In today’s society, protecting your computer is a requirement
Advances in computing technology are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives us quick and easy access to a variety of conveniences such as bank statements, favorite malls, school and medical records, and more. On the other hand, it can also grant the same access to those who should not obtain it. Although it is a rare event, hacking has become the biggest criminal nuisance in computer history.
Don’t make bones out of it. There’s nothing innocent or cute about the hacker. Today’s hackers are not the teenage rebels you might think of. Instead, this generation of hackers are adult individuals who probably make a living stealing the identities of innocent, law-abiding individuals and then selling those identities to others who want to escape through the system. And the only protection against these people is prevention.
Computer security can’t be more important than it is now, which is why we had time to introduce it to you. Reduce your chances of identity theft by making your computer as hacker-proof as possible. Just a little software and a lot of common sense.
1. Install an antivirus/anti-spyware program. Antivirus/antispyware software will prevent malicious code from downloading and installing it on your computer as you go online. This malicious code, known as viruses, worms, or spyware, can destroy important files and compensate your computer for just one thing: sending sensitive data back to an identity thief’s server.
2. First, do not store sensitive data on your computer. If your computer gets infected by a virus, worm or piece of spyware, you will frustrate the people responsible for not storing your personal information on your PC so that when and if your computer sends data back – it won’t be anything else. Hackers look for things like full names, social security numbers, phone numbers, home addresses, work-related information, and credit card numbers. If these things are not stored on a computer, there is nothing essential to worry about except restoring your computer to a non-virus condition.
3. Do not open files without scanning them with an antivirus/anti-spyware program. In the past, the warning was to prevent files from being opened from people you don’t know. Today it is not safe to open anyone’s files (without scanning the files) because that’s how viruses spread – via files – even by accident. So even if your colleague has sent a funny video by email, it’s no safer to open than a downloaded video of a complete stranger. Be safe and scan any file you download from the Internet or receive by email, no matter where it came from.
4. Create a barrier between the computer and prying eyes. Antivirus/antispyware programs are only effective after the effect. But you prevent identity theft from occurring by installing a firewall. A firewall is software that monitors all data entering and coming out of a computer and then blocks what does not meet certain security criteria (user-defined rules).1
5. Do not click website links in spam messages. In an attempt to obtain personal information, some spammers will send emails asking you to click on a connection. Email messages are often disguised as important messages from well-known online agencies, and often try to scare your readers into clicking on links with threats to close an account of some kind. Sometimes the links are harmless and try to trick the reader into volunteering personal information (credit card number), but other times the links try to download malicious software ona computer.
Your best protection against computer crime is your own knowledge. I hope the above suggestions ask you to take appropriate action and protect your computer with the suggested tools. By doing so, you will not only protect yourself, but you will prevent the spread of these malicious activities and protect others at the same time.