Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To combat identity theft, protect computer, experts say

Date:
March 19, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Having a triple-threat combination of protective software on your computer greatly reduces your chances of identity theft, according to a new study.

Having a triple-threat combination of protective software on your computer greatly reduces your chances of identity theft, according to a study led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

In a survey of more than 600 people, the researchers found that computer users who were running antivirus, anti-adware and anti-spyware software were 50 percent less likely to have their credit card information stolen.

The study appears in the research journal Deviant Behavior.

"When you think about antivirus software protecting you, you might think about it keeping your files safe and not losing your music and photos," said Thomas Holt, MSU associate professor of criminal justice and lead researcher on the project. "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."

Holt's co-investigator was Michael Turner, associate professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

According to the study, about 15 percent of respondents said they had experienced computer-related identity theft in the past year. Males were more likely to be victims, Holt said.

"We're not sure what this might be a consequence of," he said. "Is it that males are less careful about what they do online? Is it a difference in how they shop online or conduct online commerce?"

Those who engaged in "computer-related deviance" -- such as downloading pirated music or pornographic images -- were more likely to be victims of identity theft, the study found. This is a large risk for users because pirated movies and music may contain malware and place users at risk for harm.

But the most practical news for computer users was the combined protective factor of the antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-adware software, each of which has a different function for keeping a computer safe, Holt said.

Antivirus software detects and removes malicious software programs such as viruses and worms that can corrupt a computer, delete data and spread to other computers. Anti-spyware and anti-adware programs, meanwhile, are designed to protect against software that either self-installs without the user's knowledge or is installed by the user and enables information to be gathered covertly about a person's Internet use, passwords and so on.

"You have a much better chance of not getting your credit card number stolen if you have all three forms of protective software," Holt said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas J. Holt, Michael G. Turner. Examining Risks and Protective Factors of On-Line Identity Theft. Deviant Behavior, 2012; 33 (4): 308 DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2011.584050

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "To combat identity theft, protect computer, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120319111735.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, March 19). To combat identity theft, protect computer, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120319111735.htm
Michigan State University. "To combat identity theft, protect computer, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120319111735.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) — Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins