I'm clearing out the email that I missed this week due to a number of big reviews and meetings (apologies), and one was from a reader and associate who noted that my entry on creating strong passwords (and passphrases) was quickly followed by a couple of similar stories in the press. Or was it that I was following up on the press reporting a number of cybersafety stories?

First, she points out, there is this article in the Seattle Times on cybersafety which noted that the AARP reported that...

• About half of Washington computer users don't recognize phishing scams — 49 percent said they were unaware that banks don't send e-mails to customers asking them to click a link to verify account information.

• About three-quarters of Washington Internet users didn't know that a Web site's privacy policy does not prevent the company from sharing customers' personal information with others.

• Six in 10 computer users believe incorrectly that, by law, a Web site comparing prices of products or services must include the lowest available price.

I particularly appreciated the sidebar on six tips for staying safe online:

  1. Protect your privacy and personal information
  2. Be alert online
  3. Delete junk e-mail
  4. Use strong passwords
  5. Use antivirus software and a firewall
  6. Be smart about downloading

More info:

  • Free AARP Cyber Safety Seminars Offered: AARP teams with Microsoft, the Attorney General's Office and the FTC to launch online safety campaign.
  • Stay Safer on the Internet: AARP Washington's Cyber Safety Toolkit is available to help you stay safer on the Internet.
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