Understanding security and safe computing - Tips for using e-mail and the web safely


Windows Vista Security basics - Understanding security and safe computing - Tips for using e-mail and the web safely

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• Use caution when opening e-mail attachments. e-mail attachments (files attached to e-mail messages) are a primary source of virus infection. Never open an attachment from someone you don't know. If you know the sender but were not expecting an attachment, verify that the sender actually sent the attachment before you open it. See When to trust an e-mail message and Avoiding e-mail viruses.

• Guard your personal information carefully. If a website asks for a credit card number, bank information, or other personal information, make sure that you trust the website and verify that its transaction system is secure. See When to trust a website.

• Use the Phishing Filter in Internet Explorer. Phishing is the practice of creating fraudulent e-mail messages and websites in order to trick computer users into revealing personal or financial information. The fraudulent e-mail message or website appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, credit card company, or reputable online merchant. The Phishing Filter helps detect phishing websites to protect you from scams. See Phishing Filter: frequently asked questions.

• Be careful when clicking hyperlinks in e-mail messages. Hyperlinks (links that open websites when you click them) are often used as part of phishing and spyware scams, but they can also transmit viruses. Only click links in e-mail messages that you trust.

• Only install add-ons from websites that you trust. Web browser add-ons, including ActiveX controls, allow webpages to display things like toolbars, stock tickers, video, and animation. However, add-ons can also install spyware or other malicious software. If a website asks you to install an add-on, make sure that you trust it before doing so. See Should you install ActiveX controls? and Internet Explorer add-ons: frequently asked questions.

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