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anti virus software
cyber criminals
trojan horses
Cyber Security And Identity Theft
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One aspect of identity theft is the issue of the security of our computers. A cyber attack can come under many different forms.

The major headlines have shown where Sony and Citibank recently had their networks compromised when they were attacked by cyber criminals. Not to mention Google's Gmail was hacked by someone in China.

The issue as to how this relates to identity theft is that the identity thieves probably won't immediately start using and/or selling the information. If you're one of those people who had their information stolen in these attacks it might not be for a few months or a couple of years before the information is used. By then you might have forgotten about it and think you're safe.

Another issue is with the people we trust to fix our computers. Recently a computer repairman in California was arrested for allegedly installing spyware on laptops. This spyware allowed him to take control of the victims' webcams.

He then took photographs, usually of women, showering or undressing in their homes. The depths that criminals will go to seems to get lower everyday.

While that may have little to do with identity theft, there is the possibility that someone might try the same type of spyware to get control of your passwords to your bank accounts.

To protect yourself from something like that always keep your firewall and anti virus software updated and don't have your webcam plugged in when it's not being used. And don't bring your computer into the bathroom when you're showering, or any other time, and be fully clothed when using it.

A problem that I do have with writing things like that is it seems like the victim is being blamed. You should be able to trust the privacy of your shower and the people we deal with. While it might be the case a lot of the time, the reality is most victims of identity theft knew the perpetrator.

Other issues with regards to cyber security are trojan horses. Initially disguised as a desirable program they can be very destructive allowing a criminal to have access to your computer. A survey done by BitDefender in 2009 found that trojan horse viruses have accounted for 83% of the malware detected in the world.

It's scary to think just how prevalent this activity can be. I almost feel like Deep Throat from The X Files show continually saying "Trust no one."

But you should always be skeptical as to the security of computer networks. If multi billion dollar corporations can be hacked, so can your home network.

Don't use the default settings and passwords on your router, change them to something long and hard to guess. Not your birthday, or child's or parents birthdays or names. Not your favourite sports team(s) or music groups.

Street Talk

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