Byte Me Article 277 – Internet Safety

Getting Connected and Protected

Following on from last weeks’ article directed at first time computer users, this week we look at what would be the next step forward – getting connected to the Internet and keeping safe while on it.  The subject of Internet connections has already been covered in many of these articles however I will quickly summarise my suggestions below.

If you are getting a desktop computer or if you are wanting to use the Internet for the downloading of movies or music then an ADSL broadband connection will server you best.  If you are too far from a telephone exchange for the above, then you will be after a 3G/4G wireless broadband connection and you had better forget about movie downloads as they will take up too much of your monthly quota.

If you are so remote that you can’t get mobile phone service then you will have to go with a satellite connection through the NBN – which you should be eligible for right now.  Regardless of the type of connection selected, keep all documentation including username and passwords in the one folder as stupidly enough these will become as vital as a birth certificate and more often needed!

Make sure that the above folder has plenty of room for additional info as the use of the Internet still requires the recording of lots of specific information – mostly usernames and passwords.  These can also be recorded automatically by your computer, which is just fine and dandy until it stops working one day which is almost inevitable!

If you have just got an Internet connection up and running you need to withhold your excitement to launch into browsing your favourite hobbies and first make sure that your PC gets all of its Microsoft updates done.  This will provide a degree of protection and may take an hour or two if your PC has not been on the Internet for many months.  The next thing to consider is an Antivirus program.

Microsoft have their own ‘Defender’ anti-virus software however we have a preference for Avast Free Antivirus Essential for home use and Trend Micro Internet Security 10 for business use.  Always remember that having an Anti-virus program to stop viruses is no different to having a police force to stop crime.  It is a deterrent and prevents a lot of bad things – but it can never be 100% effective!

Another level of Internet security and protection can be added by configuring your chosen browser to delete cookies, temporary Internet files, form data and Internet history every time you have finished on the Internet.  These are areas where viruses and hacker software can hide and this setting along with Microsoft updates and a good anti-virus will all add to your Internet safety.

Another tip is to set what is referred to as your ‘Home Page’ for your Internet browser to as this is the best starting point that we have been able to find.  It is relatively free from adverts, it loads quickly, it is rarely ever not working and it provides a great search engine.  We have seen problems with other home pages, such as a hobby site or an email site and particularly with BigPond’s site as they are slow to load and can even be not working – falsely leading the user to think that their own PC or connection was at fault.

The use of the Internet is such a broad topic that I will need to cover some more items of interest next week.  Until then spare a thought for our oldest customer – Jack from Zilzie.  At 96 years of age he took on the Internet with a new PC from us and he now uses it competently every day. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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