TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Some Safety Tips To Help You Avoid Latest Theft Scams

Some Safety Tips To Help You Avoid Latest Theft Scams

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 30 Jul 2006 13:58:10 -0400

By Walter S. Mossberg

If you're running a Windows computer, you must install an array of
security software to fend off an international collection of crooks,
hackers, vandals and sleazy business people who aim to invade your PC
through the Internet.

You need a good antivirus program, a strong firewall program, an
effective antispam program, and a program that specializes in
stopping spyware and adware. Or you could just buy an Apple
Macintosh, which isn't significantly affected (so far) by these
threats, other than spam email.

But the fastest-growing computer-security problem isn't viruses or
other traditional malicious programs, and it can't be entirely
defeated by using security software or by buying a Mac. It's called
"social engineering," and it consists of tactics that try to fool
users into giving up sensitive financial data that criminals can use
to steal their money and even their identities.

Social engineering is a broad term that includes "phishing," the
practice by which crooks create emails and Web sites that look just
like legitimate messages and sites from real banks and other financial
companies. It's closely linked to a newly named category of malicious
software called Crimeware -- programs that help criminals steal your
private financial information.

These terms are confusing and overlapping, but the threat is real.
Increasingly, common-looking scams are combined with secret
installations of software that help criminals spy on you and steal
your data.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid these schemes:

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