Sunday, July 3, 2011

Would You Fall For IT Theft

Identity theft can be a big problem in today's world. It only takes a bit of personal information and the thief can open accounts in your name, access your own accounts and ruin your credit. Many attempts at gathering this information comes in the form of it scams.

The phishing email is a favorite tool of many would be identity thief. Some of these emails are more realistic looking than others are. Many may feature grammar or spelling mistakes. The email may have been composed by a non-English speaker and sent to thousands of recipients in order to find a few respondents. The email may include a threat to cancel one of your accounts and request that you log into a website to confirm your personal information. A link to a fake website using the logo of your bank or credit card may be included in the email. Once you attempt to log into the account, the scammer has your log in information and may be able to transfer funds from your bank account to his. The email may ask for personal information, including your social security number or credit card information. If you receive an email that you consider a phishing scam, it should be reported to the company the email claims to be from and to the local authorities. If you think your account security has been compromised by a phishing scam, it is important to contact your financial institution immediately.

A second scam that is becoming more popular is the fake antivirus software. These programs start with a popup while searching the internet. The popup may warn you that viruses have been discovered on your computer and that you need to click to install a virus cleaner. However, if you click the link, you have actually just installed a virus. It is important to have a good antivirus program and firewall on your computer. In addition, make sure to keep your browser updated to avoid malware. Never believe those popup ads. Make sure that the virus program you use is one recommended by the computer gurus. Individual users will find good no cost and low cost virus protection for their computers that can offer the protection needed. If your machine has a virus, it may be necessary to backup files and wipe the hard drive to restore the computer.

It seems as if those attempting to steal your information or harm your computer become more sophisticated every day. The best way to protect yourself from these and other internet scams is to have up to date software and antivirus protection on your computer. In addition, set the spam filter to high on your email so that many of the fake offers will be diverted to the junk email box instead of your normal inbox.


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