It is crucial to select a username for online bank accounts or other sensitive web sites by not using the most obvious choices. In other words, don’t use your name, any version of your name, your pet’s name, or any version of a family member’s name. Instead, use something that you have never used anywhere else online. It is extremely important to turn on two-step authentication whenever possible to protect your accounts.
If you connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi, you need to make sure you have a secure connection. The first step is to password protect your router. Each router is different; so if you don’t know how to do this, read the instructions for doing so online. Again…make sure you have created a good strong password.
The next step is to turn off broadcasting of your network. If you do this, your Wi-Fi router will not show up in other people’s lists of available connections. Most routers have this feature, which can be accessed through the router’s management software. You can probably download this, if you don’t have it installed. From there, you should turn off the option that says “Enable SSID Broadcast.”
Hackers are not all bad………..many late hours are spent in front of a computer, working on computer programs to find their vulnerabilities. About three dozen young people in the Seattle area are the “white hat” hackers who work for Internet security companies.
With the Seattle area being a high-tech hub, it’s only natural that about 10 such firms or branches of firms exist there.
Cyberattacks are costing corporations and consumers a lot of money. In a six-year span starting in 2005, data breaches in 33 countries, including the U.S., cost the firms involved more than $156 billion, says the nonprofit Digital Forensics Association.
Every second, in various parts of the world, there are 18 cybercrime victims — some 1.6 million a day — says a 2012 Norton by Symantec study.
In a survey of more than 600 people, researchers found that computer users who were running antivirus, anti-adware and anti-spyware software were 50 percent less likely to have their credit card information stolen. The study appears in the research journal Deviant Behavior. “When you think about antivirus software protecting you, think about it keeping your files safe and not losing your music and photos,” said Thomas Holt, MSU associate professor of criminal justice and lead researcher on the project. “The important thing we are finding here is that it’s not just about protecting your files, but also about protecting you economically — about reducing your chances of being a victim of identity theft”? According to the study, about 15 percent of respondents said they had experienced computer-related identity theft in the past year. Males were more likely to be victims, Holt said.?”We’re not sure what this might be a consequence of,” he said. “Is it that males are less careful about what they do online? Is it a difference in how they shop online or conduct online commerce?”
Those who engaged in “computer-related deviance” — such as downloading pirated music or pornographic images — were more likely to be victims of identity theft, the study found. This is a large risk for users because pirated movies and music may contain malware and place users at risk for harm. ?But the most practical news for computer users was the combined protective factor of the antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-adware software, each of which has a different function for keeping a computer safe, Holt said.? Antivirus software detects and removes malicious software programs such as viruses and worms that can corrupt a computer, delete data and spread to other computers. Anti-spyware and anti-adware programs, meanwhile, are designed to protect against software that either self-installs without the user’s knowledge or is installed by the user and enables information to be gathered covertly about a person’s Internet use, passwords and so on.?”You have a much better chance of not getting your credit card number stolen if you have all three forms of protective software,” Holt said.
Internet Security………..An Ever Present Challenge
IT security professionals are doing a better job than in the past at dealing with the numerous Internet threats that are out there, according to IBM’s “and Risk Report,” which the company officially released March 22,2012. The amount of spam reported by the X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report email dropped in 2011 from 2010, and there were significant improvements in vulnerability patching and software application code. In a release about the report, IBM officials referred to what they called “surprising improvements.” However, the IBM report also reinforced the idea that businesses face cyber-criminals who are nimble and adaptable. Attackers are switching their focus into new areas, such as mobile devices, social media and cloud computing. There has been a surge of activity in some traditional threats, such as phishing. Tom Cross, manager of threat intelligence and strategy for IBM X-Force, noted that he saw “surprisingly good progress” by the tech industry in improving the quality of software. However, attackers have evolved their techniques. “As long as attackers profit from cyber-crime, organizations should remain diligent in prioritizing and addressing their vulnerabilities,” said Cross.
Steve Wozniak feels that cloud computing will cause ‘horrible problems in the next five years’ “I really worry about everything going to the cloud. He did not offer much in the way of specifics about what these “horrible problems” would be, but he did hint at concerns about signing away rights to digital property stored in the cloud and generally losing ownership of that property.
“A lot of people feel, ‘Oh, everything is really on my computer.’ However, the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”
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