Safeguarding your Identity and Your Computer From Hackers Continues to be a Challenge

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Hackers infiltrate search engines, social networks

SAN FRANCISCO -- Consumers who use search engines, online social networks, browsers and the like face a gantlet of viruses and malicious software code, according to a cybersecurity report from Symantec, issued Tuesday as security experts gather here for the sprawling RSA Conference on tech security.

The repercussions go beyond the loss of personal data, security experts say. As more consumers are victimized, it could undercut their confidence in legitimate websites, says Billy Hoffman, manager of Hewlett-Packard Security Labs.

Previously, hackers were more likely to use e-mail with attachments to steer victims to virus-tainted websites. Now, they are implanting their links on legitimate websites. MORE

Anti-virus software isn't the only computer security tool

Mike Saign smelled something fishy about the e-mail he received -- purportedly from an eBay auctioneer -- accepting his lowball offer for a high-end golf club.

The sender claimed his PayPal account was down and asked Saign to wire payment to him via Western Union. Instead, Saign, 25, downloaded Iconix e-mail ID, a free tool that pegged the e-mail as a fake.

Saved from being scammed, Saign, a real estate adviser, disabled Iconix and hasn't used it since. "I feel like the security software in a normal computer keeps you away from most bad things," he says.

That's not necessarily so. Fraudulent e-mail and tainted websites are more prevalent than ever. Spam, much of it pitching fake drugs and financial scams, accounts for 80% of all e-mail, says Symantec. The number of new strains of malicious programs increased fivefold in 2007 over 2006, and about 20,000 new malicious programs are unleashed on the Web each day, says AV-Test Labs.

Source: USA Today

See Prior Blog ...

Protect your computer from hackers -before it's too late.

Over the last year, I suffered two window system crashes and found myself combating numerous viruses and PC attacks. It seemed that no-matter what I did, or how often I updated my virus protection software and made sure my firewalls were active, I would wake up morning after morning to find another intrusive virus of some sort had managed to land in my life -and my computer. MORE

See earlier blog for tips to protect yourself on social networking sites & steps to help protect your identity...

Students Beware! Identity thieves are studying you!

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