Digital Citizenship Lessons
Being safe online: Protect Your Computer
Have the knowledge to protect your computer. Don't get tricked!
Task: Watch the video for your grade level below:
What is malware? Is it the same as a computer virus?
Malware is short for malicious software. Malicious means wanting to do harm. This bad software usually installs on your computer without your knowledge, where it can cause trouble. Malware is the main term for many specific types of harmful software, including:
Tips for protecting your computer from malware:
- Keep operating systems, browsers & plugins like Flash & Adobe Reader up-to-date. This will help you avoid drive-by downloads and malvertising.
- Keep antivirus & anti-malware software up-to-date.
- Be careful about which websites you visit and what you download. Don't click on suspicious links, pop-ups or email attachments.
- If a message appears that tells you to call a number to fix your computer, don't do it! It's a scam.
- Use the browser extension Web of Trust or Google Safe Browsing to check if a website is safe to visit.
- Avoid using public wi-fi networks. Want to know why? Click here.
How can you tell if a computer is infected?
- There are a lot of pop-up ads
- The homepage or default search engine is different
- There are toolbars on the browser
- The computer is very slow
- You are redirected to a website you don't want to visit
- There are strange search results
Check for Understanding:
- Why is it important to keep everything up-to-date on a computer?
- What are some consequences of being infected with malware?