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What You Can Do To Keep Your Identity Safe On The Internet

The Internet has made it possible for people to pay their bills and do their shopping and banking right from their homes. And many of these people find it convenient to store a lot of personal data on their computers or PDAs, including their credit card and banking information and even their user names, passwords, and PINs. This information may seem safely stored away, but the truth is that it's not difficult at all for a savvy thief to access the information he wants by hacking into your computer, even from a distance.

It's not just the money in your account or the available balance on your credit card you need to worry about being stolen. What you really need to be worried about is your identity being stolen, because once thieves have your identity they can use your name to apply for loans, credit card, and other things in your name. The amount of damage that can be done to your credit can be devastating if a criminal is able to get his hands on your electronic data. I am going to give you some valuable steps that you should take right away to protect yourself from this type of destructive crime.

1. Set up your computer, PDA and laptop so that they require a password in order to gain access to any files.

2. Also make sure that your passwords are not stored in the computer. A lot of people have chosen the convenience of having their computer remember their passwords and enter them automatically. But of course that means that they are also there for an identify thief to use to access your accounts.

3. If you use file sharing, where information can be transferred wirelessly to another computer, this feature makes you more open to a hacking attack. If your network allows file sharing and you use it, make sure you are protecting your password.

4. Another layer of protection is to change your passwords and any security questions that are used by some sites at frequent intervals.

5. Use antivirus software and a firewall, and make sure they're always running.

6. Be alert to phishing, a popular method of collecting confidential information illegally. The criminal will send you an email message that appears to be from a legitimate organization, usually a bank or credit card company. Typically you will be asked to verify your PIN number, password or other account information. If you fall for this scam, the information is captured and used to access your accounts.

7. If you shop online, only reveal your credit card number to trusted merchants that are verified to be secure. The best option for online shopping is to use PayPal or another third-party company that can transfer funds securely.


Worse than Setting Your VCR: Home Network Installation

So you've made the decision to install a home network and you're roaring and ready to go with it. But have you done it before? Perhaps the dreams of not fighting over who can go online next, streamlining your office, and sharing files with other computers in your home has you a bit excited. But do you know what type of network is best for you? Do you know the basic principles to installing a network in your home? Do you know how to set up a wireless network? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then perhaps you should read on.

Network types

First of all, a network allows you to have multiple computers connected to the same internet connection, share files between the computers in your home, print documents through a printer that is connected to a different computer, and share files that are stored on other computers. It seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? But what is the best type of network for you? You have to make the decision of whether or not you want a wireless network or a wired network. If you choose wireless, you have to know how to set it up so that all of the computers can talk wirelessly to the network router. If not all of the computers are wireless capable, then you may have to move to a wired network. With a wired network you have to worry about running wire throughout your home or investing in upgrades for your computers to make them wireless.

You also have to know what type of activities you and your family are going to be doing on all of the computers. This is because you want to invest in a router that can handle the load. If the router cannot handle the load, then you're going to have computers within your home getting booted off of the network.

Network installation

The network installation part can be either easy or complicated. It depends on how you look at it. You have to have an internet connection and you have to know your network type. You also have to know what computers in your home are wireless capable and which are not in case you choose to do the upgrades instead of installing wire throughout your home. If you're setting up a wireless network, the easiest way to connect is if you have Windows Connect Technology through your Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, or Windows 98/ME. Then again, you could be running a different operating system, which can make setting up your network a bit more difficult than if you were running on a Windows operating system.

An alternative

Then again, you could probably save yourself a lot of headaches by hiring a professional to take care of the installation process. A professional will do an assessment to determine what type of equipment you need to give you a network that is complete. If any of your computers need what is called a network adapter to become wireless capable, the installer can help you with that. Once all of the equipment is determined and acquired, the network installer can then run wire or set up your wireless network for you. You'll be connected in no time and the only thing you have to do is reach in your wallet. Fortunately, home network installation is not an expensive endeavor and it takes a lot off of your mind. You don't want to buy all of the wrong equipment, hook it up, and then find nothing works. If you're not sure, turn to a professional so that you know everything is right.


What's a Private Email Network or PEN?

When companies are trying to avoid the potential for infiltration and corruption in their e-mail system, one of the options that is available for them to consider is to create a business private e-mail network or PEN. Not only is this a completely attainable goal for any company that wants to make their email network more secure, but it is becoming increasingly necessary as businesses need to be capable of protecting their private and personal information in more secure ways.

Private Email Messages
With enough persistence, someone that is interested in breaking into your company's private email messages certainly can do so. This is especially possible when it comes to open WiFi locations. Not only could they potentially read sensitive information in the emails traveling between members of your company, but there is also potential there for them to manipulate and change the information in those documents to harm your business. Proprietary information can be stolen and email messages can be forwarded on, altered or not, without anyone being wise to the fact that the message was ever intercepted. This can spell disaster for an unprepared company.

For all types of companies then, regardless of the types of information that are regularly sent via email message, it has become necessary for you to choose an email client that is secure and that will protect the information stored in email messages as it is being sent. The best idea is going to be to use an open architecture type of system that is going to be supported well into your company's future rather than choosing a more proprietary system that will only last for a few years.

What a Private Email Network (PEN)
A Private Email Network or PEN attempts to achieve is to pass email messages around only within the company on a local or intranet level, meaning that the email messages are never vulnerable to hackers because they are not being exposed to the internet at large. When employees at your company communicate through the Private Email Network, they are communicating only within your company's own office building, which means that private correspondence is kept safe and secure, and you can rest assured that your proprietary information and personal communications are being kept completely private.

For example, the email2 platform enables your organization to create a Private Email Network, a trusted channel for confidential conversations with colleagues, stakeholders and clients.

There are a number of different turnkey systems that are available for companies large and small that are looking to create a local, private email network that can be relied on for correspondence within the company without a threat of outside interests getting in. The best systems typically involve the use of a simple program that makes sending email within the private email network easy and intuitive, behaving as a normal email system would, though the email messages never leave the closed loop system and therefore they are never vulnerable to attacks. This is the best way to protect your company's private correspondence from prying, outside eyes.


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