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Online Security Tips

We want to empower you with some tips you can take to help you protect your computer and your personal information when you are online.

Keep your computer operating system up to date.

If your computer is more than five years old, its operating system (e.g., Windows 98, OS 7, etc.) may not offer the same level of protection as newer systems. System manufacturers provide frequent updates to help make your system more secure. Some manufacturers supply updates automatically through e-mail or via your Internet connection. You may also check their Web sites, including:

Use a current Web browser.

To provide our customers with the most secure online access to their accounts, Wells Fargo continually upgrades our online services. In certain cases, the software you use to connect to the Internet (i.e., your Web browser) may eventually become unsuitable for sensitive transactions. In order to maintain a high level of security, Wells Fargo Advantage Funds does not allow access to Online Account Access using browsers that do not meet our security criteria. You may need to upgrade to a supported browser.

Install a personal firewall.

Though most office networks include firewall protection, your home computer may benefit from this added level of security. Check to see if your operating system already includes a firewall prior to purchasing a separate one.

Activate a pop-up blocker.

Several free, publicly available programs exist that will block all pop-up windows from occurring while you are online. Perform an Internet search for "pop-up blocker" or look at the options provided by major search engines. You should confirm that these programs are from legitimate companies before downloading. Once you have installed a pop-up blocker, you should determine if it blocks information that you need to view or access. If this is the case, you should consider turning off the blocker when you are on Web sites you know use pop-windows to provide information you need or want to view.

Scan your computer for spyware regularly.

You can eliminate potentially risky pop-up windows by removing any spyware or adware installed on your computer. Spyware and adware are programs that look in on your Web viewing activity and potentially relay information to a disreputable source. Perform an Internet search for "spyware" or "adware" to find free spyware removal programs. You should confirm that these programs are from legitimate companies before downloading. As with a pop-up blocker, you will want to be sure that your removal program is not blocking, or removing, wanted items, and if it is, consider turning it off on some Web sites.

Use secure Web sites for transactions and shopping.

Be sure the Web page you are viewing offers encryption of your data. Often you will see a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your browser window, or the Web address of the page you are viewing will begin with "https://...". The "s" indicates "secured" and means the Web page uses encryption. Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, for instance, provides 128-bit encryption – the highest level commercially available today.

Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.

Downloads from unfamiliar sources may contain hidden programs or viruses that can compromise your computer's security.

Disconnect from the Internet when not in use.

Dedicated services such as DSL or high-speed cable provide a constant connection between your computer and the Internet. When not in use, disconnect from the Internet to avoid unwanted access to the information on your computer. Even if you have a firewall installed, this is an additional step you can take to help protect yourself.