Newswise — November 27, 2011 — With the continued growth of online shopping and this year's "Cyber Monday," Karen McDowell of the University of Virginia is available to help your audience or readers keep their computers, their identities and their credit cards safe.
McDowell, an information security analyst in U.Va's Information Security, Policy and Records Office, has worked in information technology for more than 15 years and regularly provides the most up-to-date information on avoiding online hazards that show up in email, social media, and through the Internet.
Some of her advice:
-- Delete unsolicited messages from any source, especially during the holidays when you can expect an increase in phishing messages in email or on social media sites.
-- Don't provide personal information unless you initiated the contact, and know absolutely with whom you're dealing, and limit the amount of personal information you share online.
-- Use your credit, instead of debit, card when making an online purchase
-- Type the actual web address into your browser, instead of clicking on a link.
-- Keep hardware and software, especially antivirus, patched and up to date
-- Beware of shortened links on social media sites… you don't know where they'll take you.
McDowell provides more detailed information and presentations upon request. To arrange an interview, contact Marian Anderfuren in U.Va's Office of Public Affairs at 434-243-2293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.