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It is hard to imagine but just by innocently downloading a file from the Internet, your identity can be compromised. Most of the time, files are from a trusted source. But all it takes is the downloading of one corrupt file for your computer to be infected with a virus, worm or spyware and then you are in danger of becoming a victim of identity theft. To keep this from happening to you, it is important to keep the security settings on your computer up to date and never download a file unless you know it is safe. The newer operating systems such as Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 and ME have options for automatically updating security systems. The older systems must be updated using Microsoft updates. Be sure and update your system often and scan your computer after you have updated it for potential viruses and other security risks such as unwanted programs. Thieves can use these programs to gather personal data for identity theft purposes. Utilizing a firewall can also protect you and your computer from unknown dangers. It is also a good idea to program your anti-virus software to scan incoming email attachments. You can also block unwanted emails by using a spam blocker to reduce the possibility of receiving unwanted items. And of course, never open an email from someone you don't know or download an attachment. If your computer becomes infected with a virus or spyware, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. The longer your computer is compromised, the higher your chances of your personal information being compromised. Some programs on your computer can help you remove viruses and spyware. But if you are unable to do this yourself, seek out the help of computer technician. So to stay protected online, update your security settings often, run system scans for potentially harmful programs regularly, don't open emails or files from unknown people or source. Only download files from trusted sources on the Internet. Do all these things to protect yourself from identity theft and other potential online dangers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Wilcox


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How to Protect Your Identity Online