Criminals have your home computer in their sights. They want it because, among the email archives, digital photographs and MP3 collections, there are often, what is for them, more interesting information.
They are mainly looking for credit card numbers, bank account details and passwords so they can spend your money or steal your identity. Other, less obvious, bits of information can help them in other ways.
Alan Bell, the marketing director of Network Associates, says identity theft is one the fastestgrowing crimes in the world today. Last year, some 161,000 cases were reported in the United States. It is now the leading cause of complaint to the US Trade Commission. Australia is no different.
Armed with snippets of information, crooks can recreate your life and leave a trail of debt, fraud and other problems that may be sheeted back to you.
Computer crime isn't just about money. Some crooks want to steal your computer resources. They'll leave their programs and files on your hard drive, chew up your processor power and steal your bandwidth. Such spyware enables them to send spam, sell pornography, steal, vandalise websites, bring down commercial networks or generally create havoc. Again, you could get the blame for their activities. It's scary.
Fortunately, locking up your computer to beat bandits isn't expensive, though it does require some effort. It mainly requires new ways of thinking and adopting a more security-conscious approach.
Until recently crooks mainly went after business systems, where the pickings were richer. But as Bell points out, that is changing. "In the future home users will face the majority of threats because they are less protected than businesses. Companies are investing a lot in security, they are moving to active protection of their networks," he says.
Leanne Fleming, a senior security consultant with TruSecure, says the only difference between computer security in a home office and in a large corporation is the scale. "Companies have an information security policy and so should you," she says.
Valve lost most of the HalfLife 2 source code because of a Windows security hole. (Outlook Express to be specific, they were able to run a script from one of the programmers opening the e-mail. That's pathetic security) I think instead of putting a band-aid on everything Windows is vulnerable to, people should either switch to a more secure, stable system, or Microsoft needs to get on the ball and fix these things.
However, it doesn't take a genius to realize putting credit card information and other sensitive stuff on your computer in an unencrypted, unsecured digital format is just irrationally stupid. Keep the stuff off the internet. Keep it in a nice secure file in your desk, where only a break-in robbery would threaten your security.
For those that do store their credentials on their System, then i suggest PGP key encryption software (its totally free and easy to use, not only that its the best there is, and the safest). you can find it anywhere use google and tap in PGP.
Fight Win Prevail - me
No guts No Glory - me
Cadjole....i like that word, so much more sophisticated than bludgeon.
Vicious says: You are saying impudence to me! That is impudence!!!1