UK’s Get Safe Online campaign conducted a study on cybercrime and revealed the following result: to an internet fraudster, an identity is worth £80 and in 2008 the victim rate is raised to 23% compared to 15% in 2007.

It has become a must for every online user to be aware of cyber crimes and the safety measures to be adopted get rid of them. Here we have listed some of the common threats that are faced by most online users with solutions to avoid them.

The main focus of an internet fraudster is to find out personal details of online users, and use those details to gain access to bank accounts, run up bills, create false documents such as passports or birth certificates and carry out benefit fraud.

Generally, hackers send email messages in the name of a legitimate organization such as a bank, demanding the user to update their personal details for security. Remember, that a bank will not ask you to reveal your personal details on email. So don’t pay heed to such emails.

Many hi-tech criminals attract people by sending emails on current affairs or other attractive subjects with an attachment. The attachment could be a booby trap with a malicious program through which they can collect users’ personal details. Install an anti-virus program in your system and update it daily before opening your mail box to get rid of such viruses.

Sometimes, when you open a website, a popup window will appear and say that ‘you have just won a million dollars’ or ‘your computer is affected by a virus’. The message will ask you to click on the window which you should never do. If you click on the message, you will be taken to a website and asked to download a software likely spyware. Simply don’t respond to such popup windows. It is better to enable a plug-in to block unwanted popup windows.

Install a trusted anti-spyware program to safeguard your computer from spyware. As Microsoft’s Windows lacks security, security firms advice online users using Microsoft software to update it as soon as security fixes are available. Online users are advised to use non-Microsoft programs for web browsing.