Firestone Technical Resources

"Personal service for your impersonal technology."

Brian Wright

President and CEO of Firestone Technical Resources, Inc. and primary blog contributor for technical solutions to computer problems.

His posts typically reflect real situations that required real solutions. Many of these solutions are compiled from several other blogs or just personal experience and put into a easy to follow process.
3 minutes reading time (665 words)

Internet Banking Protection

Computer security is an important training topic for us with all of our clients, both consumer and business. We know that keeping your financial information safe is as important to you as it is to your bank. Your bank has likely instituted some safeguards according to established security standards which keep your financial information secure and confidential. While your bank works hard to keep your money safe, you also need do your part. The following reminders will help protect your information from online fraud and identity theft.

The first line of defense is you. It is important that you use the tools available to protect your data, which is anything that may describe who you are as well as your account numbers and passwords. Your choice of password, decision to visit a web site, open an e-mail message, or post personal data will affect the security of your personal data.

Saving passwords may be a convenience but you also allow hackers an opportunity to gather that information electronically through the use of rogue applications. Keeping a hard copy of passwords is often better but you need to keep them in a safe place. We often recommend a paper note book or index cards. This might seem old fashion but sometime old tricks are more reliable than new ones.

The anti-virus software installed on your computer is the best local security you can have. However many people try to use more than one security application which only slows the performance of the computer and affects the antivirus' ability to function properly. Using a good antivirus product is important, we recommend that our clients use the basic version of either Kaspersky Antivirus or Symantec's Norton Antivirus - both are in the top of the industry and proven in our own test. We find that free antivirus software holds to the old adage that you get what you pay for and you won't likely know you are infected until it is too late.

Your Internet firewall/router is your best external defense providing an additional layer of protection. In our experience we have found many of the firewall/routers provided by the Internet Service Providers (ISP) are not configured with the highest security thus leaving your computer vulnerable to many forms of attacks. Take the time to learn the basics of configuring your firewall/router or call a local IT support company for assistance. We are also available via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter if you have simple questions.

Change your password. Many can't remember the passwords they already have but that doesn't mean that a hacker hasn't figured it out. Using passwords that are at least 8 characters with numbers and letter are good. Using a word that is in the dictionary is not good. Try using a combination of short words with numbers; maybe use a capital letter as well. You need to make it difficult enough that someone can't guess it based on what they know about you but easy enough that you can remember. Develop a system that works for you.

Do not click on links in emails or websites that you are unfamiliar with. Malicious software to steal confidential information can be embedded within these emails or on the sites which these links go to. This also goes for attachments from companies that you have not initiated the conversation. We often find rogue attachments in the form of PDF or ZIP files sent from what would appear to be a bank, shipping company, or online retailer. Take caution and look for signs that would indicate the e-mail or its attachments might be illegitimate.

Do not provide confidential information when a suspicious pop-up screen appears. Companies and banks will never ask you for your card number, social security number, password or other confidential information with out you initiating the request.

We hope that this information is helpful. Please let us know how this has helped you or if you have additional questions. As always Firestone Technical Resources, Inc. is here to help with your computer support issues - "Providing personal service for your impersonal technology."

 

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