Protecting Yourself From Online Computer Virus Attack and Personal Identity Credit Card Data Hacking

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Guidelines on how to prevent online identity theft

How To Prevent Identity Theft
By George Dodge

What was once considered no more than a minor inconvenience, identity theft is now a prominent issue for individuals and law enforcement agencies alike.  Practicing pro-active and commonsense routines when conducting financial transactions by any means other than cash can go along way in preventing identity theft.

Identity theft is an insidious crime that has expanded exponentially throughout the globe.  Far from being a victimless crime, identity theft can have a serious, detrimental impact on your life and can lead to months, and even years of frustration and humiliation. 

 Read and Share Guide On Private/Individual Cybersecurity and Cybersaftey Online Here.
When someone uses your personal identification documentation in order impersonate you for any reason, this is known as identity theft.  Professional identity thieves are proficient at assuming any given identity and the rapidity with which they can destroy another life is mind boggling, to say the least. Should you fall victim to this criminal element, your life can become a living nightmare. By being vigilant in all your financial dealings, you can protect yourself from these identity kidnappers; however, the onus is on you to make sure you are taking all the steps necessary to protect yourself from identity theft.

Identity thieves are constantly on the lookout for the seemingly innocent transaction that, in reality, offers a goldmine of personal information that can be used to assume another's identity.  Protecting yourself from identity theft should be uppermost in your mind at all times and you should always be vigilant in protecting your identity.  The following is a list of things you should consider in order to prevent identity theft:

o    Always make sure you retain all copies of your credit card receipts when presenting your card for payment.  Avoid handing your card over to a server in a restaurant.  Ask that the transaction be completed in plain sight so you can keep a careful eye on your credit card information.  Adept identity thieves can procure all kinds of personal information about you with little more than one credit card number.

o    Don't let mail accumulate in your mailbox.  Identity thieves are constantly on the lookout for mailboxes that may contain pre-approved credit card offerings; these offer easy pickings to a skilled thief as the application can be completed (with a change of address), mailed in to the credit card company, and voila, instant access to your credit. You will be oblivious until the bills for purchases you never made start to roll in.

o    Always cross-shred any documentation showing your personal information before throwing it in the garbage.  Dumpster diving has become an easy and lucrative method of obtaining personal information and, again, you will not even be aware that you have been victimized until the bills catch up with you. 

o    Never leave documents containing sensitive, personal information (like payroll receipts) lying around in plain sight. Although credit card fraud is the most common method of identity theft, skilled scam artists can capture your identity in a variety of seemingly mundane ways.  Once these unscrupulous characters get access to your social security number, look out - the identity thief now has all the information he needs to merrily rack up thousands of dollars of debt in your name.

o    Use caution when releasing personal information to third parties.  Never give out your banking information or social security number over the phone or on the Internet.

o    Never reply to any email, no matter how official looking, that requests banking or financial information. There are teams of criminals in cyberspace who make their living from unsuspecting users who reveal sensitive information obtained through fraudulent emails.  This is called pshishing and can sometimes be so elaborately constructed that most people think it's the real McCoy.  Reputable, legitimate business will never ask you to disclose sensitive information either over the phone or in an email.  

o    Never reveal the password of your banking cards to anyone.

o    Change the password for your banking information regularly. This includes your Internet banking, as hackers have been known to access this information by "mirroring" keystrokes and reproducing them for their own gain.

o    Keep personal information to a minimum when signing up for any online offers.  

Protecting yourself from identity theft is one of these things that will probably never cross your mind unless and until it happens to you or someone you know.  Don't wait to become a victim.  By practicing some commonsense safeguards and remaining vigilant at all times, you will be able to protect yourself from the ever-growing contingent of identity thieves who thrive on taking advantage of others.

 Read and Share Guide On Private/Individual Cybersecurity and Cybersaftey Online Here.
George Dodge is author and webmaster of   Identity Theft Defense at http://www.Identity-Theft-Defense.com where you can discover more about the various forms and methods of Identity Theft and how to protect yourself from becoming an [http://www.identity-theft-defense.com/How-You-Can-Avoid-Becoming-A-Victim-Of-Identity-Theft.html]Identity Theft Victim.

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what to know about norton antivirus software computer application

With the many types of anti-virus software, it is helpful to read a brief description of what the different types do and how they can be beneficial to you and your computer.

Norton Anti-virus
Symantec's Norton AntiVirus software is perhaps the world's most trusted antivirus solution. It is available for both Windows PC's, and Macintosh (Symantec Antivirus for Macintosh - S.A.M). Norton AntiVirus is a very reliable and easy-to-use anti-virus product. It's the best anti-virus product for catching viruses in downloaded files and E-mail. Norton AntiVirus is also more expensive than McAfee VirusScan although not by much, and the added abilities of Norton can easily make up the difference.

Read our Editors' review on Protect Your Computer From Viruses, Hackers, and Spies 

Norton AntiVirus includes many tools that can be run in the background, including watching for suspicious PC activity and automatically checking downloaded files for viruses. Norton AntiVirus is also automatically configured to handle E-mail virus scanning for email messages coming into your computer, as well as those you send. This process automatically scans and cleans both incoming and outgoing email, stopping viruses from infecting your computer or spreading to others. It removes viruses automatically, without interrupting your work and prevents infections during real-time online chats, and also detects viruses in instant-message attachments. Because so many viruses and internet worms are now spread using email and Instant Message Systems, this is extremely valuable and necessary protection.

Norton Installation
Installation is simple. Simply install the CD in your CD drive, and the installer will launch automatically. The installer should ask you if you want to do a pre-install scan of your system for viruses. This is a very good thing to do. Once this is finished, the installation will proceed, and you can accept all the defaults without worry. Once the installation is complete, you'll be prompted to go online and get up-to-date virus definitions. DO NOT skip this step. Having up-to-date virus definitions is essential to the performance of any antivirus software.

Normal Use
Norton is a very hands-off program. Pretty much it is an install and forget program that looks after itself. It will automatically notify you if there is anything that you need to do. If a virus is found, the software will try to automatically repair the file, if it can't, it will place the file in a safe 'quarantine' zone, and let you know. In addition to looking for known viruses, the Norton Antivirus Bloodhound feature tries to spot new viruses and worms by their behaviour that is common to such nasty programs.

Checking your system and downloading updates are two things you need to do regularly. Norton Antivirus makes them painless by setting up a full system scan once a week and checking for new updates (both to the software, and virus definitions) whenever you're online. These simple update scans hardly slow down your PC down at all.

Overall, Norton Antivirus is an excellent way to guard against viruses. It is the system that I recommend to my clients most often, and that I use personally.

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Two things to bear in Mind while we talk about Protecting yourself Online in order to Prevent Online Identity Theft and being Victim of Cyber-Criminals:

A. Keep in mind that antivirus software protects only your device, not your internet connection. It’s only Secured and Protected Virtual Private Network, VPN can securely protect your internet connection communications between your computer device, servers and websites.

B. A VPN is a must-have utility to protect your privacy and prevent hackers and snoopers from stealing your personal information.