STAY ALERT: Gulf Winds will NEVER contact you directly and ask for usernames, passwords or verification codes. If you have concerns about a call’s legitimacy, hang up IMMEDIATELY and call us back at 850-479-9601. Learn more.

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Celebrating 70 Years of Service

Protect Your Devices

Security threats often evolve just as quickly as technology advances. Use the tips below to help you stay safe online, at home, and away.

Make User Ids and Passwords Secure

  • Create strong and unique usernames and passwords.
  • Update passwords regularly.
  • Avoid using a password or a variation of a password that you already use on another website.
  • Avoid using any variation of your name, or names of family members or pets, as these can sometimes be found on social media.
  • Focus on length and complexity.

Tips for Safe Computer Use

Use a Personal Firewall

Personal Firewall

A personal firewall is an option you can get from your internet service provider. It protects your home computer against unauthorized access.

Designed to protect only the computer on which it is installed, it protects you by controlling the traffic that comes in and goes out from your computer and watches for attempts to access your system, and blocks communications to and from sources you don't permit.


Malware is malicious software installed on your computer which has a harmful intent that can, for example, capture your login passwords and other personal data. Drive-by downloads may happen when visiting a malicious or vulnerable website, viewing an e-mail message or by clicking on a deceptive pop-up window.

Examples of malware include software such as spyware, adware, viruses, etc. The best way to protect yourself from malware is to exercise caution before installing programs on your computer or opening email attachments. Here are some precautions that are important to take:

  • Only install applications and software from well-known companies you trust.
  • Make sure your computer is cleansed from viruses/spyware and has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed.
  • Keep your operating system and browser up-to-date with the latest security updates and patches.

Install Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Malware Detection Software

The best defense against computer attacks is preventative software. You will need to update the software regularly to guard against new risks, so download updates from your provider as soon as they're available. Or better yet, set the software to update automatically.

Pop-Up Blockers

Set your browser preferences to block pop-ups — aside from being annoying, these pop-ups can contain inappropriate content or have malicious intentions.

Go Directly There

The best way to get to any site is to type its address (URL) into your browser and then bookmark it.