Easy Peddler wants to ensure you have the safest
possible experience with us. Unfortunately,
the Internet can be a very dangerous place for
the average user. Internet users can be bombarded
with fake emails, fake Web sites, viruses, spyware
and many other electronic threats on a daily
But you can protect yourself against all these
threats with the best weapon of all: knowledge.
The more you learn, the easier it will be for
you to spot and avoid a particular threat.
Computer crime is nothing new. It may involve
many well-known crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement,
forgery, theft or even extortion. The only difference
is these crimes are committed using computers.
For your reference, the list below is a glossary
of the many crimes committed using computers:
Adware - a type of malware which is usually
included with a software package that automatically
downloads, displays or runs advertising material
without the consent of the user. Adware becomes
more malicious when it interferes with the function
of other software applications, or when it forces
users to visit a particular Web site.
Confidence scams - an Internet scam,
usually sent via email attempting to steal sensitive
personal information. Confidence scams sometimes
claim that a person has died overseas and you
have been named beneficiary to their assets.
You are then asked to reply to the message and
give them sensitive personal information so
they can "send you the money." But
in reality, the information you provide gives
them the ability to steal your bank information
or even personal information.
Cyberstalking - an activity in which
a "cyberstalker" follows a victim's
online activity to gather information, threaten
or to arrange "real life" contact.
Cyberstalkers are found mostly on, but not limited
to chat rooms, online forums and personal profile
or social-networking Web sites.
Hacking - an activity in which a "hacker"
gains unauthorized access to an information
system. An information system may be a personal
desktop computer, a notebook computer, a network
server or a computer program. Hackers gain entry
to an information system generally to steal,
delete or modify stored information.
Identity Theft - an activity in which
an attacker obtains your sensitive personal
information. Identity theft may occur online
or in the real world. If you become a victim
of a phishing or spoofing attack, for example,
you may also be a victim of identity theft.
When your identity is stolen, attackers steal
information such as your social security number,
your mother's maiden name, and credit card or
bank account information. It is important to
review your credit report at least once a year
to make sure there haven't been any unauthorized
transactions or lending activities made in your
name without your knowledge.
Malware - software designed to damage
or infiltrate a computer system without the
owner's consent. Malware, or malicious software,
may include viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware
Phishing - a criminal activity in which
a "phisher" steals sensitive personal
information from a victim, such as credit card,
banking or personal identification information,
by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business.
Phishers create fake Web sites and emails to
fool their victims.
Piracy - an activity that involves the
theft of copyrighted material in electronic
form. These materials may include, but are not
limited to music, software and motion pictures.
Piracy is committed when a user either uploads
material for others to download, or when a user
downloads material already uploaded by others.
Spamming - the abuse of electronic messaging
systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited
bulk messages. Spamming has become popular because
advertisers have virtually no operating costs
and it is difficult to hold senders accountable
for their mass mailings. Many software and Web-based
email programs now have advanced spam-blocking
Spoofing - a complex networking scam
which occurs when one person or program fakes
its own identity by falsifying data and therefore
gains an illegitimate advantage. A "phishing"
scam is very similar to spoofing.
Spyware - a type of malware designed
to intercept or take partial control of a computer
without the computer user's knowledge. Spyware
watches the activity of a computer and then
sends that information back to a hacker. Some
benign spyware simply collects information about
Internet activity and then sends the information
back to an advertisement agency. Other more
dangerous versions of spyware try to record
online activity in an attempt to steal password
or credit card information.
Trojan horse - a type of malware that
masquerades as something else, like a game or
image file, in order to trick the user. Trojan
horses can be destructive and may corrupt programs
or file systems. Trojan horses are dangerous,
but are not self-replicating.
Virus - a type of malware which self-replicates
and can cause significant damage to a computer
system. A virus attaches itself to, and becomes
part of another executable program, but it cannot
propagate by itself. Viruses can destroy important
system files which may then cause system crashes.
Worms - a type of malware that uses computer
networks and security flaws to create copies
of itself. A copy of the worm will scan a network
for other computers that have a specific security
flaw. It replicates itself to the new computer
using the security flaw, and then starts replicating
and spreading all over again. A worm is self-contained
and does not need to be part of another program
to propagate itself, unlike a virus.