A recent study conducted by a criminologist at Michigan State University found that those who do all they can to protect their computer from outside threats are far less likely to be hit by fraud.
The study found that people who used anti-spyware, anti-adware and antivirus software on their computers were about 50 percent less likely to have their credit card information stolen than those who did not, according to a report from Science Daily
. About 15 percent of the study's participants also said they had been hit with identity theft
in the past, and victims were more likely to be males.
"When you think about antivirus software protecting you, you might think about it keeping your files safe and not losing your music and photos," Thomas Holt, MSU associate professor of criminal justice and lead researcher on the project, told the site. "The important thing we're finding here is that it's not just about protecting your files, but also about protecting you economically - about reducing your chances of being a victim of identity theft."Ondrej Krehel
, chief information security officer for IDT911, has a blog about how consumers can better protect themselves online.
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