Yes, yes. I know, I know. You probably get this all the time. You're probably tired of hearing people repeat this same thing. Even Toontown Rewritten has even created a blog post about this. We even have one or two sections about personal information in the Forum Rules. However, this is just to reiterate. Certain circumstances prompted me to create this thread so here I am. Thus, even if you're knowledgeable about these tips or aren't certain about everything, I advise you to read on. TIPS & ADVICE Practice good online safety habits with these tips and advice: Know the scams. Read articles and blogs and follow the news so you can learn about different kinds of scams and what you can do to avoid them and also help your friends. Think before you click. Never click on links in messages from people you don’t know or vaguely know. These emails have links that lead to websites that can lure you into giving personal information or download malware to your computer. You should even be wary with emails from people you do know if it looks or sounds suspicious. Hackers can create a malicious email that looks like it came from your best friend’s email account. Safely peruse. Beware of phony websites. These sites may have an address that’s very similar to a legitimate site, but the page can have misspellings, bad grammar or low resolution images. However, scammers are getting better at replicating sites so make sure. If a site asks for personal information from you, double check the URL and make sure it’s not asking for information it shouldn’t. Certain antivirus extensions and the browser itself blocks these websites by default. Shop safely. Don’t shop on a site unless it has the “https” and a padlock icon to the left or right of the URL. Also, protect yourself and use a credit card instead of a debit card while shopping online—a credit card company is more likely to reimburse you for fraudulent charges. Kick-butt passwords. Kill the simple passwords and use an extremely uncrackable one like 9&4yIW2prefdcyqx#. Strong passwords contain 12 characters or more. Phrases are good too. Regularly change passwords and don’t use the same passwords for critical accounts. It is advised that you create multiple passwords for different account across the internet rather than just using one or two select passwords. Even if you have to create one anew, it's worth it in the long run. Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can alternatively use a service like a password manager to keep track of your passwords. Protect your info and keep your guard up. Back up all of your data on your computer, smartphone and tablet in the event of loss, theft or a crash. Also, routinely check your various financial statements for questionable activity. Also, don't give out passwords or account information to third parties. It is never a good idea to share them. Watch your Wi-Fi connectivity. Protect your network by changing/managing your router’s default settings and making sure you have the connection password-protected. To cross check this or query any irregularities with your connection, please contact your Internet Service Provider. Install a firewall. A firewall is a great line of defense against cyber-attacks. Although most operating systems come with a firewall, some may not have that. If your computer does not currently have a firewall, please install one from an extremely trusted source. Read reviews on the product from trusted sources and ask people who you know may have it installed. Better safe than sorry. Keep up to date. The best security software updates automatically to protect your computer. Use the manufacturer’s latest security patches to make regular updates and make sure that you have the software set to do routine scans. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. Use your noggin. You do not need to be a seasoned computer whiz to know that it’s not smart to open an attachment titled, "Claim Your Inheritance!" or "Congratulations on winning an HD television!" Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information. Never install programs from an unrecognizable source, a shady link/website, a company/site you don't know or from a site that does not have a good history. If ever in doubt, it's better to be safe than sorry. Some programs can install malware and spyware under the guise of being an OS update from a website. Using common sense while surfing the Web can protect you from some hungry cyber-shark. Protect all devices that connect to the Internet. Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware. Install trusted antiviruses from the respective App Stores. USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them. Protect your personal information. I can't stress how important this is. Heck, we have an entire category and more about that in the Forums Rules and Toontown Rewritten has an article on it in their Terms Agreement. It is absolutely fundamental that you uphold your privacy online. Own your online presence. When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information. Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine. Safer for me, more secure for all. What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work, at school and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community. Post only about others as you have them post about you. This applies online as well. Know how you are posting and what. Think of your fellow toons before you post any content. Help the authorities fight cybercrime. Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or to the Action Fraud Centre [www.ic3.gov][www.actionfraud.police.uk] and to your local law enforcement or attorney general as appropriate. Even right here on the Forums, you can contribute to battling these pesky cyber clods. Report threads/posts/conversations that you think broke the Forum Rules or are scams/spam. Be smart about the people you trust online. Skype accounts are susceptible to online attacks and should be protected accordingly. Only YOU can protect your computer and your surfing. We're looking out for you, but we can only do so much. Please stay safe out there and thank you for taking the time to read this. Your pal, Wizard Bear.