Protecting Yourself From Online Computer Virus Attack and Personal Identity Credit Card Data Hacking

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Identity Theft and bank Credit Card Fraud - How to Protect Yourself

Source: WSJ: Wall Street Journal

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information, such as your credit card data or Social Security number, to commit fraud or other crimes. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans suffer identity theft annually. It sounds like a big number, but it isn’t.

For one, the hysteria has been stoked by much-publicized data breaches. In reality, identity theft only touches a sliver of the U.S. population each year (about 3%). One-quarter of those cases are credit-card fraud and not full-blown identity theft, according to FTC figures. The credit-card fraud occurs when a thief uses your credit card to make purchases. More serious is when someone uses your information to open accounts or take loans in your name. That’s when you’ll have to fight to get your credit restored and your name cleared, an arduous process that can take months or years to complete.
 Preventing online identity theft:

Identity Theft And How To prevent online identity theft

In response to concerns over identity theft, numerous companies and financial institutions have stepped in with products that monitor your credit, reimburse you for lost wages or funds and guard your identity. Some employers also now offer ID theft insurance to help you reduce the amount of time and money spent resolving the crime, so check with your company’s benefits specialist about your eligibility.

Do You Need Identity Theft Protection? Before examining the services available, try these common-sense, no-cost measures to protect against identity theft and fraud:

Guard your information online. These days, many of us do most of our shopping and banking on the web. With all those account numbers and passwords floating around, it’s easy for someone to nab your information and go on a spree.

• Clear your logins and passwords. This is especially important if you’ve been working on a public computer. Change logins and passwords monthly.

• Pay for online purchases with your credit card, which has better guarantees under federal law than your online payment services or your debit card.

• Be alert for phishing, a trick in which spam or pop-ups mimic legitimate banks or businesses to obtain your personal information, which they use to access your accounts. Always verify that you’re on a familiar Web site with security controls before entering personal data.

Monitor your bank and credit card statements. Check your accounts regularly so you know when something’s awry. Purchases you didn’t make should be obvious—like a gas fill-up halfway across the country.

Verify your mailing address with the post office and financial institutions. Identity bandits may fill out change of address forms so that delinquent credit notices remain off your paper billing radar.

Monitor your credit report. By law, you’re entitled to a free report every year from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Request one every four months, changing bureaus each time. You can order the report directly through each agency, or at Use this URL—there are hordes of knockoff sites that will try to charge you for your report and other needless services. Scan it for abnormal activity, such as accounts or credit cards you didn’t open. (And don’t fall prey to faux free credit report advertisements.)

Shred sensitive documents. Buy a shredder and regularly shred outdated bank statements, credit card applications, bills, and anything with your personal information before tossing it into the trash or recycling. Junk mail often includes some of your personal details.

Does it make sense to pay for ID theft protection if you’ve taken all these precautions? It depends on your spending habits and overall level of caution. You might want to invest in an identity theft protection service if:

• You do lots of online banking or shopping. • You don’t have time to monitor your information on your own. • The thought of investing time and money into recovering from an identity theft sickens you.

Picking the Right Service Before you spring for identity theft protection, which, at a minimum, is likely to set you back at least $150 a year, consider the no-cost measures you can take to protect yourself. Remember, despite the hype, the odds of having your identity swiped are actually quite low. And no identity theft protection is bulletproof, so consider these factors before you buy.

First, decide whether you’d like to purchase the services of a dedicated identity theft protection firm or one of the products offered by your bank or insurer. Many banks now offer customers daily credit checks that alert them to fishy activity in their accounts. Some will also provide insurance to repay lost wages or legal fees incurred as a result of identity theft or fraud. Other plans assign you a caseworker to help restore your credit. You can also try to bundle identity theft insurance with your home or auto coverage. Be wary of this kind of insurance, however — these policies can be riddled with exclusions that may prevent you from ever collecting in the event of theft.
Preventing online identity theft:

Identity Theft And How To prevent online identity theft

Then there are the specialty companies—LifeLock and TrustedID are two of the most prominent—that market themselves as identity theft protection experts. These companies offer a mix of preventive and reactive tools to maintain your identity and credit, the most common being fraud alerts and credit freezes.

Fraud alerts. Some identity-theft protectors will immediately place fraud alerts on your files with the three main credit bureaus, whether you’ve been victimized or not. In essence, it forces any bank or credit agency to balk before approving credit requests in your name. It’s not foolproof, though. The law only requires the creditor to take reasonable precautions before extending credit. This may only be a speed bump for a practiced thief, so don’t consider it a guarantee that your identity won’t be swiped.

Credit freezes. Freezes are far more effective than alerts. Icing your files prevents any company from accessing your credit unless you already do business with them, effectively sealing your records against any new creditor. Freezes can be a pain if you’re seeking a mortgage or student loan—or any form of credit. You’ll have to contact the bureaus to unfreeze your records, which can take up to three days. Plus, the credit bureaus normally charge a small fee whenever you freeze and unfreeze your files. Credit freeze rules vary by state.

Alerts and freezes are two measures you can take yourself, so consider whether you want to pay a company to do it for you.

If you’ve detected fraudulent activity, notify the financial institution where the fraudulent activity occurred first so they can freeze your account. Depending on the situation, you’ll need to file a complaint with the FTC and your local police department, as well as investigate all of your other accounts. And keep a vigilant eye on that credit report.

Preventing online identity theft:

Identity Theft And How To prevent online identity theft

Source: WSJ: Wall Street Journal

Emerging Trends Impacting the Global Antivirus Software Package Market

Source: Technavio
Technavio’s latest report on the global antivirus software package market provides an analysis of the key trends expected to impact the market through 2015-2019. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Technavio announces top three emerging trends impacting the global antivirus software package market through 2019.
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The global antivirus software package market is likely to exceed USD 36 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of over 9%. The market is predicted to grow significantly during the forecast period because of increased use of the Internet, which is giving rise to malware threats such as viruses, Trojans, and worms.

“Malware threats have also become more complex and have found more channels for propagation in computer systems. Therefore, the adoption of antivirus software for protection against such threats has become important and will gain popularity in the future,” says Amrita Choudhury, lead analyst at Technavio for enterprise application research.

The top three emerging trends influencing the global antivirus software package market according to Technavio’s ICT research analysts are:

Popularity of cloud-based antivirus software

As the cloud is proving to be a convenient and cost-effective way of storing critical business data, its adoption is increasing among SMBs worldwide. This increases the need for cloud security solutions such as cloud antiviruses. Cloud-based antiviruses do not require any hardware or software and are controlled remotely, making them cost-effective for end-users.

Cloud-based antivirus software provides quicker response to new threats or malicious activities. Cloud-based antiviruses are updated on the central server in the cloud and immediately available to all end-users. The Internet is required for automatic updates to the virus signatures.

Some antivirus vendors like Panda Security, F-Secure, Sophos, ESET, and Kaspersky are increasingly incorporating cloud-based capabilities in their products.

“Although, cloud-based antiviruses are beneficial for end-users, they are not recommended as a full replacement for desktop antivirus protection. It is safer to adopt the cloud-based antivirus along with a traditional desktop antivirus to mitigate the deceleration of the computer’s performance and provide the best protection,” says Amrita.

Partnerships between antivirus software vendors and telecom vendors

There is an increasing number of partnerships among antivirus software vendors, smartphone manufacturers, and telecom services providers, which is supporting the growth of the global antivirus software package market.

Increasing number of applications, make mobile devices more vulnerable to virus attacks, which necessitates the need for antivirus software.

Antivirus software vendors such as Symantec and Kaspersky are entering into partnerships with smartphone manufacturers and telecom service providers to boost the sales of antivirus software and increase their customer base and geographical reach. These vendors are looking to incorporate antivirus software into smartphones and have planned to provide a subscription-based model through telecom companies.

According to Technavio, smartphone users are willing to pay for antiviruses, especially high-end smartphone users who prefer online banking payment transfers, mobile banking, and mobile commerce. Online transactions, therefore require a high level of security because they involve a customer's monetary and confidential financial data. Therefore, the demand for antivirus software is likely to increase significantly with the increased adoption of mobile commerce.

Increased adoption of BYOD

The introduction of mobile devices into the workplace is changing the way users access enterprise resources. With the adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) policies worldwide, employees are using their personal mobile devices for work. This has increased the demand for uninterrupted connectivity between a corporate network and its employees' mobile devices. Employees need to access and store confidential information on their mobile devices, which has increased the need to protect data.

However, these devices are not secure, and it is easy for hackers to gain unauthorized access to firewalls, VPNs, and corporate networks. This can lead to fraudulent activities with the misuse of business-critical data. As personal mobile devices are being used for professional purposes, it has become extremely important to protect the data being transmitted in order to reduce the chances of unauthorized access to data.

“Therefore anti-virus software providers have a huge potential market in reducing the security risks in the BYOD model and making it more sustainable for enterprises,” adds Amrita.

Some of the top six vendors in the global antivirus software package market, as researched by Technavio analysts are:

    AVAST Software

Source: Technavio on

Two things to bear in Mind while we talk about Protecting yourself Online in order to Prevent Online Identity Theft and being Victim of Cyber-Criminals:

A. Keep in mind that antivirus software protects only your device, not your internet connection. It’s only Secured and Protected Virtual Private Network, VPN can securely protect your internet connection communications between your computer device, servers and websites.

B. A VPN is a must-have utility to protect your privacy and prevent hackers and snoopers from stealing your personal information.