“One man sees the dirty window; the other sees the beautiful view”

The internet is your window to the world. The opportunities are endless.

Internet security issues and online crime ranges from petty vandalism to deliberate theft. Criminals and vandals attempt to spoil your internet experience in several ways.

It’s important you understand how, so let’s look at this now.

Hoax emails (sometimes known as Phishing) appear to come from a legitimate company asking to confirm your details or passwords either by return email or a webpage link.

Hackers use their technical skills and special software to gain unauthorized access to your computer. They may steal files and personal details. Gain access to your internet service and even destroy your computer.

Non-genuine websites (sometimes known as Phishing) claim to offer quality products or services. The purpose of these websites is to steal your credit card details or email address when you place an order or submit your details on the website to receive an offer.

SPAM (Self Promotional Advertising Message) is unsolicited email, now illegal in many countries and banned by many ISP’s (Internet Service Providers).

Trojans & Spyware is software that hides within a legitimate looking application or utility on your computer. Once installed a Trojan can launch itself and act like or provide access for a hacker. Spyware installs itself on your computer and sends reports on your computer activity back to its host.

Viruses & Worms are software applications often spread via email and infect your computer. Once installed they can steal email addresses from your contact list and then the virus will attempt to infect other computers via those email addresses.

Probably the most concerning of the internet security issues for you is identity theft.

An informative (easy to read) summary of the Javelin Strategy & Research Center’s annual identity theft report can be found here.

The summary explains

“Identity theft is defined as the process of using someone else’s personal information for your own personal gain.”

“Low-tech methods for stealing personal information are still the most popular for identity thieves. Stolen wallets and physical documents accounted for 43% of all identity theft, while online methods accounted for only 11%.”

While the online methods are minimal this does not suggest you can be complacent. The effects of internet security issues can be devastating, time consuming and expensive.

Now that you are aware of the internet security issues, like any life experience you need to learn how to minimize the risks.

What are the best ways to protect your online security?