Found another scary story from Bruce Schneier’s security website about an alleged virus attacking a retirees computer, stealing his E-Trade account credentials and then “wrong doers” using it to empty out his retirement fund.
This story has a ring of truth to it, although I am not completely sold on the stealing of the credentials part of the virus (but it can happen, I guess).
So how do I stop this (you are asking yourself)? Keep your home computer and network secure!
- Run some kind of Anti-Virus checker on your computer (all the time). I am not going to endorse McAfee, over Norton or whatever, but RUN SOMETHING. If you are not, you are just asking for TROUBLE.
- If you connect to the Internet from your computer, DISCONNECT when you are not using the internet. If you have a home network like some of us, make sure your home router has very good and STRONG firewall settings to stop malicious snooping of your network.
- Don’t give out your credentials for any banking, trading, or computer account to anyone on-line (or over the phone).
- Don’t store it on your computer either!
- Best not to carry it around in your wallet or PDA either folks!
- Run Anti-Spyware software as well. Netzone is good, but you can get Microsoft or Yahoo’s anti-spyware software for free, so GET IT! Run it! Get rid of those Spies and Trojan Horses NOW! Malwarebytes is actually the best choice in this area.
- If your kids go on-line, make sure you watch their computers. My kids computer became a SPAM-bot sending out e-mails into my company’s network selling Herbal Viagra! Long funny story, I may tell some time later, but kids download things that they just don’t think about!
If your computer is the cornerstone of your debt reduction plan (i.e. you run Quicken, keep your excel spreadsheets there, or whatever), it is ESSENTIAL that this machine remains pristine, clean and SECURE (as well as the network connected to it).