Internet Safety Tips for the Holidays


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.