Protect Your Computer & Smartphone

Protect your computer or smartphone

We have provided a secure channel for our members to communicate with us. Once the information has reached your computer, it's up to you to protect it. Here’s what you can do. 

How to protect your computer

  • Use a firewall. This is software designed to create a barrier between your information and the rest of the world. Makes sure the firewall is enabled before you go online
  • Install anti-virus software and anti-spyware and keep it up-to-date
  • Ignore spam emails or messages, beware of email messages from unknown parties, and never click on links or open attachments that accompany them
  • Keep your operating systems, apps, and browser up to date. Most updates include security fixes that prevent hackers from accessing your personal information
  • Use complex passwords. The more secure your passwords are, the harder it is for a hacker to invade your system

Red flags your computer has been compromised:

  • Your computer is running slower; it takes a long time to turn on or open up applications
  • Your webcam or microphone turns on by itself, or your cursor moves by itself
  • You start seeing more pop-up apps or plug-ins you don’t remember installing
  • You get a warning. If an anti-virus warning pops up, don’t ignore it or assume it’s deleted the virus
  • Your computer homepage looks different or has changed

How to protect your smartphone

  • Turn off Bluetooth. Keeping your Bluetooth on but dormant opens another back door for computer hackers
  • Don’t use unsecured public Wi-Fi. Password-free, widely used Wi-Fi networks have no security features and are prime targets for computer hackers
  • Get a security app and install it on your phone, just like you should for a computer
  • Clear your browsing history, and this will stop hackers from getting too much of your information if they can access your phone
  • Opt for a randomly generated six-number passcode

Red flags your smartphone has been compromised:

  • Your phone isn’t functioning probably and your receiving mysterious alerts and text
  • Your battery drains fast, and your phone feels hot. Phone spyware is running all the time, so it uses a lot of power and drains your battery in the process
  • Your friends are receiving calls or text messages from you, and you didn’t send them
  • New apps are appearing on your screen
  • You notice unusual activity with your accounts, watch for messages about password resets you didn’t make, or security messages notifying you that your email or social media accounts have been accessed using a new device