Security

Internet Security

Internet Security:
A decade ago, the Internet was something only “techies” talked about. It was a new limitless source
of information, with very few users. Today, the Internet has already become an essential part of our
lives. It’s where we access our banking records, credit card statements, tax returns and other highly
sensitive personal information. By the end of this decade, over 2 billion people will be connected to
the Internet—that’s about half the world’s current population.
But with all the good things the Internet offers us, it
also opens the door to serious, potentially devastating threats. Unlike corporate and government computer systems, few personal computers have any
safeguards beyond basic virus protection. That
means anytime you’re online, you are a potential target for online criminals and hackers. And if you have
high-speed Internet access, your computer is online
most of the time, making Internet criminals and
hackers a 24-hour-a-day, year-round threat to you,
your personal information, and your family.

how the Internet works and the security threats you face:
When you access the Internet, your computer sends
a message over the Web that uniquely identifies your
computer and where it is located. This allows the
information you’ve requested to be returned to you.
Often, this requested information carries with it
unwanted hidden software created by hackers and
online criminals. This software installs itself on your
computer and can either be just a nuisance or pose
a more serious threat to you, your identity and sensitive financial information. Usually the nuisances
are visible and easy to identify, while the more dangerous threats are typically invisible, silent, and difficult to detect until it’s too late. The key to a safe,
enjoyable Internet experience is understanding the
difference between what’s a threat and what isn’t.

What’s a nuisance, what’s a threat
Cookies, pop-ups, and adware are tools that track your online behavior, and are used to promote various products. Many cookies are harmless online information gathering and tracking tools. The majority of adware consists of pop-up ads that are merely unsolicited nuisances. The problem is that hackers and online criminals are increasingly using cookies and adware to quietly sneak onto your computer and to access your personal information without your knowledge. This “spyware” watches and
records everything you do online, leaving your passwords, private account information, and other personal and sensitive information vulnerable.
Once captured, this information can be sent back to online criminals for use in accessing your private
information, stealing your identity, and your money. It can also be used to highjack your computer for
illegal purposes. Spyware finds its way to your computer through:
• Web sites you browse on the Internet.
• Adware and pop-ups that load onto your computer.
• Results of your Internet searches.
• Unusual eCommerce sites you visit.
• Software you download onto your computer from the Internet.
• Weaknesses in the operating system software you’re using.
Spyware: It’s the new threat your anti-virus software won’t find.
If you’re even a casual computer user, chances are you’ve heard about viruses and what they can do
to your computer. Viruses are serious threats that attack your computer and data, and generally disrupt your life; but they aren’t used to steal your sensitive personal information. Internet criminals create spyware to do this. They want you to believe that anti-virus software is all the protection you need.
As important as it is to your security, anti-virus software can’t detect or stop this newer, more sophisticated threat from entering your computer. Stopping spyware requires even greater protection.

What’s a nuisance, what’s a threat:
Cookies, pop-ups, and adware are tools that track your online behavior, and are used to promote various products. Many cookies are harmless online information gathering and tracking tools. The majority of adware consists of pop-up ads that are merely unsolicited nuisances. The problem is that hackers and online criminals are increasingly using cookies and adware to quietly sneak onto your computer and to access your personal information without your knowledge. This “spyware” watches and
records everything you do online, leaving your passwords, private account information, and other personal and sensitive information vulnerable.
Once captured, this information can be sent back to online criminals for use in accessing your private
information, stealing your identity, and your money. It can also be used to highjack your computer for
illegal purposes. Spyware finds its way to your computer through:
• Web sites you browse on the Internet.
• Adware and pop-ups that load onto your computer.
• Results of your Internet searches.
• Unusual eCommerce sites you visit.
• Software you download onto your computer from the Internet.
• Weaknesses in the operating system software you’re using.
Spyware: It’s the new threat your anti-virus software won’t find.
If you’re even a casual computer user, chances are you’ve heard about viruses and what they can do
to your computer. Viruses are serious threats that attack your computer and data, and generally disrupt your life; but they aren’t used to steal your sensitive personal information. Internet criminals create spyware to do this. They want you to believe that anti-virus software is all the protection you need.
As important as it is to your security, anti-virus software can’t detect or stop this newer, more sophisticated threat from entering your computer. Stopping spyware requires even greater protection.

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