Looking to Lose Your Identity This Holiday Season? Here Are Five Tips

Opening all attachments and e-mail messages from strangers is a sure-fire way to provide thieves with personal information and financial data.

By Kara Reeder | Posted Nov 23, 2009
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As the holiday season approaches, it's not only a great time for online retailers, but also cyber criminals looking to steal data and money from the unwary millions looking for gifts online.

In a tongue-in-cheek piece, Computerworld offers a list of tips to help shoppers make their systems more attractive to online thieves:

 

  1. Opening all attachments and e-mail messages from strangers is a sure-fire way to provide thieves with personal information and financial data.
  2. Be sure to respond to those Nigerian e-mails that ask for help in getting million of dollars out of the country. Providing bank account information, login credentials, date of birth and mother's maiden name will certainly ensure you receive the reward for your help.
  3. Make sure to configure your peer-to-peer client to include bank account, Social Security and credit card numbers so that information is easily available to anyone on the same P2P network.
  4. Create obvious passwords. This saves criminals time and effort in accessing your PC.
  5. Do not install the latest anti-malware tools and security updates or patch your operating system. Making sure your anti-virus software and anti-spyware tools are at least 18 months out of date, or not using them at all, makes life so much easier for hackers. Along the same lines, not updating your software provides cyber criminals an easy avenue for attack, as this recent attack on older versions of Internet Explorer shows.

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