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Identity Theft Protection


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#1 rlight

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 12:03 AM

Howdy,
With all the stuff going on with identity theft these days, is there a reliable and trustworthy source that can provide information that will help protect my PC, bank accounts, etc?



thanks
rlight

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#2 fozzie

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:12 AM

Being safe on the internet is a mixture of the right programmes and some common knowledge. There are some great tutorials on how to surf safe and more importantly stay safe

BEST PRACTICES: PC World's Avoid viruses & Scams

Simple steps to keep your computer secure!

Antivirus, Antimalware, And Antispyware Resources

Making Internet Explorer Safer

Understanding and Using Firewalls

All About E-mail

If you after reading these need some pointers please feel free to ask.

#3 jgweed

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 08:44 AM

Never store sensitive information on your hard drive. Period.
Never provide sensitive information over the Internet unless you are absolutely positive you are 1) providing it to a legitimate source and 2) the information is necessary.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#4 Walkman

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:22 PM

Never store sensitive information on your hard drive. Period.
Never provide sensitive information over the Internet unless you are absolutely positive you are 1) providing it to a legitimate source and 2) the information is necessary.
Regards,
John

It doesn't get any clearer than that.

And here are some more helpful tips to help you reduce the chances of your identity being stolen from your computer:

1. Never use your real name on your computer. What I mean is never use your real name when creating an account on your computer.
2. Never use an email address provided to you from your isp.
3. Never use a POP3 setup on your computer to retrieve your emails, and especially Outlook/Express.
4. Never use the internet without PeerGuardian 2. That alone will help protect you by blocking any and every known/reported malicious ip address/website from connecting to your computer. Even if you have malicious software on your computer that connects to the internet, PeerGuardian 2 will block it. Nothing gets in, and nothing gets out. It's better than Black Ice, and other so-called firewalls.
5. Never store your personal information on the computer that you use to surf with.
6. Never store your business information on the computer that you use to surf with.
7. Never give out your real email address. Use a FREE one, and have it forward it to your real one.
8. Never open emails from those that which you don't know. Just delete them instantly.
9. Never click on links within emails from sources in which you don't know where they came from. Actually.. refer to no#8.... just use a copy/paste method (into Notepad 1st), and then you'll reveal the real location of where you're going to link to.
10. Never use your real information when using softwares. If you bought the software, try using another name.. if not, then you'll have to use the name that paid for it. But even with my paid softwares, I register all of them under different names. I just tell them that I have a webmaster, and he's handling all the softwares.... The webmaster is myself.
11. Never surf the internet without Tor (Tor, Privoxy, Vildalia = 1 package).

Those are just a few right off the back tips that will keep you more secure when surfing and protecting your identity while you're on the internet.

But remember this:
Nothing in the world can replace or come close to common sense. So use it, and use it wisely.

#5 rlight

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:37 PM

Thanks to all,
In reference to PeerGuardian2, is this a firewall? If it is, I am currently using ZoneAlarm will it be in conflict with ZA? Also, is there a link to PeerGuardian2?

rlight

#6 Walkman

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 12:32 AM

You can get PeerGuardian 2 by going here:
http://phoenixlabs.org

Also, I've made this thread about PeerGuardian 2 here:

PeerGuardian 2 Users - Please Read
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...=25&t=77853

and the thread below is where I had shed some light on Tor

Tor Question
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/83994/tor-question/

The reason I stand by PeerGuardian 2 is that it's better than any firewall I've ever used, and if you have a firewall right now, I can show you at this moment why your firewall probably isn't doing it's job, compared to PeerGuardian 2.

Test no# 1. Load up your firewall, then open your browser.... any one. Then go to:

http://www.google.com
http://www.microsoft.com (these are just 2 examples out of 2.9 billion real examples)

If you can get to those sites without any problems, then your firewall has failed you. And the reason it failed you is the fact that those 2 web sites alone have been reported and researched fully, and that's why they're on the blocked ip lists. You can still go to those sites, but not by default if you use PeerGuardian 2. You just allow the site manually for just a a few minutes or so, and then you block them after the time runs out for them to be connected to your computer/ip address. Very simple, and very effective.

Test no#2.
Connect to the internet,, and watch your network light show activity. That means something is going out, and something is coming in. At the same time, click on the Windows Update button, and watch your computer connect you to the Windows update center. Again, your firewall isn't doing it's job, by default.

If you have PeerGuardian 2 installed and loaded, you'll see all the ip's that your computer is blocking instantly.. and many of which I'm sure are connecting to your computer right now. And if you see the names of those companies/ip's connecting to you, you will be alarmed at what you constantly let connect to your computer.

Test no#3. Load up any proxy software that you have, and although you'll have a different ip address, that same ip address will follow you as you surf the internet. You're not protecting your privacy that way.

Test no#4. Load up Tor (Tor, Privoxy, Vidalia) and when you surf online, each time you go from web site to website, your ip address will change. You're on a network of many anonymous servers, and no one knows which server is which, .. and the Tor networks itself cannot monitor you while you're on the networks. They specifically designed it that way, to keep everyone anonymous. Now you're protecting yourself.

The way the internet has become, it's either protect yourself, or simply get exploited. There is no other way to explain it.

Now, I personally surf the internet with an ease of mind. But until you Use at least PeerGuardian 2, I can, and will guarantee you that bad ip's are connecting to your computer without your firewalls detecting it. Also, with PeerGuardian 2, the lists are updated daily, (or just about).

But right now, I'm actually blocking 2.9 billion ip's from connecting to my computer, and blocking my computer from connecting to those same ip's. Can anyone say their firewall is providing them that same protection or better? Actually, it doesn't get better than that.

And then use Firefox?, along with NoScript, ShowIp add on?......along with Tor?... you'll be better protected and less likely that anyone can steal your identity from your computer.

Do not play around with your identity, and it's your duty and responsibility to guard it with everything you can do.

#7 jgweed

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 07:50 AM

While site advisors can be useful, please bear in mind they are not a substitute for a firewall. The two applications do entirely different things, and a firewall is NOT designed to prevent you from going to Google, Microsoft, or anywhere else, for that matter.

"Can PeerGuardian replace my firewall?
No! PeerGuardian has been heavily optimized for what it needs to do and is _not_ a replacement for your firewall."

http://phoenixlabs.org/pg2/faq/

Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#8 Sometwo

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:18 AM

I'm surprised no one mentioned phishing. Definintely make sure you are aware of phishing and how to prevent yourself from being a victim of it. Check out "The underground economy: priceless" which is a short report about the Internets black market where amoung other things, peoples identities are bought/sold/traded. I decided to research it myself and found peoples identites (everything from there full name to there ATM PIN) were being given away for free in hacker oriented IRC channels. I assume the only way to get that much info on someone is through a phishing scam where a scamer sends an email that looks like it's from your bank and asks you to update your financial information, except your information goes to the criminal instead of the bank.

Infact Dateline NBC is doing a special on ID theifs and the Internet's under ground econmony. You can watch the first episode online under Dateline VIDEOS The next part of the series will air tonight at 8pm.

#9 Walkman

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:50 AM

Yes.. that's very true indeed, and mainly because one of firewalls main ability is to prevent programs from running and (or) accessing the internet, and visa-versa, and they help control your ports security. If a person does use a firewall, that's good too. I guess it boils down to how secure a person wants to be on their computer.

But no matter what a person uses, if they add PeerGuardian 2 to what they have loaded already (except McAfee and a few others), they'll see ip's that their current firewall isn't blocking.... which are ip addresses known to have done one malicious deed or another to more than one computer, and have been reported to the researchers team that researches ip addresses by numerous people to determine if they're bad or not. If they get listed on the PG2 blocked list, they've been proven to be malicious in one way or another.. .. and that's why there are categories for the ip block lists. Some category lists are so dangerous, you'd be asking for hackers, virus writers and others to simply come into your home (your computer) without the protection you need.

In the end, just be sure that you've covered every possible area to reduce the chances of being a victim of identity theft.

#10 HitSquad

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:01 PM

You should also keep important data on your drive encrypted and password locked.
If something\someone does gain access, they won't be able to do anything with it anyway.
It should also be mentioned that even in todays cyberworld, the #1 cause of identity theft is still from paper documents. If you don't own a shredder, get one. With the exception of bills, never pay by check for anything. In the event you become a victim:

If someone is using your identity and cashing your checks or credit cards, you should:


a) Contact all three credit bureaus and issue a fraud alert. Check your credit report six months later and look for items you don't recognize.
:thumbsup: Provide a copy of your driver's license to each agency's fraud unit in order to register an affidavit.
c) Contact the proper authorities in writing, via certified receipt request.
d) Inform your local police department, Social Security Administration and all creditors with whom you have accounts.

Credit bureaus:
Equifax: 800-525-6285
Experian: 888-397-3742
Transunion: 800-680-7289
SSA Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271

If a thief steals your identity and begins racking up debt:

A) Contact the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies. Request that your account be flagged and add a victim's statement saying, "MY ID has been used to fraudulently apply for credit. Call me at this number to verify all applications." Find out how long the fraud alert will be posted and how to extend it if you need to. Check your credit report and look for items you don't recognize.

:flowers: Contact your credit card companies and financial institutions to report the fraud. Get new cards, have old accounts colsed with a memo stating, "account closed at customer's request." Follow up in writing.

C) Call the police and get the crime on record, then get a copy of the police report. Keep a log of all conversations including date, name, phone number, and the information provided.

D) Notify the Federal Trade Commission, which keeps a database of identity thefts. Phone: (888) FTC-HELP; Address: FTC, CRC-40, Washington D.C. 20580.

E) Notify you bank and if necessary, cancel checking and savings accounts and get new account numbers. Request a password that may be used in every transaction. Get a new ATM card, account number and password. Don't use your SS # or birthdate as a password.

F) Don't pay any bill or part of a bill resulting from identity theft.

#11 Sometwo

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 08:53 AM

10 ways to protect your ID (Updated 6/27/2005)

1. Burn or shred, with a cross shredder, any mail or financial papers with your personal information on it. Never recycle them.

2. Call 1-888-5OPTOUT and ask to stop credit card companies from sending pre-approved credit card applications to your house. They are ticking identity theft time bombs.

3. Ask your credit card firm to cease delivery of "convenience checks." They, too, are ticking time bombs.

4. You're entitled to one free credit report each year. Get it as soon as possible and review it carefully.

5. Order a credit report a month or more before you make a big purchase or apply for credit, to be sure there are no surprises in your history.

6. Hassle companies that ask for personal information, such as your phone number at a checkout line. The harder we make it on companies, the less they will be inclined to continue the practice.

7. It's impossible to tell what's real and what's fake online. Just delete any e-mail that asks for personal information.

8. Just hang up on telemarketers, particularly ones who seem to be fishing for personal information, like your birthday.

9. Limit the number of credit cards you hold, and religiously inspect your financial statements each month. Consumer rights quickly fade over time; the sooner you discover an identity theft incident, the better.

10. Most of the time, you can't prevent an ID theft incident from occuring, because two-thirds of the time, some company that leaked the data is to blame. So be prepared, and be organized. Save paper bank records for a year, at least. You'll need them to prove your account balance in the event of a ID theft incident.

#12 rlight

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:49 AM

Thanks to everyone for your imput on this topic, I really appreciate it!!!

Have a great Easter. HE HAS RISEN....


rlight




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