Don’t become a victim of computer crime – principles to help protect you and your stuff

Don’t become a victim of computer crime – principles to help protect you and your stuff

Don’t become a victim of computer crime – principles to help protect you and your stuff

People store valuable information on their computers in all kinds of formats such as documents, photos, audio and video. What if someone managed to sneak into your computer with or without you and steal that information? Well, hackers, freaks, crackers and even the most novice computer criminals are capable of getting into your privacy and causing a whole world of distressing problems. This article will provide the average user with principles aimed at developing safe computing habits to prevent such criminals from even having the opportunity to illegally access information. Let’s start with the first principle, the golden rule of internet safety.

If it sounds too good to be true – Well! Email scams happen to millions of computer users every day. An email that comes from an African prince leaving his fortune in your trust is unlikely to be the real case. There are a wide variety of such scams that will promise eternal happiness and wealth beyond your wildest dreams, or perhaps it’s a high-priced item that’s “free.” These offers are usually too good to be true, so it’s best to just avoid them all.

Do not download it unless you are sure. A good rule of thumb is to only download what you must have – and only from trusted websites. Just because a site is linked to a trusted website does not always mean that the content on the third party website is also trusted. Be weary of downloads such as freeware, trialware, codecs from third-party websites, and especially email or instant message attachments. Never download anything from somewhere you don’t 100% trust. Downloads from shady websites usually mean you will need a spyware or virus removal service in the near future.

Be observant. Phishing is becoming a popular internet security term. To crack it, it means someone is tricking you into giving them your password. Always notice what the URL of the website you are visiting is. Phishers like to replace the letters of popular websites with other letters or numbers, making the fake website look identical to the real website you are trying to access. For example, a website that uses the letter “l” can easily be spoofed using the number “1”.

Do not access personal data on public computers. It can be so easy for a malicious computer user to install a file that can record every keystroke you make on the computer you use. Think about the information you can provide them? Usernames, passwords, personal emails or messages, and the list goes on. Also, NEVER save your password or email address on a public computer, even if prompted to log in. This information is saved internally in the browser, which can be retrieved later. And last but certainly not least, don’t shop online from public computers. Credit card information is one of the most sought after pieces of information in the computer crime world.

Following simple-to-use principles can save you a lot of time, money and stress. So remember the four principles outlined in this article, and you’ll have the one against computer criminals who will take advantage of you if you give them the opportunity to do so.

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