How to Control Cyber Crime
By David Harris
Cyber crime refers to any criminal activity that takes place over the Internet. Examples include fraud, malware such as viruses, identity theft and cyber stalking. Just like any sort of crime, common sense is your most valuable ally when dealing with cyber criminals. Never open suspicious documents. Don't give out personal information to people you don't know. And be wary when approached with a suspicious proposition. You can also configure your computer to stop potential cyber criminals from gaining access to sensitive information.
Learn about cyber crime and talk to your family about how to identify scams. Never give out your personal information to anyone you do not know on the Web.
Use a firewall to protect your computer from hackers. Most security software comes with a firewall. Turn on the firewall that comes with your router as well.
Purchase and install anti-virus software such as McAfee or Norton Anti-Virus. AVG offers free anti-virus protection if you do not wish to purchase software.
Shop only at secure websites. Look for a Truste or VeriSign seal when checking out. Never give your credit card information to a website that looks suspicious or to someone you don't know.
Use strong passwords on your accounts that are difficult to guess. Include both letters and numerals in your passwords. Never use a word that is easy to guess -- like your wife's name.
Keep watch over your children and how they use the Internet. Install parental control software to limit where they can surf.
David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.