20 Mar 2012

Multi-effort internet security leads to less identity theft

A new study which was cross-led by a Michigan State University criminologist said that having antivirus software, anti-adware software and anti-spyware software made people 50 percent less likely to have credit card information stolen.

“When you think about antivirus software protecting you, you might think about it keeping your files safe and not losing your music and photos,” said Thomas Holt, MSU associate professor of criminal justice and lead researcher on the project, according to Michigan State University's website. “The important thing we’re finding here is that it’s not just about protecting your files, but also about protecting you economically – about reducing your chances of being a victim of identity theft.”

The study showed that 15 percent of respondents said they experienced computer-related identity theft over the past year and more were likely to lose their identity due to unsafe computer practices.

Holt said he isn't sure what these viruses and malware are a consequence of, but he believes those who engage in downloading pirated music or pornographic images were more likely to be infected. Everyone should invest in these internet security measures to help stay safe online.