Identity Theft Protection: Surf the Web with Caution

Anyone who is not familiar with concept or concern behind identity should continue reading.  This has quickly become one of the fastest growing problems throughout the world.  Every year, criminals are stealing billions of dollars from vulnerable individuals and large corporations.  The advanced methods used to pull off identity theft make this crime more difficult to prevent and resolve. 

Advancements in online technology is largely responsible for the spread of identity theft.  Hackers use strategies such as phishing, pharming and other scams to persuade unsuspecting users out of personal information.  They also use sophisticated programs, such as spyware, to thieve information directly from a computer without a victim even realizing it.  Authorities throughout the world now understand that identity theft is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. 

The world wide web is a safe haven for many identity thieves.  The lack of restrictions and vast amount of resources enables them to hide out and compromise an unlimited amount of victims.  In order to keep yourself from becoming the next target, caution should always be practiced whenever you surf the murky waters of the web. 

Internet Safety Tips

Remain cautious of the sites you visit - Upon deciding to do any online shopping, always make sure that the website is legitimate and trustworthy.  This can be done by searching for a digital certificate or similar forms of validation. 

Trust few email contacts - Several online criminals target their victims via email.  This is the very reason why you should never respond to a message requesting personal information, such as a Social Security number, bank account details, or your mother's maiden name. 

Password strength - Hackers often use brute force to crack into your system.  In this scenario, a malicious individual will attempt every possible code to gain access to your personal information.  Creating a combination of numbers and letters makes it more difficult for a hacker to figure out your password. 

Remain weary of software - The internet is full of tempting software.  While some of it may appear useful, several of these applications contain spyware, a tool frequently used to commit identity theft.  Programs containing spyware may include screensavers and even free anti-virus solutions.                        

Carefully manage your accounts - Since identity theft has become such a huge problem on the web, it is very important to carefully mange your personal information.  For instance, it may be a good idea to use a credit card with a low balance when making purchase on the web.  At the same time, this account should be monitored frequently for suspicious activity.    

Implement security programs - Anyone surfing the web without the aid of a security application is welcoming identity theft.  Anti-virus programs, firewalls and spam blockers are great methods of defense against this malicious crime. 

Report your suspicions - You should instantly react at the first sign of identity theft.  Any suspicious activity you detect should be reported to your financial institution or local law enforcement.  

You can learn more facts about the dangers of identity theft and how to protect yourself by inquiring within the Federal Trade Commission. 

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You can protect your computer from viruses without expensive software. Instead, follow these simple tips:

Stay up-to-date on all system updates.

Don't download any email attachments you weren't expecting.

Avoid freeware and peer-to-peer sharing sites.

Use alternative web browsers and email software.