For those of you using software to connect to your computer remotely, here’s a chilling, cautionary tale from the New York Times of a guy who, for almost two years, used an arsenal of computers in his bedroom on the 14th floor apartment he shared with his mother to break into others, steal their credit card information and shop. GoToMyPC is mentioned in the story, which was one of the programmes the guy used to access and hijack other PCs, raising some serious warning flags about the downsides of these kind of programs, which allow you to access your PC remotely.
The bottom line: Be very careful when you use a PC in a public place, including your own. This guy mainly used software he had installed on public computers to capture the information needed to get access, but shoulder surfing — folk walking behind you, looking to see what you type — is another way. Certainly, don’t leave your computer unattended and still attached to the Internet if you don’t intend to use things like GoToMyPC. (And if you do, consider the information on your PC to be vulnerable.