Secure and Protect Your Computer From Identity Theft

    June 17, 2004

The Internet is getting to be a very scary place these days. You spend a small fortune for a computer and Internet Service so that you can run your business, shop or retrieve valuable information. Yet getting on the internet today, puts you at great risk. Identity Theft scams that enter your email disguised as mail form ebay or paypal aren’t your only enemy. Thieves have been trying to get you via your e-mail for many years and you probably know all about anti virus software and how to check for an authentic site.

If you don’t have any anti-virus software, you need to get some. I recommend a free software download you may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article. I think it’s better than Norton or Mcafee and it’s totally free for home use. The updates are very timely and it catches all the nasty viruses quickly.

What you may not know is that many sites are depositing some very nasty spyware onto your computer from your browser and your HTML enabled email. This spyware is beginning to get worse than those viruses. Most viruses are trying to use your computer to generate denial of service (DOS) attacks on companies and web sites they may not like. Most viruses really leave your computer alone, except for storing code that will used in coordinated DOS attacks. Spyware, on the hand is out to hijack your passwords, your browser, computer and steal your identity.

There is hope however, and some of it is free. There’s my browser security tutorial which you should make a step one priority to read and implement. You may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article. Setting up your browser as my tutorial suggestions will help a great deal and protect your browser from being hijacked by spyware that wants to steer you to there sites. Also there are software solutions to remove any spyware you already may be infected with prior to implementing my tutorial.

Unfortunately, if you use Internet Explorer, Outlook or Outlook Express, flaws in them will still allow these spyware agents to infest your computer. Microsoft intends to fix these flaws in XP service pack 2. However, even when it’s available, you should wait to implement it until its’ had some field test time of at least a month. Operating system code is so complex, that sometimes the fixed actually create more errors. So in the mean time until their fix is validated, you will need a good software solution. The totally free software solutions that I found unfortunately are not perfect and I find that you really need two software solutions to be safe.

One is freeware called you may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article. It also includes a how to use tutorial, you should read first before you run it. I suggest you don’t use any advanced settings options as they can get you in trouble if you’re a novice computer user. They do ask for a donation and I think you should give them one. After all, just like this information, it comes from an educated source that wants to help you out, so it seems only right that if they help you, you should help them. There are still some people who believe that what goes around, comes around, so don’t disappoint them.

The other is an inexpensive software solution you may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article. I found it to be the best solution providing about 90 percent protection against most of the spyware’s and malicious software running on your computer, stealing your personal information that show you annoying Popups, Advertisements and make your computer slower day by day. Using other software you may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article, you can cleanup your PC from the remaining parasites sitting in your computer that the freeware misses. There’s a free download that you can get that will scan your computer for any remaining attackers. It won’t remove them unless you buy it. If it doesn’t find any and you implemented my browser tutorial, you won’t need to purchase it. I do, however, suggest you keep the trail version around and run it occassional to check for new spyware that may slip by the freeware.

Unfortunately, there’s still another way your computer information can be hijacked. Anyone connecting to the internet is at risk and the most at risk are those with the high speed connections we all covet. Hijackers will call random computer addresses and connect to them via protocol ports that your computer needs to access networks. High speed connects are always on and typical have a static address. Once they have found an unprotected computer’s static address, they can send software to run on your computer without your knowledge. This software can be used for example to record every key stroke you make and send it to them. This makes any encryption you may use or relying on secure sites useless.

In order to protect yourself from these attacks, you need to have a firewall on your computer. A firewall can make your computer invisible to these attackers. Being invisible means that they won’t be able to find you and they can’t attach to something they can’t find. Invisible is a good when it comes to the internet. The latest Operating System from Microsoft has one built in, however, it isn’t very good, it’s hard to use and it isn’t even turned on by default. I recommend what most believe is the best firewall out there, you may access by reading my complete tutorial using the link in my byline at the end of this article.

In conclusion, I want you to be aware that malious hackers will continue to find ways around any security you or your operating system may implement. However, know that anything you can do is far better than doing nothing. I will try to keep this information as current as possible as new threats arise.

Happy and Safe Surfing

2004 by Robert M. Paratore

Robert M. Paratore


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