SECURITY CHECK Protecting Your System and Yourself Source:
Malicious Code Programs written with the intent to harm, destroy, or annoy. Several of the most common are: Viruses Worms Trojans
Virus A program that spreads itself by infecting files, and are capable of shutting your computer down. The most common way to infect your system is to open an unexpected e-mail attachment.
Worms Worms spread through networks using e-mail addresses on a host computer. They travel through shared files and programs and are capable of shutting down an entire system.
Trojans These programs are designed to look like other, desirable programs you might download. They may include spyware that runs behind the scenes of your computer to secretly track your Web browsing habits and cause pop-ups to occur. In the worst case scenario, Trojans can wipe out your hard drive.
Did you know According to ISafe America: 37% of computers used in the U.S. do not have antivirus protection 35% of computers at any one time are infected with some kind of malicious code Interacting with these computers can put your computer at risk, and you may never know.
Online Scams - Phishing A fairly common e-mail scam designed to get personal information from you. The e-mail will look like its from a legitimate company asking your to verify sensitive information: Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, etc. They are really just trying to get your information in order to steal your identity or your money!
Online Scams - Identity Theft According to the Federal Trade Commision: as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year Identity thieves use information like your name, birthdate, Social Security number and banking numbers to: Open new credit card, phone or utility accounts in your name Steal money from your bank accounts Create a whole new identity for themselves using your information. You could have really bad credit before youre even old enough to have credit!
Protect Yourself Back up your files often! If your hard drive does crash, youll still have all your stuff. Make sure you have a firewall and antivirus software on your computer then dont ignore the updates! Do not open e-mail attachments you werent expecting, even if they came from a friends e-mail address. Their computer may be infected. Never respond to an e-mail asking for personal information, even if the e-mail seems to be from a legitimate company. Call them first to check the validity of the request.
Protect Yourself Make sure you only download software from sources you know. Avoid downloading anything from file sharing sites. They are common carriers of malicious code. When online, look for web addresses that say https: before entering any information. The S stands for secure. You can also look for a lock symbol. If your system is infected disconnect it from the modem ASAP. Run a scan of your hard drive through your antivirus software, or take it to a professional. Check your credit report at least once a year to look for any wrong information.