Mozilla based FireFox is a great alternative to using Internet Explorer, which just by NOT being a Microsoft product, has far less problems and doesn’t allow for a lot of the proprietary things that Microsoft does – for greater interoperatiblity with their Operating System and associated software. Oh, and it’s FREE!
Craig Crossman is a very knowledgable gentleman who always seems to know about this stuff before it happens. Craig reported using many of these products for quite some time. One caller seemed to be infected with the “I was out of the house” bug – and trust me, you aren’t the only one.
The point was raised that for a long time, most of the world depended on only a few people’s efforts to keep them safe. A single guy wrote and maintains “Spybot” and most have used LavaSoft’s AdAware, which only recently became a ‘retail’ product in the mainstream, with the release of their Pro version. I am one of the people who BOUGHT it. It was and is a great program.
Today I use Computer Associates Pest Patrol and the EZ Anti-Armour Suite and it really keeps me protected from everything. So much, I was able to finally uninstall the two programs that i have ben using for three years to keep me safe. After testing on another PC with the beta of Microsoft Anti-Spyware, I have to admit – it really kicks butt. It stops literally everything. Well, except IE exploits. So, I use Firefox.
And emails from your bank or PayPal – just delete them. Most aren’t real. Check the URL that you are clicking on in the little yellow box that shows when you put the mouse over the link – look closely, you’ll find that paypal.com is actually paypal.comasdfasdls.myemailiscam.com – so stay away. Install the Netcraft toolbar, which can protect you from these email scams by showing you the server identity you are on right in your toolbar. Keeps you protected.
As to Identity Theft Proper – Just make sure you follow basic common sense. Don’t give out your pin ##s or passwords. Do not get your cancelled checks in the mail if you have the option. Many banks now simply print them on your statement for convenience, if at all. You don’t need your signature in full size and perfect form ready for someone’s exploit. Don’t leave your credit cards laying around, try to shred – not toss, and just stay on top of your accounts. Setup alerts for any drop below a certain dollar amount, or each time a check is presented for payment, or when anything happens. Text messages to your phone are a godsend – which is what alerted me to a recent theft of some of my personal checks. Check your credit reports regularlyand more.
Consider using a credit card with a couple hundred dollar limit for any first-time online purchases or subscriptions. This limits your possible liablity in the event you purchase from a bad site or end up with charges you didn’t expect. Feel free to use your everyday card for the sites you shop from often and trust. Ensure the site uses an SSL (Security) Certificate that is valid and is issued by a known root.