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This time of the year identity theft is at it’s height. More people are filing their tax returns online. If you stop to think about it, your return has all the information needed to steal your identity. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to be sure this information is secure.

If your computer does not update your spyware daily, I recommend you install this feature before sending out your tax return on-line. It’s usually very simple and takes just a minute or two. My computer up-dates at 3am in the morning every day. You can set the time for your computer to up-date at any time you like. If you don’t have any protective spyware , you can download several different programs at a nominal fee. There are many free spyware programs available as well. Do some research, and decide which one best meets your needs. Talk to your friends or a computer center to see which one they recommend. I use AVG Spyware and have very pleased with it, and it’s free.

Windows Internet Explorer 7 browser also has a feature to keep your identity safer.

I talked about phishing in an earlier post. It’s when you are scammed into providing your personal data to an individual or company that are supposedly helping you. These emails usually tell you your account has been breached and they need this information to protect you. What they are actually doing is collecting your information to steal your identity. Before disclosing personal information, check out the company or website . Be sure they are legitimate as well as “a secure” website. If you feel you’ve sent your information to a fake, phishing, website report it immediately to the appropriate institutions. Such as: IRS , FTC , Federal Trade Commission and an organization called the Anti-Phishing Group. If you have used a credit card, call and cancel it. This will minimize any damage that might have been done.

You should also change your passwords on all your online accounts if you feel you’ve been compromised. Especially accounts related to any of your financial information.

A good program to download is Windows Defender. This program was originally called Windows Spyware and is a free Microsoft program. It reviews and protects against possible unwanted software.

The best defense against identity theft on the computer is educating yourself on ways people steal your identity and the programs available to protect yourself. It is important you up-date your security programs routinely.


Posted on March 20th, 2008 at 05:13 by Alex Smith in computer security,Email Security,Identity theft,security services - Comments (0)

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