Avoid clicking on hyperlinks.
Hyperlinks in email messages can be misleading, as the text shows one address but the link may take you to another. Before clicking on links in e-mails or Web pages, hold the cursor over the link and verify that the address that appears at the bottom of your browser window is the same one that you intend to visit.
Type with care.
On-line criminals often create Web sites that look similar to another site and use common misspellings of the original site as the URL. Be sure that you are typing accurately, or use a bookmark to visit favorite sites.
Emails that appear to be legitimate and ask for information are forms of phishing. If you receive a phishing e-mail, forward it to the appropriate bureaus, including the Anti-Phishing Working Group (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (email@example.com).
Review your accounts.
Look at your bank and credit card statements for suspicious or unknown transactions. These are often a signal of identity theft. Report these situations to your bank as soon as possible.
Practice the golden rule.
The Internet is a global community with many positive benefits. Just as in the real world, be responsible, safe and respectful towards others. Also respect any rules or laws that apply to your on-line activity.
Do not open unknown e-mails.
Delete any e-mails from unknown senders. Also be aware of email attachments and do not download attachments that you are unsure about, even if you recognize the sender. Do not forward unknown attachments to others.
Create strong, private passwords.
Choose password that would be hard for others to guess. Do not use obvious passwords like a name or birth date. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols in your password and do not share your password with anyone.
Use firewall protection.
Install firewalls to prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer. This will prevent theft of any personal information stored on the computer. You may choose an external or software firewall depending on your network needs.
Do not file share with strangers.
Sharing files can allow a stranger to look at files stored on your computer or plant a virus to infect the computer. Learn about the risks of file sharing, and learn how to disable file sharing on your operating system to prevent these risks. If a file sharing program is installed on your computer, be sure that it does not run automatically when you boot up your computer.