Internet Security

Your Online Security

The Internet is an important part of our lives. It provides us with access to news, information and entertainment. It enables us to stay connected with friends, family and the world.

We want your online experience to be a positive one, and – most importantly – safe and secure. Follow these five steps to help maintain your online security.

1. Protect your personal information.

Think before you open, post and respond. Always assume what you post online is available to the general public. Never reply to emails that ask for personal information – like User IDs, passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account information. Protect yourself from viruses: don't open email attachments that you weren't expecting, or if you don't know the sender.

If you're unsure of the organization or the source of an email, call the organization by phone to verify a request is legitimate before responding.

2. Install antivirus software.

Be vigilant about installing an antivirus program on all your computers, and keep it updated. There are many good commercial products, several of them free – like Avast! and AVG.

3. Keep your operating system updated.

Both Microsoft™ and Apple™ issue periodic updates to their operating systems to fix newly-discovered security flaws. Be sure to keep other software products such as Adobe Reader™ and Adobe Flash™ updated as well. Most vendors' provide information to help you make this process automatic.

4. Monitor your home wireless network.

If you have a wireless network in your home, be sure only the people in your household are using it. Without some basic changes to the factory settings on your wireless router, a neighbor or someone parked on the street could monitor your activity or gain access to your home network for illegal purposes.

If you have a combination cable modem/wireless router leased or purchased from Midco, these basic changes have already been made for you. If you have any other type of wireless router, be sure you have changed the default administrator password of the wireless router and configure it to use an encryption method such as WPA/PSK or WPA2. Some older devices will only support a method called WEP. You can find information on how to make these changes on your router manufacturer's website or in their user manuals.

5. Don't download or share files illegally.

Everyone enjoys the entertainment found online. However, you are responsible for the proper use of your Internet service. Unauthorized downloading and sharing of copyrighted materials (like movies, books, music, etc.) is a crime.

This activity can be traced to you, and some copyright holders have begun filing civil suits seeking significant financial penalties. Be sure everyone in your household realized the potential penalties resulting from copyright infringement.