There are several online ID theft prevention tools you can use to protect your identity online, such as anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and firewall software.

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  • Anti Phishing: Phishing is the act of sending an email that appears to be from a legitimate business, financial or government institution to a mass audience in order to lure recipients into disclosing personal information. There are two ways to protect yourself using anti-phishing tools. Anti-spam filters in your email attempt to catch phishing emails and quarantine them with other spam, and anti-phishing filters for your internet browser will alert you to pages that match lists of known phishing sites or that have suspicious characteristics. Because they work at the internet level, they will work against links from any source - email or otherwise.
  • Spyware Removal: Spyware is any software program that runs in the background of your computer and gathers information about you without your knowledge. These programs can monitor all of your computer or internet activities including the web sites you visit and what you type. Spyware removal software is designed to identify any spyware programs and eliminate them by scanning your computer, deleting the offending application or quarantining it.
  • Firewalls: Firewalls are designed to isolate your computer from the internet by checking inbound data traffic, or "data packets", to determine whether it should be allowed to pass through to your system or be blocked. They can be configured to block traffic on certain ports, or simply allow traffic to come in from computers with specific IP addresses. If you have a DSL, cable modem or other "always-on" connection, having a firewall in place is essential, as any person on the internet could potentially gain access to your computer and data.

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