Question: Do I need to have a password for everything?
Answer: YES you should put a private password onto anything holding personal information, such as Email, Banking, Social Media, etc. The passwords should have a level of complexity, usually with some kind of special character, such as “!ndifference” instead of “Indifference”. This is because plain dictionary words are very easy to guess and hack using specific tools. These days with people having information in so many places, it is ever more important to keep this info private and out of the hands of malicious people.
Question: How do I tell if an email is spam or malicious?
Answer: Some spam is obvious (“I lost 30 pounds and made $24,356 in five hours by taking this special pill!”), but other messages are more subtle. A lot of spam relies on “phishing,” in which a spammer will try to make their email look like it’s coming from a legitimate source in order to get your information. They may tell you to click a link that looks like it’s going to paypal.com, but really goes to their PayPal-disguised site where you willingly type in your information. Luckily, you can usually avoid those tricks by checking the URL and typing it in yourself instead. Be careful, too—sometimes those links will cause you to unknowingly spam one of your friends.
Question: What does an anti-virus actually do and do I need it?
Answer: YES you do need it. Anti-Virus programs actively monitor your system for “Malware” based on a constantly updated database of threats that are reported by all types of people around the world, mostly in the technical or security sectors. When a new threat is found in the internet world, the definitions of such threat are recorded and then the details shared across the world through various channels to advise anti-virus programs what to look out for. These are called anti-virus definition updates, and usually occur a couple times per week, depending on the frequency of new threats being released.
Question: Is it safe to connect to free public WiFi?
Answer: Most of us put a lot of effort into finding free Wi-Fi, but public Wi-Fi networks have their own share of problems—particularly that it’s very insecure. Even if a Wi-Fi network has a password, that doesn’t keep you safe from other people on the network. It’s notoriously easy for any of them to see what you’re doing and, in some cases, steal personal information or passwords.
Question: Does rebooting really solve issues?
Answer: YES, because when you restart your forcing the computer to remove things from its temporary memory, and close anything which is open holding and onto information or controlling a piece of hardware. Restarting will not solve all computer problems. See power-cycle below for another alternative solution.
Question: What is a power-cycle, and when do I do this?
Answer: A power cycle is when you turn off a device for a couple of minutes and then turn it back on. What this does is drains the power from the device completely, allowing it to be able to start fresh, usually this resets certain counters, or removes certain things stuck in memory. Restarting doesn’t exactly force things back to “zero”, which is why sometimes it is best to do a full power-cycle.