The World Wide Web, otherwise known as the Internet, evokes images of intrigue that can trap and ensnare unsuspecting victims. While the Internet has become such out stable in our day-to-day lives, without proper precautions you could find yourself caught up amongst hackers, thieves and dangerous threats. Make sure you have some quality Internet monitoring software in place to alert you if your daily business online is leading you down a dangerous path.
Viruses, worms and spyware sound very menacing to any ordinary Internet user. Even more so considering the criminals who create them are so technologically savvy compared to the average person. No wonder you might feel overwhelmed. Luckily there is Internet monitoring software available to monitor these situations for you. To protect yourself you should install a firewall, which will filter the data entering your computer and alert you when sinister information is trying to transmit data.
Firewalls are available in both hardware and software versions. Hardware firewalls are standalone devices that sit between your computer and the Internet and usually will be built into a router. Popular brands of routers include:
-Linksys BEFSR41 or BEFSX41
Software firewalls offer the same features as a hardware firewall but also can alert you when a digital threat such as spyware tries to connect to the Internet and transmit data to online marketers. The ZoneAlarm Free Version is a completely free software firewall for download. You can find information about it at http://www.zonelabs.com
There are a number of few Web sites that offer free scanners to test your firewall and check for holes or leaks. After installing your firewall, you should test it to ensure the program is working:
-Symantec Security Check http://security.symantec.com
-Audit My PC http://www.auditmypc.com
As if it isn’t enough to monitor the Internet sites, criminals will also try to target you to reveal valuable information or download viruses via e-mail. As a general rule, well-known legitimate businesses are not going to use e-mail as a means to contact you about important information. If an e-mail from your “bank” or “Microsoft” contacts you to update your personal information or click on a link, you should simply ignore and delete it. If you are unsure if a site is legitimate you can also look for the security symbol in the form of a padlock at the bottom right of your browser. There are Internet monitoring software tools to assist you further in the form of anti-phising toolbars which will protect you from visiting phishing sites wanting to steal your information:
-Netcraft Toolbar http://www.toolbar.netcraft.com
-TrustWatch Toolbar http://www.trustwatch.com
-Cloudmark SafetyBar http://www.cloudmark.com
With all these online threats of course we are left nervous to allow our kids on the Internet in case they come across something dangerous. Fortunately there are content advisor tools available to enable you to control the Web content that your children view. Similar to the “V-chip” in modern televisions, the content advisor uses a ratings system to help you set the level of language, nudity, sex, and violence that is acceptable in your home. You will find the content advisor in the Internet Options section of your web browser or you can also download content-filtering software from programs such as these:
-Net Nanny http://www.netnanny.com
-Crayon Crawler http://www.crayoncrawler.com