Protect Your Identity, Credit Card Information, and Computer
Learn how to protect your identity, credit card information, and computer.
For a quick introduction to protecting your personal identity, check out this presentation (PDF) (BC sign-in required).
- Are your identity and credit card information safe?
- Are your online activities being watched?
- Is your computer safe from viruses?
- Are your documents and files easily accessible to others?
Are your identity and credit card information safe?
Phishing is when you receive an email that appears to be from a well-known company, but is actually attempting to steal your credit card numbers and other personal information!
- Learn how to spot phishing emails from Citibank.
- Learn what to do, if you think your identity has been stolen from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
Are your online activities being watched?
Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.
Read the full definition from Wikipedia.
How do I remove malware and spyware from my Windows computer?
Learn how to install and use Windows software that can detect and remove malware, including spyware and adware, from your computer:
Note: It is recommended that you clean your computer after removing malware by using one of the following programs:
- CCleaner (free) - for Windows
Is your computer safe from viruses?
An unprotected computer can become infected within 15 minutes of being on the Internet. Do not let your computer be a target!
- Learn how to protect your PC.
- Learn about your options to back-up your documents and files at Boston College.
- Read the Top Cyber Security Tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Are your documents and files easily accessible to others?
Use of unsecured wireless networks can put you at risk.
Wireless networks broadcast and retrieve data through the air using radio frequencies, similar to those used by cordless phones. Data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, email or instant messages, transmitted “in the clear” over an unencrypted wireless service can be intercepted and viewed by a malicious user without your knowledge. Data that is submitted via an unsecure Web site or application is even more vulnerable. We recommend that you use the BC secure wireless network (BC sign-in required).
When you are connected to file-sharing programs for music, games, or software, you may unknowingly allow others to copy private files you never intended to share.
- Learn about the risks of filesharing from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
Want to learn more?
Learn about stopping unwanted email and spam, protecting your computer from hackers and viruses, keeping your personal info private, and keeping children safe online from www.GetNetWise.org.
Learn more about fraudulent (phishing) emails, including how to spot them:
- Learn how to identify fraudulent email and phishing schemes from Microsoft.
- Read this FTC alert about phishing.
- Learn about one anti-phishing group.
Learn about the risks of being online and how you can protect your computer:
- Check out the SecurityFocus Home User's Security Checklist for Windows.
- Looking for software that can safely store all your Windows passwords?
Check out Password Safe.
- Learn how to stay safe online from OnGuardOnline.gov.
- Learn how to recognize and avoid spyware from US-CERT (Computer Readiness Readiness Team).
- Learn about spyware from the FTC.
Learn more about identity theft:
- Learn about identity theft and fraud from the US Dept of Justice.
- Check out these identity theft resources from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
- Learn about identity theft from the Fight Identity Theft site.
AOL/NCSA Online Safety Study: Read the results (PDF) of one of the largest & most comprehensive in-home studies ever conducted on the security of computer users.