Help Net Security says that once hackers have your personal information they can steal your identity, use your credit cards, siphon funds from your bank accounts and more. Simply put: it’s bad news and you want nothing to do with it.
The good news, according to the article, is that spyware prevention is possible and there are many ways to keep these dangerous programs at bay. In addition to installing the right software, users can practice these computer security tips from Broomfield, CO based Internet security firm Webroot:
- Download software directly from the source. The article says a common way to get a spyware infection is to install free or pirated programs from file-sharing sites which have been booby-trapped with malware.
- Set your browser security settings to “high” and protect yourself from “drive-by” downloads and automatic installations of unwanted programs.
- Avoid questionable websites, such as those featuring adult material. They’re notorious for spreading spyware threats and causing users problems.
- Use a firewall.
- Be suspicious of email and IM.
- Don’t open attachments unless you know the sender and are expecting a file from them.
- Delete messages you suspect are spam (don’t even open them).
- Avoid clicking on links within messages.
- Do not give personal information to unsolicited requests even if they seem legitimate.
- If you receive a request for personal information from your bank or credit card company, contact that financial institution directly, but do not click on a link embedded in the email message.
Amichai Shulman – CTO, Imperva posted that the credentials to a Hotmail account is worth $1.50 and a Gmail account is worth over $80 to cybercriminals. Gmail is more valuable to the attacker because of the wide variety of other Gmail cloud services that can be accessed through Gmail credentials.
It is also likely that credentials used by a person for one application will most work on other applications as well. It is not uncommon for people to have the same username and password used for their Facebook account, their Twitter account, their Airline Frequent Flyer account or any application that uses their Gmail account as the application account name.
That’s why spyware is bad.
- Save Your Smartphones from Spyware and Malware Invasion (cellphones.org)
- Google Intros ‘Bouncer’ Security System for Android Market (phonescoop.com)
- Why Uninstall Your Norton Internet Security (fixmyfuckingpc.wordpress.com)