Cyberthieves Silently Copy Your Passwords as You Type
February 27, 2006 By TOM ZELLER Jr.
Most people who use e-mail now know enough to be on guard against “phishing” messages that pretend to be from a bank or business but are actually attempts to steal passwords and other personal information. But there is evidence that among global cybercriminals, phishing may already be passé.

In some countries, like Brazil, it has been eclipsed by an even more virulent form of electronic con – the use of keylogging programs that silently copy the keystrokes of computer users and send that information to the crooks. These programs are often hidden inside other software and then infect the machine, putting them in the category of malicious programs known as Trojan horses, or just Trojans.

here’s some good tips for securing your web browser
http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/securing_browser/

Some other tools that are free and very usefull at keeping your system clean of malware are:

Spybot – Search & Destroy
A freeware tool to locate and remove over 27,000 forms of malware…  tracking cookies, suspicious registry entries and bookmarks and more. 
Lavasoft Ad-aware SE Personal ( Ad-Aware SE Personal Download link)
Another excellent tool that can spot and remove a wide variety of malware. 
RegSeeker
This tool is free for personal use and does a great job of finding and removing invalid or suspect registry entries to help keep the system running smoothly. It can also customize a lot of windows features. 
A-Squared Personal
A Malware scanner and remover specialized in Trojans, Dialers and Spyware. 

I find that it’s best to use all of these tools on a weekly basis. Each has their own methods and data files and often what one might miss will be caught by the other. It only takes about an hour or so per week to update and run each tool and it’s well worth the time.

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