Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

How Can Someone Get Private Information From My Computer?

From the "Ask Booster" column in the June 17, 2005 issue of Booster's Auction News, a free ezine for online auction sellers and enthusiasts.

Dear Booster,

How can someone get private information from my computer?

Thank you,

Evan S.
Minnesota U.S.A.

Dear Evan,

Hackers can get your private information from your computer in a number of ways. Here are the top ways they do it:

* Computer viruses, spyware and adware from e-mails you've received and/or websites you've visited.

* Hacker programs that find unprotected IP addresses are subject to attack. An IP address is a series of several numbers (ex. that identifies your location on the internet. It's like your "internet" telephone number.

* Entering your financial information (i.e., credit card info) into a website that does not offer secure order processing. Your internet browser should show you that you've entered a secure site.

* Having your financial information "intercepted" by a hacker while shopping online at a legitimate website. This is called "pharming" and is becoming a more worrisome threat.

* You downloaded software from that contained a malicious program.

* You fall victim to a "phishing" or "spoof" scam, whereby you GIVE your personal information away.

* Phishing and spoof e-mails appear as if they are coming from a legitimate website. The e-mail generally alarms the recipient with a message such as "your account has been suspended" or telling you that you need to "verify your account." Most eBay and PayPal users have received at least one (if not several more) spoof e-mails appearing to come from either eBay or PayPal.

eBay has information showing you how to spot spoof. I highly recommend your take a few moments and visit for this brief tutorial.

* Another growing threat is called "malware" which is a spyware. Malware is a malicious software which logs your keystrokes and forwards the information to a hacker. This type of software can come through viruses and is often included in downloaded applications.

Knowing how to protect yourself can greatly reduce your risk of identity theft. Following are some suggestions to help you protect yourself. The programs listed below are just a few of the many options available.

* Use an anti-virus software such as Norton AntiVirus ( or McAfee AntiVirus ( and regularly UPDATE it. Updating is absolutely CRITICAL if you want the software to protect you. For thorough spyware and adware scanning, popular software choices are Spy Sweeper ( and SpyCop (

* Using a firewall software such as Zone Alarm (, Norton Personal Firewall ( or McAfee Firewall (

This is a good option for dial-up modem users. Why? Dial-up modems are slower, so a firewall software will often see the attack coming and prevent it. Most hackers don't like the slowness of a dial-up because they can't easily get in and out of your computer without being detected. It is also critical that your firewall software be REGULARLY UPDATED!

* Those accessing the internet with broadband (i.e., DSL, cable modem, etc.) need the added protection of a firewall hardware such as a Linksys Router (, NetGear Router ( or DLink Router ( The reason why is because the speed is higher on broadband which allows the hacker quicker access into your computer without being detected. The router is what will be "on the internet" versus your computer. Since the router is not a computer, there is nothing for the hackers to attack (i.e., no hard drive, no processor, etc.). The router simply acts as a "bodyguard" that only allows those with permission to come in.

* In the event that you unintentionally "bring in" a hacker (as explained above) or you had the misfortune of being the victim of a very clever hacker, it's still smart to have a firewall software (in addition to firewall hardware) to make it difficult for the hacker to "exit" with your data.

If you want to check the vulnerability of your machine for free, visit the well-respected GRC's Shields Up website at This website will attempt to break into your computer in order to expose vulnerabilities. Click on the individual options (i.e., file sharing, common ports, etc.) for a vulnerability analysis.

Keeping up-to-date with internet scams is also helpful in keeping your private information safe. Here are just a few reference websites you may want to bookmark for future reference:

* Scam Busters:

* Anti-Spam Help & Advice Website:

* AuctionBytes Online Fraud Discussion Forum:

* Internet Fraud Complaint Center:

* Anti-Phishing Working Group:

* Microsoft - Help Safeguard Your Personal Information Online:

Lastly, check out the Better Business Bureau & Javelin Strategy's ID Quiz to see how safe you are from identity theft:

Great question, Evan. Thanks!

Wet kisses & tail wags,

Booster is a free information website for online auction sellers and enthusiasts. publishes a free opt-in ezine called "Booster's Auction News" every Friday. Subscribers of this newsletter are automatically entered each month in Booster's Monthly Prize Drawing featuring valuable prizes geared towards online auction sellers.

Booster's Auction News is written by Angela Saul, webmaster of Angela has been selling on eBay and other online auction sites for more than five years. - The FUN Internet Destination for Online Auction Sellers & Enthusiasts!

In The News:

British father killed and step-son injured in Argentina robbery, reports
Sat, 14 Dec 2019 19:21:00 +0000
A British father has been killed and his step-son seriously injured after they were shot in a suspected robbery in Argentina, according to local media.

'10,000' join biggest protest in Thailand since 2014 military coup
Sat, 14 Dec 2019 15:34:00 +0000
A reported 10,000 supporters of a Thai opposition party which could be banned by authorities have taken to the streets in the country's biggest protest since a 2014 military coup.

Hertha Berlin U16 team walks off pitch after players 'racially abused'
Sat, 14 Dec 2019 23:44:00 +0000
Hertha Berlin's under-16 team has walked off the pitch during a game after its players were allegedly racially abused by opposition players.

Caddie for top golfer banned after 'shoving' spectator
Sat, 14 Dec 2019 18:48:00 +0000
A caddie for one of the world's top golfers has been banned for the rest of the Presidents Cup after pushing a spectator in Melbourne.

Arsenal distances itself from Mesut Ozil post criticising China
Sat, 14 Dec 2019 09:40:00 +0000
Arsenal has distanced itself from comments made by its star midfielder Mesut Ozil about the plight of Uighur Muslims.

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

SCAMS ? Be Aware ? And Report When Necessary

The Internet is a vast International Network of people and... Read More

Protecting Your Children On The Internet

If you are a parent, as am I, I think... Read More

Web Browsing - Collected Information

You may not realize it, but as you are surfing... Read More

Why Malicious Programs Spread So Quickly?

It seems that nowadays cybercriminals prefer cash to fun. That... Read More

Online Cell Phone Scams and Spam

They're out there. Individuals trying to make a quick buck... Read More

Preventing Online Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the most common criminal acts... Read More

Phishing: A Scary Way of Life

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified "phishing" as the... Read More

Desktop Security Software Risks - Part 1

This is the second in a series of articles highlighting... Read More

What Every Internet Marketer Should Know About Spyware

If you run any type of Internet business, Adware and... Read More

The Importance of Protecting Your PC from Viruses and Spam

Today the internet is a mine field of malicious code... Read More

Is Your Email Private? Part 1 of 3

In a word, no - an email message has always... Read More

Internet/Network Security

Abstract Homogeneous symmetries and congestion control have garnered limited interest... Read More

Top Spyware Removers Considerations

Only the top spyware removers are successful at detecting and... Read More

Delete Cookies: New-Age Diet or Common Sense Internet Security?

No, this article isn't about some new, lose-20-pounds-in-a-week, certified-by-some-tan-Southern-California-doctor diet.... Read More

Spyware Protection Software

Spyware protection software is the easiest way of removing spyware... Read More

Internet Small Business and Fraud

Be careful of sites that promise to send you "instant... Read More

Phishing - A High Tech Identity Theft With A Low Tech Solution

Have you ever got an email asking you to confirm... Read More

Spyware Programs Are Out To Get You!

The average computer is packed with hidden software that can... Read More

Email Hoaxes, Urban Legends, Scams, Spams, And Other CyberJunk

The trash folder in my main inbox hit 4000 today.... Read More

Check Out That Privacy Policy

Before you enter your name, address or any other data... Read More

Dialing Up a Scam: Avoiding the Auto-Dialer Virus

For many, the daily walk to the mailbox evokes mixed... Read More

A Personal Experience with Identity Theft

Some months ago, before there was much publicity regarding phishing... Read More

Behavior to Stay Safer Online

1. Importance of a Virus Scanner: A Antivirus program can... Read More

3 Pervasive Phishing Scams

Scams involving email continue to plague consumers across America, indeed... Read More

Clown Internet Scam - An Internet Scam is Currently Targeting Clowns and Other Entertainers

I am the victim of an internet scam. It is... Read More