"Neil G. Pansey graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Engineering."

Wireless communication is a valuable tool for today’s busy lifestyles, says applications and technology expert Neil G. Pansey. Conversely, their unwise use can leave your computer susceptible to online threats. Here, Pansey offers a few tips on avoiding spam, phishing, and other problems.

1. Don’t enter your information into pop-up windows.

Some tech savvy scam artists use programs that wait until you are on a trusted site and then attempt to collect information. Neil G. Pansey explains this can be done in a number of ways, including false extensions and pop-up windows. Never enter information into a screen that you did not intentionally navigate to. Also, make sure the site you’re visiting is spelled correctly and with the correct ending (.com, .net, .edu, etc.).

2. Create strong passwords.

According to Neil G. Pansey, many people simply get lazy with online security. It is all too easy for a hacker to decipher passwords based on children’s names, dates of birth, and other easily accessible information. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numerals, and symbols to reduce your chances of being hacked.

3. Ignore spam.

Avoid the temptation to reply to spam messages, says Neil G. Pansey. Responding may set you up for more unwanted communication.

4. Use IM apps wisely.

There are numerous instant messaging apps available. Neil G. Pansey says programs like Facebook messenger and KIK make it easy to communicate instantly with friends and family, but cautions that these apps can also be used for more nefarious purposes and recommends using a nickname for these types of communications. Most Internet experts also caution against sending personal information through instant messaging software since you never really know who is on the other end.

5. Utilize security software.

Many computers come equipped with security features installed. Neil G. Pansey explains that these programs have great value and can help prevent unwanted access to a computer, personal account information, and email.

6. Use a separate email for personal and professional purposes.

According to Neil G. Pansey, multiple email accounts are beneficial for those who use email to communicate both personally and professionally. Don’t forget to use a different password for each.

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