They may think they are the Yosemite Sams
of the modern world,
you are the New Sheriff in your town!
Can you keep these Black Hat/Bad Guy Outlaws (identity thieves) under control?
Marauding outlaws (identity thieves) of today don't come moseying up bow-legged into your
path with a six-gun slung across their hip telling you to,
"Stick em up, or else." Instead, todays modern
Internet outlaws can be
in and out of your life without a trace of you knowing what has
With the explosive popularity of the Internet, untold numbers of
citizens are blindly allowing computer data miners and Internet
Outlaws to collect
sensitive information from their computers.
information can be used for many purposes, but the main issue
here is that the information is stolen from people who quite
literally hand it over with a smile.
A random click here on a
harmless looking popup or web link can mean the difference
between a safe surfing experience, and one that results in a
Average Internet surfers just starting out have no idea if its
normal for them to win a thousand dollars with a single click or
not, much less if its normal for them to have to scroll through
many sites to get to the one they first clicked on. Therein lays
the Holy Grail for the Internet Outlaws and modern day marauders.
Hijacking is one of the most serious threats to internet safety.
These rascally scoundrels will set programs and lay in wait,
watching your every move of your computer.
They see that you
innocently want to search for something and suddenly, you are
taken to one of their websites. They hijacked your computer and
made you go where they wanted you to go! Once at their site,
which are often fake search engine and portal sites, you begin
to get pop-ups, these identity thieves tagged your computer with
modern-day invisible post-it note reminders.
Once these reminder files are embedded, they function like
little thieving robots, storing and sending information on all the searches, websites,
links that YOU and your family have clicked on in the past three
months. In addition to that, there have now been hidden programs
installed on your computer that generate a myriad of pop-up ads.
The crook has planted his hijack, and only has to sit back and
watch his booty collect.
You and your entire family are exposed and at risk. Your banking
info, your credit card statements, even your cell phone are all
potential threats just because you just simply didnt know you
were making yourself an attractive target.
Hijacking is one of
the most alarmingly popular means of marauding today, but
take heart, there are ways to combat these identity thieves and impose
your own form of Martial Law to protect your family.
The first line of
defense is a good firewall.
Firewalls come in
many different versions and are made by many companies. There
are software firewalls
(define), and hardware based ones as well, but
they all serve a similar purpose.
The purpose of a firewall is like a gate: nothing comes in or
goes out through your Internet connection without you knowing
about it. Firewalls, however, are only as good as the persons
using them. Knowledge is power, and you should familiarize
yourself with the normal functions and files that it takes to
|When you know the real deal, counterfeit files or intruders are
many times more likely to be recognized and apprehended. When
this happens, you will not be finding yourself in uncharted
territory and will be able to click "Access Denied" with
Secondly, the market has come out with some really good
that are specially designed to prevent your browser from being
overtaken and can eventually save you from a totally dominated
and bombarded computer.
Software such as this is not used as a replacement for a
firewall or antiviral defense. In fact, today, a myriad of
software solutions should be used to keep your system totally
clean and under your control.
Lastly, a good anti-spyware program is a good means at combating
the problem of
hijacking. It will guard against the editing of your registry
which would command the start up of malware as well as prevent
any information from being broadcast over the net or emailed
back to the user. Some anti-spy programs will also guard against
hijacking, but if you are a victim of hijacking, they will also
prevent the usual serious repercussions of the hijack.
Prevention is key
Remember, prevention is key. It is much easier to start with a
clean system, implement a firewall, antiviral software, anti-spyware,
and anti-hijack software than it is to painstakingly scrub clean
an infected system. After all, its a lot easier to return to a
mouth that has fed you, than to find another hand.
The last thing you should remember is that ownership is of
If one chooses to be likened unto an ostrich and chooses to not
educate themselves on the dangers that lurk about in this modern
Wild West, that puts them at a severe disadvantage. Nobody is
too old or too young to be aware of the dangers of this world,
and it is just vital to change with the times and adapt.
Familiarize yourself with firewalls and anti-hijacking software,
get to know how your computer works, and you will be well on
your way toward making sure you are safe from marauding Identity
thieves and Internet outlaws!
... Elise Barker