Computers and Consumers – Understanding and Preventing Identity Theft.
The Internet has provided more than a billion people, worldwide, with access to information. The number of threats to consumer safety is growing as the consumer connects with other computers, companies, and people online. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an international consumer protection organization, says that all Internet users should understand the importance of online safety and should take precautionary measures.
Why the Need for Security and How to Protect Yourself
Computer: Part of computer technology lies in its ability to communicate with other computers via the Internet to bring you information. When connected to other computers, it automatically shuts off the data so that it can be compromised. Hackers can connect to a computer, scan through open ports, and obtain unauthorized computer user information.
Many computers have an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that scans the computer for suspicious activity. When suspicious activity is detected, the IDS sends a warning of intrusion.
IDS alone will not protect your computer from intruders and viruses. Computer users also need to protect themselves from fire logs, which create a barrier between hackers and the computer and help prevent unauthorized access to information.
Computer user: The computer user may also open the doors by mistake which will lead to a breach of security, such as when a user uses the Internet to make purchases. According to the US Census Bureau, U.S. e-commerce sales in 2007 were $ 136.4 billion. Although the Internet has made shopping much easier, it has also increased the number of identity theft cases. A study by the US Department of Justice reports that 6.4 million families experienced some form of identity theft in 2005. Consumers are also open to receiving spam emails from SPAM when shopping online. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk when shopping online.
Be careful where you send your email address.
Consumers using the Internet have increased their chances of receiving SPAM e-mail each time they provide their email addresses to purchase. As mentioned earlier, hackers can access consumer information by scanning unsafe ports. Consumers can help protect themselves by providing only the information needed when making a purchase. There are companies designed to help protect consumers from e-commerce identity theft and SPAM.
When providing payment information, consumers should always make sure the site is secure. An easy way to find out if a place is safe is to look at the web address bar at the top of the screen. HTTP, which precedes the address, should switch to HTTP when looking for a purchase location. The s indicates that the buyer is purchasing a secure page.
Finally, the consumer should avoid using ATM/debit cards for purchases, as violations of this information could lead to unauthorized access to the consumer’s bank account details. Use a credit card instead. Most credit card companies will operate on behalf of their client, in the event of a criminal stealing his or her credit card details. In most cases, the buyer will be liable for only $ 50 of the transaction.
Where consumers shop wisely on the Internet and work in partnership with the Internet and private security agencies and the FTC will reduce the chances of being one of the six million families affected by data theft.