VIP Privacy

By: Konstantin Artemev

Will malefactor steal your most private information right now? Or will he wait for tomorrow?

The relevant issue of privacy protection is important today like never before. Malefactors are hunting users for their personal information, inventing new intricate ways of stealing it.

You may think that there's nothing wrong with giving away such 'innocent' info like your email address, for instance. Well, that's where you have to think again. By finding some bits of information malefactors are always able to find out more. They may find a way to get into your system and fish out some data which you didn't even know existed!

The following are just some examples of how your personal data may be used by frauds.
Spammers make use of your address book for sending annoying unwanted letters to you and all of your acquaintances. Phishers masquerade as a trustworthy person or business and send you an apparently official email trying to find out your bank account details or your credit card pin number. Hackers use your login and password for stealing your Internet traffic or sending exploits into your system thus turning your computer into their slave. Not exactly something you'd like to be a part of, is it?

The main problem is that most users don't even suspect they might get ripped off in such a malicious way. They are naive enough to think that their personal information is perfectly safe the way it is without any extra measures taken.

But please consider the following. Your personal private information might be in danger, if:
- you ever used any of the web-services
- you ever filled out any of the online registration forms
- you ever used any online messaging services
Which basically means that you are in the risk group if your computer is connected to the Internet. And that would be almost all of us!

So what you need now is to find out how to deal with this problem. Many articles have been written on this subject, and many words have been said. But the number of attacks grows with every day, and so does the users' alarm. What a user really needs nowadays is not talk but some REAL protection of his PRIVACY.

When you input any information into your computer, you trust your system to protect this data. But unfortunately it is you who has to take measures and turn your PC into a SECURE STRONGHOLD, inaccessible by any malefactors.

If you wish to find out how to do this, just read on.

First of all, let's get to the root of the problem. Why is it that you need any protection in the first place? What exactly puts you into a risk group?

The thing is that your Operating System collects and stores data about you personally and about your computer's configuration. This is mainly done to facilitate the process of you getting customer's support in case any problems occur. Many user's applications do the same. So when you contact the program's Support, all you might have to do is to click one single button in the application's screen rather than to scan your system manually, trying to find the needed information. Rather convenient, isn't it?

The other reason for the system and applications storing your personal information is you using web-services. Many applications store information about your e-mail address, your passwords, your credit card number or your bank accounts in order to speed up the process of your registration at some websites or your buying and selling stuff via the Internet etc.

Now, please note that by personal information we don't mean any of your files or documents. It is only the data collected by numerous applications and the Operating System that we talk about. Such data is stored in your system separately from any user's files and usually does not affect the work of the applications themselves.

While all those features of collecting and storing information about you and your system are meant to help you, sometimes they turn into your worst enemy. There are many many malefactors that will try to take advantage of your system's leaks in order to steal your personal information stored by your OS and applications. Thus instead of making your life easier, the storage of your private info brings you nothing but potential problems.

Now don't you think that you should be the ONLY one to decide whether you want to share any of your data? Well, exactly! It should be only up to you to determine who should know what about yourself! After all, it is YOUR information!

So we defined the problem and we know you want to solve it. The question is how.

There are several ways of protecting your private information. Nowadays there is a great number of software solutions that will help you deal with the problem of privacy protection.

First of all you may choose to install some kind of a firewall that would prevent any hacker attacks. Modern software market offers a great deal of such applications to choose from. But note that setting up these programs is usually a rather complicated process. In order to customize the application you'd have to specify what actions it would take for virtually any event. Besides you will have to download base updates if you want to be sure that you have the best protection available (than means you have to download them daily or hourly even). Considering the fact that malefactors daily invent hundreds of new ways of getting into your system, firewalls might not be just the best solution to keeping your private info safe.

This does not in any way mean that firewalls offer bad protection level. It's what we should call an 'insufficient' measure.

Keeping this in mind you might ask yourself: What if I don't want these applications to store any info about me in the first place? And that's exactly right! No one will ever steal something that you just don't have!

Now the problem arises how to clean up the information stored in your system. You may, of course, do that manually by locating system files and settings responsible for storing user's data and then cleaning them up. But this requires advanced user's skills and knowledge, as you may accidentally erase something that will cause your applications work unsteadily. Besides, manual clean-up takes time and patience and is not always possible to perform as many applications encrypt your info (so you may have trouble finding it, let alone removing).

And what now? Is that impossible for a common user to protect his own personal information? Well, of course not! Luckily, there are some programs in the market that allow for automatic safe clean-up of all your privacy leaks. You can easily find such applications in search engines, searching for 'personal data protection tool', 'privacy protection tool' or 'system-stored personal data search and removal'.

And remember this: No one but you has the right to access your personal information! So take the necessary steps to prevent your private data from being stolen! Do that before it's too late, as some of the malefactors are attempting to rip you off at this very moment!

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