Identity Theft on the Computer: The Myths and Truths

Over 48 billion dollars was lost to fraud in 2008, according to the Javelin Fraud Survey conducted for 2008. A good portion of that fraud was from hackers accessing personal and business computers in the relentless search for bank and credit card account numbers, social security numbers, and any identifying personal information. It is important to recognize the threat of identity theft on the computer. Once you are aware of the danger, you can prepare yourself to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

It Will Not Happen to Me

It is important not to be complacent concerning identity theft on the computer. True, there are millions of people online at any given time and this might decrease your chances of having your computer hacked. However, with the sophistication of existing software developed by expert hackers, millions of identities can be taken in a very short amount of time. The technology now available to you actually hurts your chances of keeping personal information safe.

There Is Nothing Here

You might think you do not need to worry about identity theft on the computer because there is nothing important on your computer to steal. However, think about it for a minute. Do you bank online? Do you send and receive personal information via email? Have you ever entered your credit card number or social security number on any website? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then an expert hacker can and will access and steal your information eventually. Remember, you do not have to actually store personal information on your computer to have it stolen. By simply relaying personal information to another website or email address, you are vulnerable to identity theft on the computer.

Anti-Virus Software and Firewalls

Everyone likes to think that our anti-virus software and firewall are all the computer protection we need. While these two items help prevent some forms of hacking, they are not the complete answer. An expert hacker can circumvent even the most sophisticated firewall. Also, new viruses are being developed all the time to fool anti-virus software. It is important to consider other security software to fully protect against computer identity theft.

Bill, a high school teacher thought his firewall was sufficient for his needs. He did some simple online banking and checked his credit card accounts sporadically, but never made any purchases online. He was shocked to learn that someone had transferred over $1,000 out of his bank account by hacking his computer and accessing his personal information.

Software to Protect you from Computer Identity Theft

Registry repair and optimization can be used to fix protection fault errors on your computer. It will also work to fix problems causing your computer to crash or operate very slowly.

Spyware and Adware eradication software will get rid of these invasive programs that can steal your personal account numbers and social security number. These malicious computer viruses record all your keystrokes, and eventually, collect your personal information.

There is also software that not only prevents or destroys viruses that can infect your computer, but also gets rid of Trojan horses, worms, and other attacks. Internet elimination software will wipe out your history, cookies, click history, browser cache, and other information that shows where you have been on the Internet. This prevents someone from tracing your steps to steal your personal information. This software was actually developed and is used by the US Department of Defense.

By recognizing that you need more computer protection than the standard firewalls and anti-virus software, you are one step closer to protecting yourself from identity theft on the computer. Examine the different types of software available to protect your computer and select the programs that are best suited for your overall needs.