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Faq Security

 

Security

 

  1. Is the Web safe for my children?
  2. How can I make sure my children don't go to any objectionable Websites?
  3. Can my computer catch a virus on the Internet?
  4. Is it safe to give out personal information on the Internet?
  5. Is it safe to give out my credit card number to buy something on the Web?
  6. What are cookies? Are they safe?
  7. Should I change my password? If so, how often?
  8. Can I change my password online?
  9. What's the best way to choose a password?

1. Is the Web safe for my children?

Most of the World Wide Web is safe for children and young adults, but it's important to keep an eye on the sites your children visit. A good way to ensure that your children surf safely is by using the Family channel on your Personal Start Page to find safe, kid-friendly sites. There are also several children's search engines that help parents and kids find G-rated Web destinations.

Learn more about keeping your kids safe online.

2. How can I make sure my children don't go to any objectionable Websites?

To ensure that your children do not visit inappropriate Web sites, you caninstall a content filter, a program that blocks objectionable material before your children can see it. The leading content filter is SurfWatch, a Windows95 and Macintosh program that prevents children from seeing indecent Web sites or following links to inappropriate sites.

3. Can my computer catch a virus on the Internet?

With some of the IE exploits that are generally unpatched, it is
possible to get worms and viruses in the same way by visiting
a website as it is through infected E-mail. With so many IIS
exploits active, visiting a "safe" website running IIS is unlikely.

It used to be that you can only catch viruses when you open applications or documents that you've downloaded from the Internet. If someone you don't know sends you an email with an attached file,you should check the file with an anti-virus program. If you use recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator, you run a slight risk of encountering a malicious "applet" a tiny application that is automatically downloaded from a Web site. This used to be a very remote possibility, but not anymore. If you're worried about viruses, you may want to turn off your browser's Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX capabilities.

Not only one can get virus via browsing and E-mail, but if you are chatting on the Internet, e.g. mIRC and even some versions of AIM and ICQ are vulnerable for transmission of similar nefarious content.

4. Is it safe to give out personal information on the Internet?

You must be very careful when sending messages through the Internet. Since each message passes through several computers, it's possible (though unlikely) that someone other than the intended recipient will be able to intercept and read it. So, you should NEVER send personal information especially credit card numbers via email.

5. Is it safe to give out my credit card number to buy something on the Web?

Shopping on the Web can be an enjoyable pastime, and most online stores are as safe as if not safer than physical stores. However, you must be careful to avoid security lapses when shopping online. Before you purchase something online, make sure that the site will encrypt, or encode your credit card number. When a message is encrypted, no one but the intended recipient can understand it. If the site can't encrypt your number, call the company's order line and place the order over the phone. Learn more about e-commerce.

6. What are cookies? Are they safe?

Cookies are small text files that your browser picks up at certain Web sites and stores on your hard drive. These text files contain personal information typically, your name, address, and username that YOU provided when you registered with the Web site. This lets sites create customized pages (like your Personal Start Page), online shopping carts, and targeted ad banners.

Since cookies can only be read by the site domain that created it, they are completely safe and secure. Webmasters can't snoop through all your cookies and find out information about you. Learn more about cookies.

7. Should I change my password? If so, how often?

We recommend changing your password every 90 days. If you suspect that someone might have stolen your password, you should change it immediately.

8. Can I change my password online?

Yes. You can change your password from our secure, online Account Maintenance page.

9. What's the best way to choose a password?

When choosing a password, try to pick something that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. DO NOT CHOOSE YOUR USERNAME OR YOUR REAL NAME. You should also avoid easily guessed words like "password" or "secret." The safest passwords include both letters and numbers. Once you have selected a password, write it down and keep it in a secure place.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Copyright 1999 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.