Stay Safe Online - Number #1 Tip

I have spoken to many friends, colleagues and family members about staying safe online. I had even tried to write a simple 'How Do I' type article but I could never quite get it worded correctly to address the masses.

Recently, (earlier today actually) I came across a great article on that lists the Three Rules to Staying Safe online. They were a great read and not technical - a fatastic point for some of my less technically-able buddies.

For me, the first rule, is the most important rule of all.

Extract from

Krebs’s Number One Rule for Staying Safe Online: “If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it!”

A great many online threats rely on tricking the user into taking some action — whether it be clicking an email link or attachment, or installing a custom browser plugin or application.

Typically, these attacks take the form of scareware pop-ups that try to frighten people into installing a security scanner; other popular scams direct you to a video but then complain that you need to install a special “codec,” video player or app to view the content.

Only install software or browser add-ons if you went looking for them in the first place. And before you install anything, it’s a good idea to grab the software directly from the source.

Sites like and claim to screen programs that they offer for download, but just as you wouldn’t buy a product online without doing some basic research about its quality and performance, take a few minutes to search for and read comments and reviews left by other users of that software to make sure you’re not signing up for more than you bargained.

Also, avoid directly responding to email alerts that (appear to) come from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your bank or some other site that holds your personal information. Instead, visit these sites using a Web browser bookmark.

You can read the full article here.