Online identity theft normally enters your computer through some form of computer virus or viruses. It can steal your bank account number, your online password, credit card data or even your complete email address book details and more.
They can even use your computer to hack into others, thus shielding their identities from law enforcement agencies. Why they want your information? Simple, there are buyers out there willing to pay for it. Personal data can worth a fortune in the underground economy. It was reported in the Straits Times that hackers bought and sold S$422 millions July last year to June 2008 – as reported by a security company.
1) Never put confidential or sensitive information/data into your computer, unless you are very sure your computer is well protected with Firewalls, with updated and good set of anti-virus program.
2) Be careful when downloading or opening an image or picture or PowerPoint (or any) file, even from your best friend. If your computer anti-virus program gives you a warning, read the warning carefully before you click “Next”. You may be opening a back door for the virus embeded in the image/picture or files (from emails) to enter your computer and permanently reside in it. It will start to cause mischief once you trigger the program to run.
3) When you join any online interest group or social networking, like the FaceBook, do not enter any sensitive information into your personal profile.
4) Nothing is Free in the Internet world. Before answering “Yes” for any freebies or free program from the Internet, check “who” or “which” company you are talking to. The so call free program may contain virus that may cause you trouble later or completely upset your computer operating system.