Certificate Warnings

PSMail Quick Tip: When you see a certificate warning from your browser saying that a certificate is invalid or not signed by a trusted authority, don’t ignore this important warning. This could be a sign of a man-in-the-middle attack or some other form of unwanted intrusion. Decline to go further and contact the website administrator.

Administrative Users

PSMail Quick Tip: Though it may be convenient to give all users on your home computer the same privileges, for security purposes it’s best to create not more than two administrative users, especially in this age when home users have in-house networks. Give younger children and teenagers basic user level access only. Both Macintosh and Windows PC allow you to create non-administrative users for basic computer functions like playing games, word processing, and surfing the web. Restricting the use of administrative users on your PC helps keep your family and your information safe.

Spyware and Adware Threats

PSMail Quick Tip: Threats of spyware and adware are real. Do not install any software that is blocked by spyware protection or adware protection in your antivirus or anitspyware program. Also, keep in mind that “free” software may come with strings attached in the form of adware and spyware; be sure you know what you are installing before accepting a download.

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Voice-to-Voice Over the Internet

PSMail Quick Tip: Speaking to someone over the Internet, voice-to-voice, is a convenient and often inexpensive way to make phone calls. Keep in mind, however, that IP telephony is not inherently secure or encrypted. When using the Internet for phone calls, it is best to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) program, like the one included with your PSMail account, to encrypt the voice data.

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Using BCC – Blind Carbon Copy

PSMail Quick Tip: Most email providers offer a BCC option when composing an email. BCC is a throw back term for typists meaning “blind carbon copy.” When you send a message to a large group of people using BCC rather than CC (carbon copy), recipients cannot see everyone who received the email. This protects recipients’ privacy by hiding their address from your contacts who they do not know as well as from some email clients that automatically add all addresses to a recipient’s address book.

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Strong Passwords

PSMail Quick Tip: Poor passwords are the weakest link in your security. To have the best password, it’s best to think of it not as a password but as a passphrase. A good passphrase is easy to remember but it is also long and contains a mixture of letters, numbers, and/or special characters that make it difficult for anyone to guess. Also, keep in mind that a long passphrase you can remember is better than a short, complex password that you will forget or have to jot down on paper (where it can be lost or stolen).

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Email Attachments

PSMail Quick Tip: Before opening any email attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment, and even if you do, make sure you run your own virus scan on all attachments. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize, as the “from” address can be spoofed (faked!).