Computer hacking poses a serious threat to identity security, for obvious reasons.
One of the main ways that identity thieves steal identity is through computers--whether it be through spyware or the internet.
Of course, your information can still be stolen when you scan your credit card, throw away personal documents (always shred!), and even when you use the ATM with bystanders (using handy cell-phone photography) getting a little too close.
Since computers are one of the primary forms of sharing information and even paying bills, monitoring accounts, and shopping online, protecting your computer and laptop is a large part of protecting yourself from identity theft.
How does computer hacking occur? There are several ways that hackers will try to gain unauthorized access to your computer.
One method of attack is the virus.
Viruses can be spread to your computer by accessing an Internet site which contains the infected code or downloading something containing the infection. This virus allows hackers to gain control of your computer and steal any information that you have stored on it.
Another hacking method involves security breaches in wireless networks. If you use a wireless network, you should be sure to use an encryption program (think DES, VPN, WEP, and WPA) that will protect your computer. If you would like to read more about about improving the security of your data and protecting your wireless computer network from hacking click on:
-the text link for information on encryption software
-the graphic link for information on Virtual Personal Networks
Other hackers will use a more strong-arm approach, figuring out your authentication information (username and password) either by guessing or by using bots. Bots are categorized as a type of malware and carry out a variety of automatic functions with the intention of invading your computer.
There are other things that make you more vulnerable to hacking, such as using shared computers, lacking an Internet filter, lacking anti-virus and anti-spyware software, turning off your firewall, being indiscreet with information you post online, and visiting or entering personal information on websites or in surveys that are suspicious.
Many anti-virus and anti-spyware programs have regular updates that you should install on your computer to keep up with the latest advances in computer hacking prevention.
Beware of suspicious emails as well. If it looks like spam or suspicious in some way, don't open it--just delete it. Never reply to emails asking for personal information, as most companies will never request this information over email.
The most important thing you can do is to exercise caution by using the appropriate anti-hacking software and to use good judgement when on the Internet.
Do you have stories or tips about computer hacking and how to prevent it? Share it!