I was reminded of the importance of pausing when doing online work today. As someone who engages in a lot of online activity – from research to fun to personal finance – sometimes it’s easy to get duped. I learned from Kirkwood financial aid that students will occasionally use fafsa (dot) com – a site that charges to prepare the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – instead of the actual government site www.fafsa.gov, where filing is always free.  In a world where information is fast, cheap, and easy, it can be hard to slow down enough to ask, “Does this seem right? Does this make sense?”

Aside from our own gut instincts and common sense, it is always wise to have technology helping you avoid trouble. From spam filters to anti-virus software, being aware of your browser settings and the ways websites and search engines track you is important. And browsers of every stripe have security tips it’s worth reading. Here’s security tricks and treats from my preferred browser, Firefox;  you can try to tame goblins in IE with this info; peer behind Opera’s security mask; burnish the shine on your Chrome; or hunt down trouble while on Safari.

Any other tips on being safe online?