Since 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use common sense and judgment. Shopping with trusted online sites or brands that have a safe reputation will likely offer more safety.
- 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.