LawFuel.com – It seems that today all of our lives can be traced and tracked online. It can be a beautiful thing, but also very dangerous because people do not always have our best interests in mind. The biggest danger of using the internet is not getting a virus of some form of malware on your computer, but the possibility of identity theft.
According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, “Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission.” Identity theft is usually committed in order to have access to your resources, line of credit, and benefits associated with your good name.
The biggest problem with identity theft is that if you do not act quickly, you will often be held accountable for all the expenditures and actions committed by the thief since they will have assumed your identity.
How fraudsters steal your information and how to protect yourself
1) Key loggers
Key loggers are a form of malware which are normally downloaded to your computer when browsing the internet without your knowledge or consent. Key loggers will work in the background and monitor all activity on your computer, including which keys you press. Identity thieves will have a direct link to all your browsing history and information you enter. For example, when you are using your online banking services, you need to enter your username and password, which can be captured by the key logger and sent back to the identity thief. They can then access all of your banking information and conduct illicit online transactions without your knowledge. In order to protect yourself from these attacks, it is important to have a firewall and an antivirus program running and perform regular scans for unidentified or unapproved programs.
2) Hardware loggers
Similar to key loggers, which operate remotely and wirelessly, the hardware loggers can come in the form of a USB stick or can be installed into your desktop’s keyboard. They act in the same way as the key loggers do, so it is important to check your hardware for any unknown attachments. It is imperative that you avoid using public computer terminals for personal banking or financial purposes.
Identity thieves who are very technologically savvy can hack into your computer remotely and access your personal information. They can access all your personal files, browsing history, and online resources. In order to avoid these types of attacks, it is paramount that you employ some form of firewall and antivirus program. It is also a good idea to keep your computer updated at all times since your operating system may have “backdoors” which hackers can exploit. Corporations like Microsoft will release updates for security on all their machines which you can download directly through the Windows Update feature.
It is important to protect yourself and your business using reliable customer identification programs. It is vital to keep your software updated and have a reliable firewall and antivirus program installed and up to date at all times. Never use public computers for personal financial purposes and be sure to check for any unidentified USB sticks and irregularities in your keyboard.