Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Virus Overview

 

Computer Viruses are one of the biggest “bogeyman” of the Internet, and with attacks by Melissa, ILoveYou, Nimda, and Michelangelo, there are damage estimates and virus warnings all over the Internet. But what are they really?

A virus is a program that spreads to other computers. Like all forms of malware, it both runs without the user’s knowledge or permission and it can interfere with other programs that are trying to run on the same computer. Some viruses also carry a payload, like ticking time bombs. On a given date, or after a certain time after the computer is infected, the virus will “trigger.” This trigger can damage files, erase drives, or attack other systems over the Internet.

Viruses have two major goals. First, they need to be run and installed on the infected computer, and two, they need to spread to other computers. And they need to meet these two goals without alerting the owner of the computer.

There are a wide variety of ways for a virus to infect a system. Many early viruses used the “boot sector” of a floppy disk as their infection point. If the user powered on the computer with an infected floppy disk in the drive, the computer would try to boot from the floppy.

The virus would infect the system, but make it look like the computer had tried to boot from a blank floppy disk. The virus met both goals at the same time, because every time a new disk was inserted into the drive, the virus would put another copy of itself into the boot sector. Today, almost no one uses floppy disks and boot sector viruses have all but disappeared.

One of the most common infection routes today is by email attachment. Many viruses today will even search the address book and send out emails without the owner’s knowledge.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Malware May Be Hard At Work On Your Computer

 

If you’ve been using a personal computer for some time the word “Malware” gets on your nerves. Malware is the nice term for malicious software, anyone that has had their PC corrupted by it will use a different choice of words. Malicious software includes viruses, adware, spyware, and Trojans.

If you don’t take precautions they will take over your computer.

Viruses are probably the most common type of malware. Viruses can do all kinds of maddening things to your computer. They can erase all the files on your hard drive, cause your computer to close windows without reason, they can eventually cause your system to not even turn on.

Adware is another type of Malware that is not quite as openly malicious as a virus but can be just as annoying. Adware is a type of software that people inadvertently download onto their computer.

They may download a screensaver or a video game and before you know it your whole desktop has changed. Adware is used to monitor a persons surfing habits so that the person can market specific messages to them. If you’re getting a lot of pop ups and banner advertising, it’s probably Adware at work.

Spyware is similar to adware but in addition to monitoring your surfing it can also record your keystrokes. The real scare to spyware is that it is looking for you to put in personal data such as financial information, like a social security number, credit card numbers, banking accounts. Like adware, spyware usually finds its way onto your hard drive through some sort of freeware download.

Trojans are some of the most dangerous types of malware.

Many Trojans. are downloaded to your computer by hackers and steal your personal and financial data and then report it back to a hacker database. Most trojans are sometimes downloaded by clicking links in email that look normal but are really hyperlinks to hacker databases where the Trojan is then downloaded to your computer.

The good news is that you can protect your information and your computer by using anti virus or anti malware software.

If you have a specific problem with one kind of malware, you might want to buy a specific product, but for all round protection, virus software usually works the best.

Virus software works by scanning your computer files, searching for viruses and malware files. Scanning your computer files can take a few minutes to a few hours depending on how big your hard drive is. Once a virus or malware file is found, the virus software puts the file in an isolation area. At the end of the scan, the virus software reports the list of any malware files found and asks what you want to do with the files. You can then erase all the files or keep them isolated until you know what they are.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

How to Stop Becoming One of the Identity Theft Statistics

 

Identity theft statistics show that hundreds of thousands of people become victims of identity theft every year. The identity theft statistics show lots of numbers, but they do not really show the horrors of this crime. The victims can suffer for many years because of this crime. They lose thousands of dollars every year, and their lives become totally disrupted because of this crime. The identity theft statistics show that people in some states are more likely to suffer from the results of this crime than those in other states. The numbers show that people in California are more vulnerable than others to the effects of this crime.

Identity theft not only takes away money, but it also steals one’s name and reputation. The money is probably the least part of the problem from this crime. Most banks and credit card companies have protections for their customers, and often these protections replace much of the stolen money. The problems arise when others take jobs in the name of the person affected by identity theft. These criminals sign up for social security when they take these jobs. They also sign up for credit cards that often go delinquent.

Identity Theft Statistics Are Often Based on Crime Reports

The money is often replaced, but the victim has a bad credit rating as a result. People affected spend many hours trying to get back their names, their good credit and their reputation. The identity theft statistics are usually found from crime reports, but some of these crimes remain unreported so the identity theft statistics do not show accurate numbers. These statistics show the total dollar amounts are staggering. Some of the statistics show hundreds of millions dollars. The funds are lost by the individuals and the financial institutions that protect their customers.

The identity theft statistics show that this is the fastest growing crime in the United States. The statistics show that one in fifty people is affected by this crime. This type of crime affects people in the thirty to thirty-nine year age bracket more than others according to the identity theft statistics. The second largest group affected is in the eighteen to twenty-nine year old age bracket. Identity theft statistics are used by insurance companies, banks and law enforcement agencies to study the consequences and methods of these crimes. There is evidence that the identity thieves will increase so there is great interest in this information.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Identity Theft – It Wont Happen To Me

 

I got bad credit, I’m not worried

It happened to a friend of a friend

I’ve got other priorities now

All it takes is guarding your Social Security number

I can trust the people around me

These quotes are all too common regarding identity theft. The problem is the Federal Trade Commission, various law enforcement agencies and identity theft experts have stated there are no 100% guarantees and the numbers for identity theft keep getting worse.

I got bad credit so I’m not worried

Just recently KFLY TV in Lafayette Louisiana reported that 2 men were arrested for stealing the identity of 2500 people. Identity thieves don’t run credit checks before they steal your identity. All they need to do damage is a little bit of your personal information.

It happened to a friend of a friend

This one should really alert people. The reason ? Everybody now knows somebody who’s been victimized. That alone tells you what an epidemic identity theft has become. Last year 10 million people had their identities stolen. Many experts think that number will double this year. They also fear the 10 million figure is too low. Why? Many victims don’t report the crime.

I’ve got other priorities now

Once your identity is stolen there is only one priority: Getting it back. On average it can take 175 hours and out of pocket expenses totaling 15,000 dollars according to the FTC.

“All it takes is guarding your Social Security number”

In February of this year Bank of America announced that 1.2 million federal employee credit card accounts may have been exposed to identity theft. In June Visa and MasterCard announced that 40 million cardholders maybe at risk when the database of their third party processor was broken into. Many of these people no doubt guarded their Social Security number faithfully but thru no fault of their own they’re at risk.

I can trust the people around me

This one hits home and may hurts the worst. 50% of all identity thieves are known by the victim. Family members, friends and neighbors do more damage than total strangers.

There are other reasons people give. Yes it may never happen to you but identity theft is now a full blown epidemic that affects everyone.