New Stuff to Blog About and More Cyber Security Awareness Month,

Accessing the Internet through a broadband or high-speed connection at home can enhance the online experience. However, the speed at which information can be transferred to and from your computer and the fact that it stays connected to the Internet for long periods of time makes it a more likely target for hackers than dial-up Internet users. By taking some basic precautions and using a few simple tools, you can protect your computer and your information from theft, misuse and destruction.

Common Online Threats
Malware is short for "malicious software." Criminals can use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. provides tips on how to secure your computer and protect yourself from Internet fraud. They also provide a glossary of Internet-related terms that include common forms of malware such as:

  • Spyware - A software program that may be installed on your computer without your consent to monitor your use, send pop-up ads, redirect your computer to certain web sites, or record keystrokes, which could lead to identity theft.
  • Virus - A program that can sneak onto your computer-- often through an e-mail attachment-- and then make copies of itself, quickly using up all available memory.
  • Trojans - Programs that, when installed on your computer, enable unauthorized people to access it and sometimes to send spam from it.
  • Worm - A program that reproduces itself over a network and can use up your computer's resources and possibly shut your system down.

Resources for Protecting Your Privacy and Security
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers information on their web site about privacy and security. You will find information about how to protect kids' privacy online, protect your computer from malware and Internet fraud, secure your wireless network and more.

The FTC also offers businesses a source of information about computer security and safeguarding personal information.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers a web page titled Cyber Security: Make it a Habit, which gives consumers tips on how to keep their information private.

Finally, you may also wish to view online security and safety tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Where to Report Internet Fraud and Internet-Related Crime
If you are a victim of Internet fraud, you may notify federal law enforcement through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at their web site, The IC3 evaluates every complaint, and then refers it to the appropriate local, state, or federal agency. Once the IC3 refers a complaint to the appropriate agency, it may be assigned to an investigator. However, they cannot guarantee that your complaint will be investigated.

There are several other sources to visit for information on how to report Internet-related issues:

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, designated to bring attention to the importance of protecting yourself, your family and your information online.

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