robeSince I’m just back from another trip where I chose my hotel because the $61 room rate included free wifi and breakfast for me and the kids (a very clean Super 8 in Dodgeville, Wisconsin), these tips for staying safe online from AVG, the virus software people, struck a nerve with me.

  1. Make sure Web sites have “https” in the URL. The “s” ensures security. Users will also see a locked padlock icon on the address bar or on the bottom right corner.
  2. Be aware the padlock icon indicates a level of security, but it is not 100 percent. Even though it has been approved by a trusted third party it still has limitations.
  3. A green Internet address bar requires ‘extended validation SSL certificate,’ which makes it is more difficult for the bad guys intent on phishing and online fraud.
  4. Use common sense and judgment. Shopping with trusted online sites or brands that have a safe reputation will likely offer more safety. 
  5. If there’s ever a question or doubt about any site, JUST DON’T DO IT. Don’t make any transactions or give away any personal information.

If you don’t have anti-virus software, you can buy some (I use McAfee) or you can download free virus protection software from AVG at: http://free.avg.com/us-en/download-free-antivirus?cmpid=sm_msrc_avf_blgs01.Mac owners can get AVG LinkScanner for Mac at: http://linkscanner.avg.com/mac?cmpid=scom_msrc_ls_blgs01.