Identity theft has been described as the "crime of our time" and affects millions of people all over the world. Apart from the chilling thought of someone stealing your identity for most of us the though of someone spying on us is bad enough. Anytime you are on the internet you are at risk and with social networks like Facebook and MySpace becoming as big as they are, the risk is increasing.
Since most of us keep a lot of valuable information on our computers there's a lot of opportunity for spying hackers. If they can get hold of your social security number or your bank details it can have dire consequences.
Apart from that, Spyware has become much more sophisticated and although not all of it is designed to steal your bank details, it is designed to get access to parts of or all of your computer. In this day and age it is imperative that you stay safe when you are online.
Here are 3 very simple steps that you can implement today to protect your family computer against spyware:
1. Never open email attachments from unknown people
Email attachments is one of the oldest and most potent ways of getting your computer infected with spyware. Since most of us don't really expect spyware in an email we tend to open emails and attachments that have alluring titles. Little do most people know that opening that attachment can install a spyware application that can operate in stealth behind the scenes.
2. Never download "free" music and movies from suspicious sites
The lure of free downloads is an easy way for spyware to find it's way unto your computer. While you are thinking you are downloading your favorite song or movie, you might be downloading a spyware application that can hide itself on yoru computer and potentially give someone else access to your computer. A lot of free games these days have similar tactics, although they don't plan on stealing anything, they will most likely bombard you with ads.
3. Be careful what you store on your computer
Nowadays we all do online banking, we shop online and we even do our taxes online. All this is information that can be devastating in the wrong hands. Although the sites we shop from and bank on are extremely safe, your passwords and login details probably aren't. A good habit is to never save your login and passwords on your computer. Also, be careful in saving your bank account details in Word or Excel files as many spybots are designed to look for this. A good old notebook might still be the best option for passwords.
Although these 3 measures can help to keep you safe, you need to protect yourself. Apart from a good antivirus program you need to protect your computer with Antispyware software. The software will help to block out any potential threats and has the ability to detect potential spyware applications that might find their way unto your hard drive. There are many of these anti spyware applications available on the internet and for about $50 you can buy the best line of defense against online spyware. Protect yourself and have a safe internet experience for you and your family.