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Is Spyware looking over your shoulder?

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit foiled plans to steal 220 million [pounds sterling] from the London offices of the Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui. Hackers had managed to infiltrate the banks system with keylogging software enabling them to track every button pressed on computer keyboards--from which they could learn account numbers, passwords and other sensitive information. Although the bank stated, "we have not suffered any financial damage', this incident demonstrates the silent threat that Spyware poses to any organisation!

The following top tips have been devised to highlight the dangers and advise how to avoid Spyware.

1. Prepare a Spyware prevention plan--Organisations need to take action before Spyware takes hold. This requires acknowledgement of the threat, educating users to avoid it and deployment of the most appropriate technology solution.

2. Educate users to take Spyware seriously--Some Spyware is bold enough to disable security measures, like firewalls. A disabled firewall may allow hackers to gain control over the compromised system--The system is also vulnerable to viruses that look for open ports on the Web. Make users aware of these threats, so they are 'on the look out' for potential problems.

3. Check licence agreements--Spyware is usually installed without the users knowledge or consent--it is often installed alongside any downloaded software, particularly if it is free. Check the EULA (End User Licence Agreement) for details first!

4. Encourage users to think before they click--Many people are far too quick to click OK, before reading any security warnings. Highlight the need to consider the potential security threat first--is this content from a trusted source?

5. Watch out for physical signs--System instability, with frequent crashes, crippled application functionality, new toolbars, menus or buttons and unexplained error messages are all indicators of Spyware at work. In addition, excessive additional hypelinks become visible in all visited web pages.

To receive the remaining five tips, and a copy of the whitepaper contact
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Security
Publication:Database and Network Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Previous Article:New service revolutionises identity security.
Next Article:UK tops league of top bot countries.

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