishing is a two-part attack involving an e-mail containing a link to a fake website. The e-mail is sent to a wide audience and is designed to look like urgent communication from someone you trust, such as a security alert from your bank. The fake website is designed to look like the website of the bank named in the e-mail, but is controlled by the hacker.


What is the best way to prevent phishing?

The best way to prevent phishing is to have some kind of personal security device separate from your PC that is part of the login. This might be a smart card or one-time password (OTP) USB token that generates a unique secret number that makes every login unique. This is very effective protection because even if someone steals your username and password by phishing, using a malware Trojan or keyboard logger, they still cannot access your online accounts and pretend to be you without having the smart card or OTP token.


My email box was hacked, what can I do?

If your email has been hacked, there are several steps you can take to regain control of your account.

• First, change your password and make it strong (See, How do I choose a good password?).

• Also change any security questions you have associated with this account. A good rule of thumb with security questions is to not answer them honestly, so the answers are harder to guess. If the question asks the name of your first dog, answer with your favorite song, for example.


How can I protect myself against a keystroke monitor or keylogger?

A keylogger or keystroke monitor is a type of spyware that monitors every stroke you type on the keyboard and gathers information used for identity theft, including account logins and passwords, which it sends to the hacker who put it there. Sometimes keyloggers get installed along with something else you are getting for "free" on the Web, or often from clicking on an infected attachment in a phishing e-mail. There are other ways too.


What is a good way to get involved with my child’s online life?

If you allow your children to surf the web and want to get involved, it is advisable to keep your PC in a public area of your home where you can monitor your children’s activity, and set time constraints for usage.

To get more involved, find kid-friendly sites and visit them with your children, instead of letting them browse alone. Start when they’re young to introduce them to kid-friendly sites you find valuable.


What do I do if I think my identity information was lost or stolen, but I am not sure it has been used?

Having your identity information stolen can be a very frightening experience. Luckily PCWorld offers a few tips to limit the potential for damage caused by lost or stolen identity:

1. Change your passwords


What is a Certificate Authority?

A Certificate Authority (CA) is a trusted organization that issues certificates for use by other parties. Certificates are cryptographic digital security documents used to confirm the online identities of Internet service providers (ISPs), email providers, businesses, government agencies, websites and individuals. Examples of popular CAs include VeriSign, Thawte and Geotrust (all owned by Symantec), Entrust, Comodo and GoDaddy. When an organization obtains a digital certificate, the CA confirms the identity of the organization or person receiving it.


What is a certificate?

A certificate is a secure digital document that a website, organization or individual provides to confirm their online identity and to enable a secure connection. Certificates can also be used to digitally sign transactions or documents, and to encrypt confidential information exchanged over the Internet.



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