As the majority of cyber crimes are perpetrated over the internet, one the most important security measures an individual can take is to install identity theft protection software on their computer. While some are simply content to install anti-viral software on their computer, treating infected machines is only one step in the fight to prevent identity theft. A more effective defense will implement software that creates a firewall to prevent outside users from accessing the computer as well as virus detection on the back end. Using a secure browser with harmful script detectors will further shield you from malicious attempts to hack your machine over the internet.
A common method hackers used to access user data is through attacks known as cross-scripting. A hacker must simply lure a user to a specific web location, either via an email or re-directing them from a seemingly legitimate site. This secondary site carries an embedded script which mines the cookies stored on a browser. These cookies contain vital information such as stored passwords to banking and commerce sites. As even perspicacious users will occasionally visit a malicious web link, it’s important to update to the latest version of your web browser and install script disabling add-ons such as No Script to prevent attacks on your machine.
Free Malware Programs
Although anti-viral software programs install firewalls and malware detection, many users are not in the position financially to renew this software year after year. For these users, free firewall and malware detection software provides a cheaper and effective solution. In fact, most operating systems come with an internal firewall and security measures to prevent basic attacks, leaving only spyware and malware detection to third party products. Popular tools such as Spybot or Ad-aware can remove malicious software without the cost of an expensive anti-virus system.
In addition to software, by taking a common sense approach to internet browsing and downloading, users can avoid most of the root causes associated with identity theft. Never click on hyperlinks from strangers, and never download an .exe file from a suspicious site.