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Securing Your Computer

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"The eMA is working with government leaders, business and the Internet community to help stem the tide of scams, hoaxes, spam and viruses."

-Phil Sandal
Director of Security

eMarketing Association


Microsoft Security Site:

The National Cyber Alert System provides timely information about current and emerging threats and vulnerabilities as well as advice about protecting your computer and networks. Sign up for their security bulletins at:


Security Tips

Here are some tips for protecting your computer and network against scams, viruses and hoaxes:

Leave suspicious sites. If you suspect that a website is not what it purports to be, leave the site immediately. Do not follow any of the instructions it presents.

Be alert for scam e-mails. These may appear to come from a trusted business or friend, but actually are designed to trick you into downloading a virus or jumping to a fraudulent website and disclosing sensitive information.

Don't reply to any e-mail that requests your personal information. Be very suspicious of any e-mail from a business or person that asks for your password, social security number, or other highly sensitive information.

Be aware! Phony "look alike" websites are designed to trick consumers and collect their personal information. Make sure that websites on which you transact business post privacy and security statements, and review them carefully.

Open e-mails only when you know the sender. Be especially careful about opening an e-mail with an attachment. Even a friend may accidentally send an e-mail with a virus.

Be careful before clicking on a link contained in an e-mail or other message. The link may not be trustworthy.

Do not send sensitive personal or financial information unless it is encrypted on a secure website. Regular e-mails are not encrypted and are more like sending a post card. Look for the padlock symbol on the bottom bar of the browser to ensure that the site is running in secure mode BEFORE you enter sensitive information.

Use strong passwords or personal identification numbers (PINS) for your Internet accounts. Choose passwords that are difficult for others to guess, and use a different password for each of your accounts. Use both letters and numbers and a combination of lower case and capital letters if the passwords or PINS are case sensitive.

Make sure your home computer has the most current anti-virus software. Anti-virus software needs frequent updates to guard against new viruses. Make sure you download the anti-virus updates as soon as you are notified that a download is available.

Install a personal firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your home computer. This is especially important if you connect to the internet via a cable modem or a digital subscriber line (DSL) modem.