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 23, 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 23, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) — Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — Amazon's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, is set to ship this week, and so far the reviews have been pretty mixed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 22, 2014) — Apple is asking suppliers to make 70 to 80 million units of its new larger screen iPhone, a lot more initially than its current model. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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