Web security has become a necessity in today’s world due to crimes like identity theft, harassment,predators and harmful viruses. Here are some tools and resources to help you keep up with a constantly changing Web wherever you are (home, work, on-the-go, etc.)

First, learn the lingo. Not sure about those tech terms? Get some clarity with No Slang, an Internet slang dictionary and translator.

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Keep your personal information safe. Imagine yourself as an avatar on the Web (or maybe the film The Matrix) and consider which paths you would take.

Don’t take your journey without protection. Learn the basics and why antivirus programs, firewalls and protection software (from ads, “spies”, etc.) are necessary. Know the properties and differences among different web browsers and always take advantage of their considerable security resources by updating to the latest browser version.

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Young Web users should learn responsible, safe browsing practices and keep questioning everything they see. That “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” video was a big hit with my kids, but that variation involving loud gunfire totally spoiled the fun. My students thought a Martin Luther King Jr. website had reliable information until they saw it was made by the Ku Klux Klan organization. Always look in the about section and research the information source. Are they credible/safe?

Always discuss issues involving online bullying, downloading media, shaming, scams, phishing, viruses, firewalls, antivirus, parental controls, networking and external storage device use.

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Always refer to experts like krebsonsecurity.com and staysafeonline.org, powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance, which is a great overview resource that also includes ways to get involved plus several helpful articles, tips and current trends. Their “Stop. Think. Connect” theme and Infographics section (in their Media Room) provide some memorable information ideal for teaching others and spreading the word about security.

But there’s still a lot more you can do to protect your family. Tomorrow in part 2 of this tip, we’ll look at even more simple steps that can make a big difference in your online safety.

~ Michael Siebenaler.