Chapter 3

Viruses, Spyware, and Scams — Oh My!


In This Chapter

  • Uninviting hackers to your Internet party
  • Protecting yourself from viruses
  • Identifying scams


It doesn't matter how you do it; from the minute you connect your computer to the Internet, you've hung a giant neon welcome sign in front of your humble little cyber-abode.

Software companies have gotten better over the years when it comes to security, but they're still not perfect. Programs and operating systems still ship with security flaws. Why? Because security features cause operating systems to become complicated, and in the battle between high security and user friendliness, guess which one usually wins? Unfortunately, many of the holes are extremely difficult — if not impossible — for most users to find and turn off. On top of that, lots of popular Internet programs find their way into your device's information. It doesn't matter if it's a home computer or a mobile device — everything has some kind of hole in it.

Some of the scariest horror movies begin at home. Bad situations just seem a little more horrifying when they happen close to you. This chapter looks at some of the more common troubles you can encounter online and what you can do to avoid these terrors.

Investigating the Common Ways Your Information Can Be ...

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