Anti—virus software is a common installment on almost every single computer these days. We all want to be protected. Yet there is a bit of speculation that the anti—virus software is not the key to staying well protected. While it is true that it will help prevent viruses from entering through your email with an alert system (you can still get the virus if you ignore the warning and open the attachment anyway) it doesn’t do much to help protect you against identity theft or credit card fraud. There is a common misconception that these two facts are interchangeable.
Anti—virus software is big business. Many of the software companies allow the public perception to continue that their products somehow help protect you against identity theft and credit card fraud. Anti—virus software is important to help protect your computer from the ailments that can shut down your computer and turn your $2000 machine into a very slick paperweight. It does not prevent hacking.
Hackers usually don’t bother with single accounts anymore. While hackers might be able to gather some basic information and maybe a credit card number, that’s an awful lot of work, hassle, and risk for one credit card number. A hacker can just as easily expend the same amount of work, hassle, and risk for 500 credit card numbers by hacking into large companies that keep such pertinent information on file. A smart hacker will keep the charges to these credit cards at just a few hundred dollars or less because the banks do not feel this is enough to spend the money tracking down the culprit.
Having 500 various credit card numbers, verification numbers, and social security numbers is much more profitable than breaking into your personal computer. 500 credit cards with a mere $200 charge is still $100,000 worth of monetary gain. Gift cards make the card use even harder to track down. Your bank or the company attacked is liable for informing clients and customers to ensure that any compromised cards are replaced, but it’s much better to track your own account and keep your own records. You can protect your computer, but you can’t guarantee that the electric company is protecting theirs.