The Antispyware Dilemma

Spyware is something we cannot escape from if we use the Internet. But if we stay abreast of how some antispyware vendors can give us a free ride, we can make an informed choice in completing our transaction.

Imagine you receive a phone call that claims to be from your bank. You answer and a message on your caller ID screen asks you if you would like to verify your account. The bank then asks you for your security number under what occurs to verify whether or not you are the authorized user. Once you give them your number, they will send you to your online bank so you can change your password. In other words, you give them your account number.

Now, fast forward to your bank’s website. You’re on your banking page, and you’re reading about all the recent security breaches and you’re wondering…sure, seems like somebody else has been using my account. But I haven’t, how can they be using my account? But sure enough, they tell you that they’ve shut down your account because…um…um…the bank thought that your previous owner left you a security hole. You get a confirmation that your number is on the list to be used as directed by your bank.

Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?

But wait! Don’t get excited. There’s one little flaw I noticed with the lender’s website. The address bar at the top of the home page now says “asdf” instead of “https”. As you stare at that web page with your grievous eyes, you start to wonder how safe you really are. (And I really hope that your safety is valued because I really don’t want to risk it!)

Part of the security issue is the inability to access the institution’s site with cookies, since the company’s own website is disabled. It sounds logical that an institution would want to control the use of their name, but a lot of websites have lax permission and will even use their criticism to poke holes in your armor.

So, can you make the statement that you have no hook, thus showing up for scheduled interviews is a waste of time? I don’t think so.

Look, whoever wants to throw some logs in your Firefox browsers needs to be hanged. It doesn’t mean that there’s anybody out there that wants to harm you. It’s just that there are criminals who think that what they’re doing is okay.

Troll baiting is okay. It’s the virtual equivalent of hanging a advertisement out to dry. You are going to get some bad reviews somewhere, and some people are going to hate you for what you are doing. Let them. But know that the people who write bad things about you will find a way to attack you if they can.

What I am saying is, if you are vigilant about backing up your computer, about keeping your firewall updated, and about purchasing products that will aid in protecting your identity, you will tend to create more problems for thieves than they will.

When I was growing up, and certainly today, we didn’t have the internet and e-mail to fall back on. When we did, we relied on what our parents told us to do. If they didn’t have us hooked up to the telephone at night, they would hear about the things that went on at school.

I can’t tell you how many times my friends called home and worried parents were on the other end, telling them geared towards their children.

Not to worry about predators. Ask them how many times they go out on trips organized by school groups. Find out if there is such a thing as organized stalking by chatting with someone who knows you online.

It’s kind of a bad situation if you are being protected by someone you don’t know stands to some evil internet person.

Take some precautions and you might just save yourself from a LOT of grief.

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