The short answer is “Yes”. The threat against your personal computer is growing. So are the dangers of computer crime against business and government information systems. Among the major threats you face are cyber thieves who are affiliated with international organized crime.
Nation states that commit espionage and malicious hackers (computer geeks who enjoy causing you grief) are part of the problem as well. All computer intrusions, however, have the capability of overlapping.
The “bad guys” are on the prowl all the time. They are scanning the more than 65,000 ports on your computer and thousands of cyber criminals are looking for vulnerabilities. When unintended openings are found a computer cracker will exploit the weaknesses and enter your computer for nefarious purposes.
When your computer system’s privacy is breached the un-welcomed visitor is likely to have access to whatever personal information is stored. Lawbreakers can glean your bank and credit numbers as well as any other confidential information on your system. The cyber criminal can burough deeply into your computer and enlist it in a bot army and use your machine to attack and infect others.
Intruders can even turn your computer “on” and “off” remotely and run applications stored on your hard drive. You can be misrepresented to others or easily have your identity stolen. A cyber thief can cause problems with information related to your tax records or even take out loans in your name or alter your social security information.
Every digital device you use or possess could be a problem. The threat is continuous. What can you do? Listed below are several general concepts:
1. You must become proactive and take steps to enhance the strength of your computer’s security. Most people only do the basics and think they have solved the problem.
2. Educate yourself as to the steps you can take to greatly increase the chance that you avoid becoming a victim of computer crime.
3. Be vigilant. Threats to the security of your computer change on a daily basis. Cyber criminals can purchase programs on the Internet that work 24 hours a day. You must continually adapt and follow routine steps to keep up with evolving threats (eg. updating the newest version of software stored on your computer).
4. Be “on alert”. Test your computer’s vulnerability. Make the adjustments that are necessary. Protect your information assets at all costs.
You can find numerous sources to improve your computer security on the Internet. Securing your information assets is very important. Unless you do so you can put yourself or your family at risk. The risk is dramatically increasing. Law enforcement officials can do very little to protect you. Take the matter of securing your computer into your own hands and follow through with your security plan.
Invading a person’s computer is a low risk, high pay-off crime. Law enforcement can do very little, if anything, to stop it or to catch the criminals. They know it and act with impunity.
You must engage now or become a victim.