Trojans, Spyware, Viruses, and Worms
Trojans, spyware, viruses, and worms are programs that are designed to gain access to your computer. Once these programs have infected your system, they can be used to spam, erase data, spy on activity, log keystrokes, provide remote access to the hard drive, or even wipe the hard drive out.
Trojan – Trojans are programs that are disguised as harmless system applications, like a screensaver or computer background, that rely on the user in order to enter a computer. Once they have been downloaded, they allow hackers to gather personal information or gain access from a remote location.
Spyware – Spyware includes any technology that aids in gathering personal information without the owner’s knowledge. Spyware can be associated with the installation of a new program without the user’s consent. The data that is gathered is then secretly relayed to an outside source.
Virus – Viruses are a bit of computer code that, when opened, infects your system by attempting to replicate and spread throughout your computer. Viruses attack the program data that is already in the computer and attaches itself.
Worm – A worm is a self-standing program that is able to replicate and infect without intervention from the user. Worms often exist within a system without the owner knowing that they have been infected.
Anti-virus and anti-spyware programs can be installed in order to identity such malicious programs and prevent potential attacks. You should not be accessing your OptionsHouse account, or any online account that contains financial or personal information about you for that matter, from any computer that is not protected by up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
Pharming or Website Spoofing
Pharming is the attempt to redirect targets to false websites in order to gather personal information.
One important key in identifying a pharming attempt is to check to make sure that the website that you have been directed to is actually OptionsHouse. Any aspect of the OptionsHouse website that requests personal information will use a secure web connection as noted by “https” at the beginning of the web address (rather than “http”).
It is also important to make sure that even when secure, the address is the correct .com website. Pharming attempts and website spoof sites will often create false websites using a .net or another form of address variation in order to trick targets.