Good advice about online safety

Keep your computer up to date

Criminals often exploit vulnerabilities in your operating system and in programs such as Adobe Reader and QuickTime. Make sure to keep your operating system and programs updated to remove these vulnerabilities. Use the automatic update setting if possible or check with the manufacturer for updates.

Install an anti-virus program and firewall

A firewall primarily protects you against criminal attempts to access your computer. An anti-virus program protects you by checking whether the e-mails and files you receive and open contain any malicious code. You can also use the program to scan your computer for viruses. Update your firewall and anti-virus program frequently - preferably automatically, otherwise your computer will not have the best protection. Regularly run a full hard disk scan.

Set the security level in your browser

Set the security level in your browser so you are always asked if you want to download information, files and programs to your computer. This gives you an opportunity to avoid installing undesirable code on your computer.

Take back-up copies of your documents

If your computer falls prey to an infection with malicious code, it must be cleaned. Malicious code cannot always be removed by an anti-virus program.
In this event, unfortunately, you will have to re-install your system and all your computer programs. Once this is done, you can copy the documents, images, music and other data from your back-up to the computer.
In these situations it is a good idea to store your most important documents and pictures on a CD or copy them onto an external hard disk.

Use strong, secure passwords

Passwords are the most important way of protecting your personal data. Use passwords that are hard to guess and keep them secret.

Encrypt your wireless network

Encryption prevents other people from using your network and thus accessing resources that you have paid for. Criminals often use other people's wireless networks when committing crime, which means you and not they will be under suspicion.

Do not open links and file attachments

Criminals often try to lure you into a trap through e-mails or messages sent by instant messaging systems.
Criminals often attach files. When you open the file, it turns out to be a program that gives access to your computer, allowing criminals to misuse your personal data, for example, to hack into your online bank. This type of attack is known as a Trojan horse, because it is not what it appears to be.
Criminals are known to attach links that you can click. They may direct you to a criminal webpage where your computer is scanned for vulnerabilities after which a ‘malicious’ program is installed. Other forms of attack attempt to persuade you to download a malicious program by getting you to accept the installation. Exercise caution particularly when using chat and instant messaging services, which can spread malicious programs faster than e-mails. Only click on links if you can work out where they lead and only if you trust the sender.

Do not respond to spam

Delete spam mail without opening it and do not respond to spam. If you open or respond to spam, you are likely to receive more spam. Criminals are known to attach links that you can click. They may direct you to a criminal webpage. This page will examine your computer for vulnerabilities, after which a malicious program will be installed. Other forms of attack attempt to persuade you to download a malicious program by getting you to accept the installation. You may want to consider using a spam filter. A spam filter is often included in your anti-virus program.

Do not submit personal details

Do not respond to e-mails purporting to come from banks and payment service providers if they contain links to websites asking you for personal and confidential information. Banks and payment service providers will NEVER ask you for personal data in e-mails. Criminals would be able to use this sensitive information to assume your identity and empty your accounts.
Be cautious about handing out personal information by e-mail, which corresponds to sending an open postcard.

Be critical about websites you visit

Be careful about the people you deal with and where you download files from, even if the website looks attractive and professional.
When making purchases over the internet it is always wise to use recog-nised methods of payment such as payment cards. If you use a payment card, you will get your money back in the case of fraud because you are protected by the Danish Act on Certain Means of Payment (loven om visse betalingsmidler). If you make bank transfers direct to an account, you are not covered by any guarantee.
You can read about e-commerce, in Danish, on

Be critical about the programs you download from the internet

Only download programs from internet websites that you trust. Before installing programs, check whether you are agreeing to advertising and to submitting your personal details.

Beware of accepting offers to earn easy money

E-mail job offers about making easy money are often associated with criminal activities. You will never win an unexpected lotto prize and you must never pay to receive your prize.
Many people are offered a job involving receiving and passing on money. A 5-15% share is often paid in return for doing this. Such schemes are often masterminded by criminals who need a courier (a so-called mule). These couriers bear the risk and are always caught.
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