Guest Author - Rayna H. Battle
Would you give a known drug user your personal information?
Would you open a checking or credit card account for an admitted con artist?
Would you put your full name, date of birth, home address, and social security number online for anyone to use as they wished?
Hopefully, not knowingly.
But if you use any P2P (peer-to-peer) software without taking the proper precautions, that’s exactly what you may end up doing.
In the beginning she was just like anyone else. She had a family, a job, a husband, a life. But when she was introduced to crystal meth, her entire life changed. She lost everything or more accurately, she gave up everything in pursuit of her next high. She lost her family when her husband divorced her and won full custody of the kids. She was fired from her job when she was caught stealing from her boss. When her addiction even impacted her parents’ lives, they disowned her. Alone, desperate, and addicted, she relied on her friends – also addicts – for support. It was her friends who introduced her to an easy source of illegal income – you.
Just like everything else, swindling has gone high tech. These days, one of the more common thieves are drug users, anxious to support their habit in the easiest way possible. Both clever and desperate, online con artists rely mainly on three methods to access your personal information: P2P sites, spam, and malware.
Using P2P technology, which allows users to connect to the computers of others, scammers don’t have to do much to hack into the unsuspecting user’s system, quickly accessing all sorts of personal information, including names, passwords, account numbers, and more. With this information, a scammer would be able to open checking accounts, credit cards, and even obtain bank loans.
By sending out spam, scammers hope that you will be tricked, coerced, or lured into giving out your personal information.
By installing malware on your system, scammers hope to glean the information that you would never knowingly supply to a stranger. The malware may track you or allow someone to access your PC remotely.
Rather than being a condemnation of those who are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, this article is a reality check. The truth is, you never know who is on the other side of the computer. Even a trusted source is not a 100% guarantee of safety. For that reason, caution and discretion are always a necessity for Internet users.
Drug or alcohol addiction is a painful reality for millions of people around the world. If you know anyone who needs help or support, I would recommend visiting the 12-Step Recovery site on BellaOnline.