How can hackers find me?
Anyone who uses a computer connected to the Internet is susceptible to threats posed by online hackers and predators. These online criminals often use phishing, spam or instant message scams and bogus websites to deliver dangerous malware to your computer and compromise its security.
Hackers can also try to access your computer and private information directly if it is not protected by a firewall. They can monitor your conversations or examine the backend of your personal website. Usually disguised under a false identity, predators can trick you into revealing sensitive personal and financial information, or worse.
What can a hacker do to me?
While your computer is connected to the Internet, malware that a hacker has installed on your computer silently transmits your personal and financial information without your knowledge or consent. Or a computer predator may unknowingly pounce on your private information. In any case they can:
Hijack your usernames and passwords
Steal your money and open credit cards and bank accounts in your name
Ruin your credit
Request personal identification numbers (PINs) for new accounts or additional credit cards
Add yourself or an alias you control as an authorized user to make it easier to use your credit
Get cash advances
Using and misusing your social security number
Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illegal or illegal purposes.
Predators that stalk people while they are online can pose a serious physical threat. Using extreme caution when agreeing to meet a “friend” or acquaintance online in person is always the best way to stay safe.
How do I know if I have been hacked?
Check the accuracy of your personal accounts, credit cards and documents. Are there any unexplained transactions? Questionable or unauthorized changes? If so, dangerous malware installed by predators or hackers may already be lurking.
What can I do with hackers and predators?
When armed with information and resources, you are wiser about computer security threats and less vulnerable to threat tactics. Hackers and predators represent equally serious but very different threats.
Protect yourself while online
Continuously check the accuracy of personal accounts and resolve any discrepancies immediately.
Be very careful when entering chat rooms or posting personal web pages
Limit the personal information you post on personal web pages.
Closely monitor requests for predatory behavior from “friends” or acquaintances online
Keep personal and financial information out of online conversations
Be very careful when agreeing to meet a “friend” or acquaintance online in person
Security tips to prevent piracy
Use a two-way firewall
Update your operating system regularly
Increase your browser’s security settings
Avoid questionable websites
Download software from trusted sites only. Please carefully evaluate the free software and file sharing applications before downloading them.
Practice secure email and antivirus / malware protocols
Do not open messages from unknown senders
Immediately delete messages that you suspect are spam
Make sure you have the best security software products installed on your PC:
Use virus protection
Get anti-spyware software protection
Protect yourself from dangerous online threats
An unsecured computer is like an open door for hackers and predators. To take it one step further, protect your computer from hackers by using a spam filter or gateway to scan your inbox or instant messages. Products like Webroot AntiVirus and Webroot Internet Security Complete fight dangerous malware before it can enter your PC, monitor every possible entry to your computer, and repel any spyware or viruses that try to enter, even the most malicious and devious strains. While there are free antivirus and antispyware downloads available, they cannot keep up with the constant stream of new varieties of malware. Previously undetected forms of malware tend to cause the most damage, so guaranteed and up-to-date protection is key.