Although the Internet may not be the most common method of identity theft in the United States, our computers leave us vulnerable to identity thieves. With a well-executed program, they can turn our systems against us and gather information about us. That is why computer protection software is an important part of protecting ourselves from identity theft.
One major concern when it comes to computer protection is spyware. Most of us have some type of spyware on our computers. It might just be cookies from a web site that help the site recognize us each time we return. However, some examples of spyware are not so benign. Take a key logger program, for example. When installed on your system, the key logger can record every time you strike a key. That means it can record your username and password combinations, your credit card numbers and their expiration dates, and more.
The solution is to avoid sites you do not know and to install a reliable anti-spyware program on your system.
Like spyware, viruses come in many shapes and sizes. Although no one wants a virus on their computer, most do not do anything more than slow down your system and sometimes interfere with your files. Others, like the Trojan Horse, can infiltrate your computer and open up communication to third parties without your knowledge. Through these communications, your personal information stored on your system can be sent to the other party.
The solution is good anti-virus software that is used to scan your computer weekly and that is kept up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. This type of software is essential for the best computer protection.
We all receive unwanted mail in our inboxes. For most of us, the messages are just annoying, but some of that spam can be malicious. The senders of the nasty computer spam attach viruses and spyware to the message. They will install on your system the moment they are opened. The senders of the spam can then peak inside your computer and all of the personal information it contains.
For the best free computer protection, you should set up junk filters in your email program so unwanted messages end up in the trash. Also, make it a habit of not opening messages or attachments from people you don’t know.
The Bottom Line for Computer Protection
By following these three basic steps, you can cut your risks of becoming a victim of identity theft on the computer.