How to Prevent Cyber Crime

By Contributing Writer

Cyber crime refers to illegal activities that take place online, including fraud, spam, identity theft, computer viruses and worms, cyber stalking, drug trafficking, sexual predators, malware or spyware, phishing schemes and the like. Most people become victims of these at one time or another, but there are ways to avoid or deal with cyber crime by protecting yourself appropriately.

Things You'll Need

  • Spam blocker
  • Anti-virus software
  • Firewall protection
  • Encryption software
  • Caution in providing personal information
  • Secure shopping
  • Avoidance of scams
  • Monitoring of your child's computer activities

Step 1

Turn on your spam blocker. Most Internet providers provide a spam blocking feature to prevent unwanted messages, such as fraudulent emails and phising emails, from getting to your inbox.

Step 2

Make sure you have adequate anti-virus software for your computer, such as McAfee, Norton Anti-Virus, Stopzilla or other similar programs. You also need to make sure you regularly update your anti-virus software and that you do a once-a-week scan to locate and eliminate any malware, spyware, viruses and other problems. If you don't want to purchase security software, then there are programs, such as AVG, that offer free versions.

Step 3

Use your computer's firewall protection feature, which is a digitally created barrier that prevents hackers from getting into your computer system. Always keep it turned on.

Step 4

Encrypt important data you don't want compromised. Utilize encryption software, which "garbles" your data to make it unintelligible to anyone who tries to hack into your computer system.

Step 5

Be wary of providing personal information via a website you know nothing about, especially those that ask for your name, mailing address, bank account number or social security number.

Step 6

Make sure that you do online shopping on a secure website, like those with a url that starts with "https" and/or have a TRUSTe or VeriSign seal. If you don't see these anywhere on the site, you run the risk of submitting credit card information and other personal information to a site that may be a fraud.

Step 7

Avoid getting taken in by common scams, such as foreign lotteries, phony sweepstakes and similar methods used by cyber criminals to get your personal information and money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Step 8

Monitor the online activities of your children. They should only have access to a computer located in a central area of your home and you should regularly check all browser and email activity. A wise thing to do is to use parental control software that limits the types of sites the user can gain access to.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never allow strange or unfamiliar individuals to use your computer.If you think you or a family member have been the victim of cyber crime, contact he FBI and/or Better Business Bureau to report it.