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Basic Computer Crime Prevention Computer crime relies significantly on vulnerabilities and opportunities. Although no organization or individual can eliminate vulnerabilities and opportunities, the following precautions can help to reduce the likelihood of victimization: Install an anti-virus program, update it regularly, and set it to check all appropriate areas, such as e-mails, Web pages, and disk drives. Anti-virus programs can help protect not only against malicious programs that cause damage but also against programs designed to steal information such as passwords and account numbers. Install updates offered by Microsoft, Adobe, JAVA and other providers of system and helper software, as they have security vulnerabilities that allow malicious actions on your computer and files. Use “strong” passwords that include a combination of numbers and upper- and lower-case alphabetic characters; change passwords frequently; and do not use the same password for multiple applications. Strong passwords can help protect against unauthorized access, including access attempted with programs designed to crack or “sniff” (i.e., detect) passwords. Shred any documents that contain personal information, including junk mail, bank statements, and bills. “Dumpster diving” – looking through the trash of individuals and organizations – is used to illegally collect account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, and other personal information. Provide personal information over the Internet only through verified and secured Web sites  and not in response to unsolicited requests. Secure websites will have a padlock icon  showing in the address bar of the browser.  Contact your bank, broker or utility directly.  Spam e-mails that provide links for personal information entry or confirmation under the guise of a legitimate company name are commonly used in illegal attempts to collect social security and account numbers. Once collected, these numbers may be sold online or used as currency to “purchase” software and other digital goods. Be cautious about providing personal information over the telephone or Internet to unknown individuals. Impersonation of a trusted person, such as a representative of a credit card company or bank, is an extremely common method of obtaining personal information.
Online Fraud
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