Computer Crime Research Center


Cut your online risks

Date: October 31, 2005

Industry security experts have launched a new guide containing practical advice on how to cut the risks of online fraud.

Internet security is a growing concern for all users, even for those who only use websites every now and then, leading to an increased need for everyone to take relevant steps to prevent identity fraud.

IT solution firm Experian has released a free and easy to understand guide, outlining 13 steps which can be used to help more users protect themselves.

First on the list is ensuring that you install a reputable anti-viral program, more reliable that just using the free software available on most networks, and set it up to update on a regular basis.

Anti-spyware software is also a vital part of protecting your computers, according to Experian, allowing you to reject unauthorised cookies and reduce the risk of letting spyware or Trojans into your system.

Being careful to only use WiFi or Bluetooth in places you trust can help, while firewalls and patches can boost overall levels of security and refusing to open e-mails from unknown sources is advised.

"As more and more people go online to shop and manage their finances, cyber criminals become cleverer at finding ways to relieve us of our personal information," warned Jill Stevens.

Further advice contained in the guide includes deleting sensitive information, copying important data to back-up CDs and using a shredder to dispose of any statements or personal documents.

Internet fraud cost users around £117 million last year and this figure is expected to rise as increasing numbers of consumers become users.
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