Here’s an idea for a spare computer you have lying around: make it into a secure banking device.
Hackers are creating more and more insidious programs to steal your financial data. You can cut down the risk by separating your online activities onto two devices.
Basically, your old computer operates as a safe terminal where you conduct all of your online-banking. You don’t check email, you don’t surf for porn. All you do is pay your bills, fund your accounts, trade stocks, manage your portfolio, etc.
Ideally you should wipe the hard drive of the old computer and do fresh OS install. Make sure the firewall is up and running before connecting the ethernet. Get a good program like ZoneAlarm to prevent intrusions. Get yourself hooked up with these free/cheap programs to protect your PC from viruses.
Savvy criminals are building phishing, trojans and keyloggers into sites, especially those of the porno and “free Photoshop download” variety. They can remotely hijack your computer or watch your every move.
Separating online business from pleasure can be an effective way to mitigate identity theft risk. — BEN POPKEN