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Beat 2009’s 17 most dangerous security threats

The biggest scams and PC attacks exposed

There are huge security risks associated with all aspects of technology, whether you browse the web, social network or even use a mobile phone. We've rounded up the 17 biggest threats and shown you how to fix them too.

Browsing the web via a PC or mobile phone isn't without its security risks. In fact, they're growing, day-by-day. Whether its network worms, phishing emails, drive-by downloads or data sniffed from an open wireless network - we're all at risk. To use a computer safely in the 21st century, you have to be prepared to combat a growing number of constantly evolving security threats.

But for every potential pitfall that malware hunters expose and neutralise, there seem to be five more waiting for a careless PC user to plummet into. Your job is to anticipate and evade a vast array of cleverly devised booby traps meant to catch the unwary.

We've addressed the 17 top security threats that you might not be aware of, together with advice on how to defeat them.. The internet's smash-and-grab practitioners and con artists make a living off victims who fail to recognise the tricks of their trade. Failing to take precautions against the current wave of threats is akin to driving cross-country without a spare tyre: you might get away with it, but setting off unprepared for trouble can be expensive and very inconvenient if your luck goes bad.

How to beat card skimmer scams and other money drains

When you think of technology security scams, you think of dangers to your PC more often than the dangers to your pocket. However, both are at risk, we've looked at the biggest scams and how to avoid becoming a victim.

ONLINE PRICING SCAMS

Why you should care: Online stores may take advantage of you.

Scenario: If it seems that five minutes after you searched for an item at an online shop, the price went up, that may not be a figment of your imagination. Prices at big online retailers like Amazon fluctuate almost hourly - based not only on supply and demand, but also on consumer interest level.

If a company determines that you have a strong interest in a particular product, it might hike the price by a few pounds to see whether you're still willing to bite.

The Fix: If you're smart, and refuse to pay more than what you consider a reasonable price, check out the free Amazon PriceWatch tool, an IE or Firefox plug-in that monitors a particular item, and alerts you when the price for that item falls below the threshold amount you set.

NEXT PAGE: Card skimmer scams

  1. We show you how to fix them too
  2. Card skimmer scams
  3. How to plug security holes in your browser
  4. How to protect your online passwords
  5. Why you should care about password protection With Public PCs
  6. How to safeguard your online security
  7. How to avoid credit card exposure online
  8. Google and your privacy
  9. How to keep your mobile phone info private
  10. Voice phishing and T-Mobile's G1
  11. How to lock down the data in your apps
  12. Unsuccessful redaction
  13. How to stop operating-system attacks
  14. Zero-day attacks


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