Hackers, Identity Theft, and Internet Security

The problem of online identity theft is growing, with any computer system open to being targeted and breached by a hacker who knows how to get around a sub-par internet security system. Every day, thousands of people transfer personal information online, making them a target for that hacker.

With so much communication and data transfer taking place online without any thought to extra internet security, identity theft is becoming a very common problem. Victims of identity theft are suffering not only monetary losses, but loss of privacy, as well. Once a hacker has breached your internet security system, the hacker is then free to download malicious applications on your computer’s hard drive, which can be used to provide the hacker with information ranging from your email and bank account passwords to your name, address, and social security number. Recent studies have shown that 70% of malicious software being created and installed by hackers is designed to aid the hacker in identity theft.

One of the leading causes of online identity theft is phishing, a form of identity theft that tricks e-mail recipients into visiting fake Web sites and entering personal data. Identity theft also occurs through spyware and Trojans, usually installed by a hacker or downloaded by an unsuspecting victim. Some of these programs are designed to capture user names and passwords so a hacker can gain access to the victim’s financial or communication information, creating a further internet security problem.

Even with the constant threats to internet security, there are many ways to protect your computer from a hacker and yourself from identity theft.
1.Utilize all aspects of your internet security system to ensure you have a maximum level of protection.
2.Install all software updates, both for Windows and for your anti-virus and security software.
3.Don’t leave yourself open to a hacker by following unfamiliar links to strange websites.
4.Use a safe browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, that is not as big a hacker target as Internet Explorer.
5.Educate yourself about current internet security breaches and the most common methods of identity theft to avoid being tricked by a hacker.
6.Avoid opening suspicious or unfamiliar email attachments, which may have been sent by a hacker to infect your computer.

By following these simple steps, you can work to protect yourself from suffering a hacker attack or being plagued by the many repercussions of identity theft.

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