The Clampi virus, according to USA Today, is a Trojan horse that sits in your computer and waits to get information from one of your financial transactions, then uses it to break into companies that you do business with and steal money. Although such actions don’t directly affect your accounts, they do contribute to higher product costs and to higher fees.Once this gets in your system, it wouldn’t matter even if you cut down expenses and try to save money since it will steal your funds completely.
Although I can’t guarantee that any one of these techniques can protect you from all Internet attacks, these are wise guidelines that will increase your protection beyond what antivirus software provides. If you are doing financial transactions on the Internet and do not have a live antivirus software package running on your computer, and yes, paying the yearly or bi-yearly upgrade fee, you are ready for the poor house or mental institution. An antivirus program will pick up the Clampi virus and remove it.
#1 Use an antivirus protection software package on your personal PC.
Don’t rely on the Yahoo or Google or other servers and their antivirus programs to protect you when making financial transactions, use antivirus software on your personal computer, too.
#2 Keep Account Login and Password Cryptic
Use a username that isn’t your name or a commonly known piece of financial information like your social security number.
If your financial institution has a verification process where you need to provide some piece of information like maiden name or school teacher, you can lie and provide any answer you will remember.
Have a different password for any company where you make financial transactions including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, PayPal, any of the Stock Trading companies like Scott Trade, Charles Schwab, etc, clothing companies, etc. If the company allows a guest login and you don’t use their services often, don’t get an account. If you change one password, change the entire set of passwords because it will keep you organized on the new passwords.
If you type your password into an unencrypted field or phished, change your password-there are snoop programs that capture everything you type. If you are phished, cancel your credit card.
The reason for different passwords is that if your account is invaded, since it would mean only one account affected. If you have the same username and password everywhere and an account is invaded, then potentially every account can be invaded. Chances are this will minimize the damage that occurs.
#3 Log Out
After you complete a financial transaction, log out. Especially when you are traveling and using commonly shared computers, be sure you log out of every internet service to make sure others don’t pick up your personal information when they sit down to work. It’s not just a courtesy.
#4 Clear Your Internet Data Activity
Most companies that allow financial transaction have you log in to your account via an encrypted and secure web page. To make sure anyone snooping on your PC doesn’t know where you have been and what you have been doing, including picking up the encrypted passwords you enter on financial programs, clear your internet data.
From MS Explorer, use the command on the Tools menu for Internet Options, Delete cookies etc. You don’t need to do this every day, but you should do it after any financial transaction.
#5 Remove Spyware
I use Yahoo’s spyware program in addition to the spyware program provided by my antivirus program because it finds spyware that slows my computer down and removes them. If it didn’t find files, I wouldn’t run it, but it does. Run the spyware removal program before your financial transaction and afterwards, too.
#6 Report Your Account to Your Financial Institution in Case of Foul Play
If you have evidence of foul play on your account such as an address changed without your permission, change your password, immediately.
If your account has unauthorized activity, report it and report your credit card(s) as lost or stolen. Better to stop any transactions before they occur than afterward.