Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

A 'Whac-A-Mole' Approach to Preventing Identity Theft

2
Pin It

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Computerworld illustrates the current state of information security by citing a childhood arcade game: “If you’ve ever played the silly, maddening game known as “Whac-A-Mole,” you know what futility feels like. As you smack one mole with the mallet, up pops another one. Their speed and number escalates as you flail away, trying to keep up. At some point, you realize there’s no hope of winning.” That’s why I hated that game. I was attracted to it at first, because, like Barney Rubbles’ son Bam Bam, I liked hitting stuff with blunt instruments. But that only takes you so far. To win, you need skill and precision.

In today’s world of cyber security and identity theft prevention, it isn’t enough to chase the next mole and whack it with another patch, or shred your own data and hope that someone doesn’t hack your cell phone company. You need to understand the problem and proactively implement a solution.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, hackers hacked for challenge, fun, and fame. It made them popular among other hackers. Soon after, consumers began spending more time online. They used their PCs to shop, bank, and manage personal affairs. Now, hackers aren’t just wreaking havoc, deleting files, or making IT administrators miserable, they’re also stealing proprietary data. Now, the real game is illegal financial gain. Hackers’ motivations have changed, which means that you need to change your perceptions of what a computer is, and how to operate it. It’s no longer something to just play Solitaire, or a play where you socialize with friends. Now, it’s a cash register to a hacker. It’s a bank. And it should be treated and respected like a vault.

  1. Run Windows Update, or it may also be labeled “Microsoft Update,” on your PC. If you have Windows XP, you want “Service Pack 3” installed. You can also go to “Control Panel” and then “Security Center” and turn on automatic updates, so Microsoft will install the latest security upgrades automatically. If you have Vista, the process is similar, but you want “Service Pack 1.”
  2. Install antivirus software. Most PCs come bundled with software that runs for free for up to a year. Once it expires, you need to renew the license. If you don’t, every day that your software isn’t updated provides more opportunity for criminal hackers to turn your PC into a zombie that sends viruses to other PCs or sends spam shilling Viagra.
  3. Install anti-spyware software. Most antivirus providers define spyware as a virus now. However, it’s still best to run a spyware removal program once a month or so, to ensure that your PC is rid of software that could allow a criminal hacker to remotely monitor your data, keystrokes, and the websites you visit.
  4. Use Firefox. Internet Explorer is clunky, and the most frequently hacked software that exists. Mozilla’s Firefox is more secure.
  5. Secure your wireless. If you’re running an unsecured wireless connection at your home or office, anyone can jump on the network and access your files from up to 500 feet away. Your router should have instructions on how to set up WEP or WPA security. WPA is better. If this is a foreign language to you, you should either hire someone, or ask your 15 year old for help.
  6. Install a firewall. Microsoft’s operating system comes with a built-in firewall, but it isn’t especially secure. Go with a third party firewall that comes prepackaged with antivirus software.
  7. Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
  8. Invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Prevention. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what’s buzzing out there in regards to YOU.

Includes;

Personal Identity Profile – Find out if you’re at risk for identity theft with a detailed report of your identity information, including a current credit report, address history, aliases, and more.

24/7 Identity Monitoring and Alerts – Prevent identity theft with automatic monitoring that scans billions of public records daily and alerts you to suspicious activity.

Identity Recovery Assistance – Let professionals help you recover your identity if you ever become a victim of identity theft.

Robert Siciliano, identity theft speaker, discusses criminal hackers targeting wireless devices on Fox News.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Your Online Bank Account'; Criminal Hackers Hacking It
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker Expert Why hack your online bank? Because thats where the money is! White Hat Hackers (good guys) probably never anticipated whats happening. There are more viruses out there than ever. Black Hat Hackers (bad guys) are in full force. Back in the year 2000 some have said the white hats were about
  • Most People Don’t Understand Cyber Threats
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Michael Chertoff, who ran the Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, says there’s a reason that computer security isn’t up to the threat posed by cyber criminals: Doing it right is too complicated for most people. “You have to offer people solutions that they are comfortable with,” he said. Cybercrime
  • Hackers Hacked Away in Las Vegas
    For the uninitiated, per Wikipedia “DEF CON” (also written as DEFCON or Defcon) is one of the world’s largest annual hacker conventions, held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first DEF CON took place in June 1993. Many of the attendees at DEFCON include computer security professionals, journalists, lawyers, federal government employees, crackers, cyber-criminals, security
  • Wireless Security” is an Oxymoron, But There is Hope
    WiFi is everywhere. Whether you travel for business or simply need Internet access while out and about, your options are plentiful. You can sign on at airports, hotels, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and now, airplanes. What are your risk factors when accessing wireless? There are plenty. WiFi wasn’t born to be secure. It was
  • 5 ways Criminals hack your PC
    Hackers are hell-bent on busting into the network of their targets. They are persistent—never giving up. When you build your defense against cyber criminals, it must be done with the idea that they WILL succeed. When you operate on this assumption rather than thinking that your anti this and anti that are all you need,

2 Responses to “A 'Whac-A-Mole' Approach to Preventing Identity Theft”

I LOVE the whack-a-mole analogy. I can’t think of a better way to describe the challenge for both consumers/end-users and security professionals alike. Great article.

Thanks Mike. Check mike out at http://www.superantispyware.com/

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category