Spam email has existed almost since the Internet went public. Shortly after AOL opened accounts to the general public, the company started cracking down on individuals sending pirated software over their networks. AOL shut down the accounts of known pirates to prevent this activity. The software pirates, however, had a different idea. By posing as AOL representatives, they contacted members with emails requesting their login information. This allowed the hackers to continue using AOL’s system by hijacking accounts owned by other people. Today, the problem of spam has only gotten worse.
Today the typical computer user will receive several types of spam throughout a week or month. Popular types of spam include
Phishing involves sending desperate emails to thousands of people, hoping that a handful will respond. The emails often request money and promise significant rewards. Of course, the phishing criminals really just take more and more money while the victim never receives any compensation.
Other spam can contain Trojan viruses and spyware. These are particularly problematic in today’s high-tech world because so many people keep sensitive information on their computers. When you accidentally download spyware from a spam email, you set yourself as a victim of fraud and identity theft. Hackers use spyware to gather bank account, email and credit card information that allows them to gain access to your money, or start new accounts under your name.
Viruses cause similar problems by gathering information found on your computer or turning your computer into a slave that works for the hacker instead of you.
Investing in quality antivirus software such as PC Tools Antivirus is the best way to protect yourself from the dangers of spam. PC Tools Antivirus can scan your emails to make sure they do not contain any hidden files. PC Tools Antivirus can also scan your whole computer to locate programs and eliminate them before they help cyber-criminals steal your private information