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September/October 2005

LIFE LETTER MATURE

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How to protect yourself on the internet

The Internet gained tremendous popularity starting in the early 1990s. At one point, new user numbers were growing exponentially each year. Today, the fastest growing group of new Internet users is over the age of 65. With children and grandchildren spread all over the world, what better way to keep in touch? E-mail is still the most used feature.

Because the Internet is really nothing more than millions of computers connected to each other, there are risks in using it. There are some things you can do to protect yourself from these risks:

Viruses - Just like a cold or flu virus can make you sick, a computer virus makes your computer sick. In some cases, they can even kill your computer. Computer viruses come in many forms, but are essentially bits of software that can do nasty things to your computer and the data you have on it. They are usually spread through e-mail and can take control of your computer, spreading the virus to everyone in your address book.

Everyone who uses e-mail and the Internet should use anti-virus software on their computer. Think of it as a digital vaccine that can prevent your computer from getting sick. Choose anti-virus software that can be set to automatically check for software updates. It is critical that you keep this software up-to-date.

Never open any e-mail attachments you receive unless you are positive they are safe. If you have even the slightest doubt, call the sender and make sure they sent it to you.

Spam - Spam is the telemarketer of the Internet. Simply, huge volumes of unsolicited e-mail that can clog your inbox and waste your valuable time while you sort through it. The vast majority of spam e-mails are scams.

There are anti-spam software packages that can filter your e-mail and put all spam in a special folder for easy bulk deletion. So far, none are flawless, but you will have fewer spam e-mail messages to sort through.

Phishing - This is a form of spam that can be thought of as bait. Phishers send out millions of spam e-mail messages that look like they may have come from your bank or an Internet service you trust, like eBay. They hope you will bite and give up private information.Typical phishing e-mail will often have the logo of a sender you would normally trust. The message will say something like your account is about to be terminated because there is an information error. You are asked to follow an Internet link that may even look authentic. Once at the site, you are asked for personal information that may include credit card numbers, dates of birth, social insurance numbers, etc. Never follow the links or give up your personal information!

Want help protecting your lifestyle?

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -
hans@mathisen.ca

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Mathisen Financial, Inc.
335 Redberry Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4W5
Bus. (306) 242-7042 Fax. (306) 242-4314
Email:
hans@mathisen.ca