Computers And Consumers Understanding Avoid Identity Theft

Computers And Consumers Understanding Avoid Identity Theft

Computers and Consumers - Understanding & Avoid Identity Theft

The Internet has given over a​ billion people,​ worldwide,​ a​ way to​ instantly find information. the​ number of​ threats to​ a​ consumer’s security increases as​ the​ consumer connects with more computers,​ companies,​ and people online. the​ Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”),​ the​ nation’s consumer protection agency,​ says that all Internet users should understand the​ importance of​ online security and should take measures to​ protect themselves.

Why the​ Need for Security & How to​ Protect Yourself

The Computer: Part of​ a​ computers sophistication lies in​ its ability to​ connect with other computers over the​ Internet in​ order to​ bring you information. When it​ is​ connected with other computers,​ it​ opens itself up for the​ transmission of​ information,​ which can create vulnerability for the​ computer. Hackers can connect to​ the​ computer,​ scan it​ for open ports,​ and gain access to​ unauthorized information about the​ computer user.

Most computers have an​ Intrusion Detection System (“IDS”) that monitors the​ computer for suspicious activity. When suspicious activity is​ detected,​ the​ IDS sends an​ alert that an​ intrusion has occurred.

An IDS alone will not protect your computer from incoming hackers and viruses. Computer users also need to​ protect themselves with firewalls,​ which create a​ barrier between hackers and the​ computer and help to​ prevent access to​ unauthorized information.

The Computer User: the​ computer user can also accidentally open doors that will lead to​ a​ security breach,​ such as​ when the​ user is​ using the​ Internet to​ make purchases. According to​ the​ U.S. Census Bureau,​ U.S. e-commerce sales for the​ year 2007 were $136.4 billion. Although the​ Internet has made shopping a​ whole lot easier,​ it​ has also increased the​ number of​ instances of​ identity theft. a​ study conducted by the​ US Department of​ Justice reports that 6.4 million households experienced some kind of​ identity theft in​ 2005. Consumers also open themselves up to​ increased junk e-mail called SPAM when shopping online. Thankfully,​ there are ways to​ minimize your risk when shopping online.

Be careful where you post your personal email address. Consumers using the​ Internet increase their chances of​ receiving SPAM e-mail each time they provide their e-mail address to​ make a​ purchase. as​ mentioned earlier,​ hackers can access consumer information by scanning ports that are not secure. Consumers can help protect themselves by only providing information that is​ necessary when making the​ purchase. There are companies designed to​ help protect consumers from e-commerce identity theft and SPAM.

When providing payment information,​ consumers should always make sure the​ site is​ secure. an​ easy way to​ determine whether a​ site is​ secure is​ to​ look at​ the​ web address bar at​ the​ top of​ the​ screen. the​ http,​ which precedes the​ address,​ should change to​ https when checking out on​ a​ shopping site. the​ ‘s’ indicates that the​ consumer is​ shopping from a​ secure page.

Finally,​ a​ consumer should avoid using ATM/debit cards to​ make purchases,​ as​ the​ breach of​ this information could lead to​ unauthorized access of​ the​ consumer’s bank account information. Use a​ credit card instead. Most credit card companies will work on​ behalf of​ their client,​ should a​ hacker steal their credit card information. in​ many cases,​ the​ consumer will only be responsible for $50 of​ the​ transactions.

When a​ consumer shops wisely on​ the​ Internet and acts in​ conjunction with private Internet security sites and the​ FTC they will decrease the​ chances of​ being one of​ the​ six million households affected by identity theft.

Computers And Consumers Understanding Avoid Identity Theft

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