Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds families that Internet thieves can take advantage of the holiday rush to break into home computers. A few simple guidelines can help prevent Internet scams, viruses, and serious crimes such as identity theft.
“When you’re busy prepping for the holidays, please reserve a little time to attend to your home computer security,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
Ensure that your children understand the basics of online safety: they should never share their address, phone number, passwords, schedule, school information, or vacation plans online.
Download security updates as soon as they become available.
Avoid downloading free software or games unless you can verify the site. Call or email the company, or run its name through a search engine such as google.
Lock your home wireless Internet system, and do not share the password with people outside of the immediate family.
Use a backup system to preserve documents, data, photos, and other files.
Only shop at reputable online stores. Most of these have a web address that includes https: (the “s” is for “secure”). When in doubt check the retailer’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau.
Use only one credit card for online shopping. Keep the card maximum low, and carefully monitor transactions on a regular basis.
These tips were provided by the Joanne Kinsey, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Family & Community Health Sciences Educator. For more information on Union County Extension programs including Family and Community Health Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Resource Management, Master Gardeners, and Master Tree Stewards, call 908-654-9854.
The Union County Extension is part of a unique federal-county partnership that enables the public to access information and research from land grant universities, through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In New Jersey, the Extension system is a partnership between the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station and the county boards of Chosen Freeholders.