Below are a few tips on spam prevention and staying virus-free. Naturally, nothing is fool-proof, but with a good dose of common sense and proactive measures (ie: keeping your software updated), you can fight off the security threats and stay productive.

Schedule regular daily/weekly backups!!!
-If your system becomes infected, you can recover your most valuable files quickly.
-Backup media (CD, ZIP, Tape, Hard Drive) is very inexpensive these days.

Treat your business e-mail address like your social security #. 
-Don't give it out unless you NEED to.
-Create "aliases" that you can use for specific purposes (aliases are free - just ask)
-Use a free HotMail or Yahoo address for ALL non-business e-mail communications.
-Listserves are breeding grounds for spammers - subscribe using a HotMail/Yahoo address.

E-Mail Attachments, Spam and General Advice
-You should NEVER open e-mail attachments from anyone unless your expecting something.
-If it looks like it came from someone you know -- scan it for viruses first.
-NEVER "unsubscribe" to a spam message -- you're simply validating your existence.
-When sending mail to multiple addresses, send it To: yourself and Bcc: everyone else.  This will hide all of the addresses and keep everyone's e-mail addresses private.

Don't put your e-mail address on your web site.
-The only people that benefit from having it on your web site are spammers & their software.
-Once your on a spam list, it will spread like wildfire.
-Your customers or constituents know how to contact you.
-Create an online form where your e-mail is difficult if not impossible to find.
-If you need help creating a contact form, please contact us for help.

Update your Microsoft products!!!
-Anyone using a PC running Microsoft Windows - go here now.
-Many people don't realize that you also have to keep MS Office updated - go here now.

Don't be online without updated virus software.
-Download the FREE virus definitions from your software vendor weekly.
-Configure your virus software to automatically check for updates.

Don't be online without firewall software.
-If you don't use a firewall or don't know what it is --- your asking for big trouble!
-Get ZoneAlarm, BlackIce or some kind of software firewall ASAP.
-Failing to install a good firewall product is simply irresponsible.  High speed access (cable modem, DSL and satellite) has made it even faster for hackers to penetrate your computer and use it for whatever they want.

If possible, don't connect your accounting or personnel computers to the internet.
-Try to keep all accounting and personnel records on a separate computer.
-If improperly connected, your proprietary information could be stolen within minutes.
-Identity theft is becoming more common each day - don't let the hackers in.
-If this computer must be online, use a good firewall product.



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