It is essential that you learn how to avoid becoming the target of digital thieves. Today, the world is full of constant advancements in technology and digital advancements. In a world that is full of harsh economic conditions, this could prove to be a recipe for disaster. There are millions upon millions of thieves that are standing by and actively seeking out opportunities to obtain your personal information so that they may commit a fraudulent crime, such as identity theft, making unapproved purchases, and crimes that are similar in nature. At Somerville National Bank, we feel it is important to help you from becoming a victim of these types of crimes. In the past couple of weeks, you have learned how thieves collect data, the dangers of malware, and phishing scams. This week, you will learn about spyware and how digital thieves may use spyware to commit fraud.

What is Spyware?
Spyware is a name that is given to a specially-designed type of malware. Spyware may be installed on a computer and is capable of collecting information about the users of that system. Unfortunately, spyware is typically installed without your knowledge and collects information about you without your even being aware of it. In most instances, spyware will obtain information pertaining to your internet habits. It will collect data about the websites that you visit. It may also interfere with your ability to control your computer. It may obtain access to sensitive information on your computer. It may even redirect your web browser to a specified location or install additional types of information that has the ability to collect data about you, as a person.

Protecting Yourself from Spyware
If you use a computer – or, any other internet-accessible device – it is imperative that you take the steps necessary to protect yourself from spyware. There are, essentially, two main points when it comes to protecting yourself against fraud. First, you must protect the computer or internet accessible device that you use. Second, you must be extremely cautious while on the internet and place a special emphasis on protecting yourself. The following steps will allow you to succeed in both of these endeavors:

  • First, you should ensure that you install software on your internet-accessible devices that are designed to protect your from viruses, malware, and spyware.
  • Your operating system should be updated on a regular basis.
  • All of the applications that you use should be secure and updated.
  • If you utilize a wireless network in order to access the internet, you should make sure that it is encrypted.
  • All spam email should be blocked and you should never open emails or attachments within emails from individuals in which you are not familiar.
  • You should always use passwords that are difficult for others to figure out. All of your passwords should contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect yourself from online fraud, you may contact us here at Somerville National Bank by clicking HERE.