Surfing the Net and staying secure while you do it is possible. Just follow these sensible precautions.


a bronze Wingate University bulldog statue stands strongWingate University offers protection while you’re online, but we can’t guard against every phishing scam and hacker out there. We also can’t keep you safe when you’re away from campus. What we can do is to share our tips to help you stay secure when you use the Internet.

Anti-Virus, Anti-Adware and Anti-Malware Software

Viruses and malware range from the annoying to dangerous. At best, you might find yourself confronted with irritating pop-up windows that slow your computer’s speed. At worst, strangers might be accessing your personal information, including bank accounts, social security number and your address.

You can protect yourself by installing reliable anti-virus, anti-adware and anti-malware programs. To be effective, they should search your hard drive for existing problems. They should detect and block new viruses, adware and malware. They also need frequent updates to identify new threats. There are free software programs to help you keep your computer safe.

Guard Your Data

It might be tempting to go online and buy that new backpack while you’re at the mall. Providing confidential information over public Wi-Fi networks is a bad idea, though. You should only enter credit card and other personal data if you are on a secure, password-protected network.

Know the Dangers

You can help guard your personal information by limiting what you post to social media sites. Being alert to phishing and other e-mail scams can also help you avoid falling into traps. It’s best not to click on links from e-mail and social media unless you know the site is trustworthy.