Avoiding Internet Traps

The internet, although an excellent source of information and way to communicate is filled with many dangerous traps set by many shady people. Just as in the real world there are many people who would take advantage of others, the same is true of the internet. This tutorial is designed to help the reader be wise to the ways that would be used to take advantage of others and avoid the problems they would cause. There are some general rules that should be followed to avoid traps on the internet and several types of traps that will be discussed here. Traps included in this brief tutorial include:

  • Internet Scams - Designed to steal from you, many scams will either attempt to get account login information from you or banking or credit card information.
  • Computer Viruses - Computer viruses either exploit a defect in software running on your computer or they will try to trick you into running some code which will infect your computer. In any event, once your computer is infected, the person who wrote the virus could get control of your computer, get information from your computer, or potentially monitor your activity on the internet including your logon information used to access on-line banking or other fincncial transactions on the internet.
  • Adware - Adware usually comes with a program that has some other purpose. Once installed it will cause ads to pop up on your screen very often and will interfere seriously with the performance of your computer. Usually it takes someone with a computer background to remove adware programs because they are hidden on your computer by their creators. Some programs exist which will remove most adware.
  • Spyware - Similar to adware but I do not consider it to be as bad. It also usually comes with a program that has another purpose. The creators sometimes tell you up front that their programs contain spyware. Its main purpose is to monitor your internet activity for marketing purposes.
  • Spam - Junk e-mail.

This tutorial, in the process of explaining how to avoid internet traps will show some examples of viruses, and internet scams. You may safely click on the links provided in these examples since they have been rendered harmless and in fact these links will provide some humorous entertainment.

General Trap Avoidance Rules

  • Be sure of who you are dealing with. Don't be fooled into believing that you are receiving an e-mail from a reputable party when in fact you are receiving an e-mail from a con artist.
  • Check the reputation of the party you are dealing with. This will help you to avoid many problems including the problems caused by loading programs onto your computer that may have a sinister purpose.
  • Never send money or personal information such as banking or credit card information to unknown or untrusted parties.
  • Be wary about storing social security information or banking information on your computer and if you do this, be sure you take appropriate security measures to secure any systems that store this type of information.
  • Keep confidential information about yourself confidential such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and even your e-mail address. You can create e-mail addresses specifically to give to untrusted parties, then delete them when you recieve too much spam.
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