Hack Proofing Your Identity In The Information Age

Overview

Identity-theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting approximately 900,000 new victims each year. Protect your assets and personal information online with this comprehensive guide.

Hack Proofing Your Identity will provide readers with hands-on instruction for how to secure their personal information on multiple devices. It will include simple measures as well as advanced techniques gleaned from experts in the field who have years of experience with identity theft ...

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Overview

Identity-theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting approximately 900,000 new victims each year. Protect your assets and personal information online with this comprehensive guide.

Hack Proofing Your Identity will provide readers with hands-on instruction for how to secure their personal information on multiple devices. It will include simple measures as well as advanced techniques gleaned from experts in the field who have years of experience with identity theft and fraud. This book will also provide readers with instruction for identifying cyber-crime and the different ways they can report it if it occurs.

Hot Topic. Hack Proofing Your Identity will provide readers with both simple and advanced steps they can take to protect themselves from cyber-crime.
Expert Advice. This book will present security measures gathered from experts in both the federal government and the private sector to help secure your personal information and assets online.
Unique Coverage. Hack Proofing Your Identity will be the only book to include security measure for multiple devices like laptops, PDAs and mobile phones to allow users to protect themselves while taking advantage of the newest ways to access the Internet.

This title presents security measures gathered from experts in both the federal government and the private sector to help secure an individual's personal information and assets online.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
The rapid growth of information technology is rapidly expanding the ways in which people can become victim of identity theft. Independent security consultant Bidwell discusses ways in which people can avoid some of the more common hazards associated with computer use. Naturally, much of the advice duplicates common treatments on basic computer security. Chapters cover email privacy, covering Internet footprints and other Web defense strategies, controlling one's children's computer use, browser and firewall configuration, and what to do if one becomes a victim. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931836517
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 8/6/2002
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Identity Theft: Are You At Risk?

Chapter 2 Protecting Your Hard Drive

Chapter 3 Keeping Your E-mail Private

Chapter 4 Self Defense on the Web

Chapter 5 Connecting to the Internet Safely

Chapter 6 Are Your Kids Putting You at Risk?

Chapter 7 If You Become a Victim

Chapter 8 Configuring Your Browser and Firewall

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First Chapter

What You Might Not Know about Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is only effective against known viruses. In other words, if information about the virus isn't included in the signature file, the antivirus software can't do anything to protect you. There are a number of reasons why your antivirus software might not know about a particular virus. One of the major reasons your antivirus software can't detect a virus is because it is so new that the antivirus company isn't aware of it or the company hasn't updated its signature files yet. Programmers write new viruses every week, for a variety of reasons. Some are for malicious reasons, where the programmer wants to cause problems for as many people as possible. In other cases, the programmer might want to infect a specific computer, such as that of an enemy or those in a particular institution. For numerous other programmers, they might write the virus for educational reasons, wanting to see if they can actually do it. If the last reason is true, the virus is accidentally released or someone with access releases it for them. Whatever the reason, after the virus is initially released to other computers, no antivirus will be able to help the first infected systems.

Another type of "virus" that antivirus software can't protect you from are hoax viruses. Hoax viruses aren't actual viruses, but they can be just as damaging. They are generally warnings that are distributed through e-mail, often encouraging recipients to perform some action. Some might tell the reader to check their hard disk for a specific file, and, if it exists, it tells them it is a virus that should be deleted at once. Unfortunately, the file in question is usually one installed by the operating system and is supposed to be there. The recipient finds the file, deletes it, and their operating system or other software fails to work properly. Because the warning seems so helpful, you might find friends or family sending you these warnings. If you find one, the best advice is to do nothing until checking whether antivirus manufacturers like Norton, McAfee, and so forth advise similar action. You can view a list of hoax viruses and find more information about them by visiting Symantec's Hoax page at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html. Finally, the most common reason antivirus software can't protect you is because of user error. The user might fail to configure his antivirus software to constantly search for viruses, or he might fail to regularly scan the hard disk for viruses. Worse yet, the user might fail to download signature updates to ensure that the antivirus is searching for the latest viruses. Failing to use the antivirus software properly can be as damaging as not running the software at all.

NOTE

Many new computers come with software preinstalled, possibly with antivirus software already installed. When you purchase a new computer with antivirus software installed, ensure that it is configured correctly and has the latest antivirus signature files. If you choose to have antivirus signature files automatically updated, then you will need to ensure that the antivirus signature files are actually being updated.

An example of a problem of antivirus software improperly set up on new computers was seen with the Hewlett Packard Pavilion computers, which came with a slim version of McAfee installed. This version wasn't the full-version available from their Web site (www.mcafee.com), which provides the auto-update feature. Instead, when people clicked on the McAfee icon in the system tray, a Web page was displayed enticing people to sign up for a fee.

You should install a full version of antivirus software on your system, and update your signature files regularly. Later in this chapter, we show you how to update them manually and discuss automatic updates, as well.

Why Update?

Updating your antivirus software is vital to its ability to adequately scan, detect, and clean viruses. Like any other application, software updates are required to fix vulnerabilities and bugs in the program. Updating your software might require installing a simple patch or getting the latest version of the program. However, a more frequent update that's required by antivirus software is signature files.

Many people make the mistake of installing the antivirus software and thinking that no further action is required. However, because signature files contain information used to detect and clean viruses from your system, your antivirus software will be unable to detect any viruses that appeared after this software was released. Every week to every few weeks, new signature files become available and need to be installed for your software to work at peak efficiency.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2002

    a MUST for peace of mind!

    I'm going to be the first in line when this book hits the shelves. I just got DSL (Digital Subcriber Line) High-Speed internet and after just a few days my machine was hacked into with various Trojan viruses i have dectected with Various software Firewalls. Im Scared that the hackers can use my identity or worse Steal it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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