The internet and computerization is a critical part of our personal and business lives. How many of us could get through a day without our laptops, tablets, and smartphones? With these increasing importance has come increasing levels of threat from all manner of attacks.
Whether you are an individual or a business the consequences of falling foul of one of the below threats can range from a little annoyance to a major catastrophe.
In this article well look at the top types of threat that we see these days in the online world. These will include viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, spam, phishing, pharming, keyloggers, and rogue security software. By understanding these you should be able to get the right tools and processes in place to prevent them affecting you, your family, or your business.
A virus is not the flu or some of other medical condition in terms of technology, it is a program that replicates itself and attaches to different software within your devices. The spreading of viruses can happen through flash devices, file downloads, DVDs, file copying, and between servers. One of the most common sources of viruses these days is attachments on e-mails.
Worms can be placed into a system via USB sticks or e-mails. When a worm attacks a system, it may well replicate itself and be sent to all of the e-mail adresses that are found on the computerized device. It looks like the worm has actually come from the infected computer and therefore many recipients can be complacent when they open the e-mail and have their own systems infected.
Trojans can make your computer unprotected and therefore hackers can jump in and seize your information. Its important to protect against Trojans.
Spyware normally gets on to your equipment when you install programs from the internet. It normally goes on without your knowledge and can monitor just about anything you do from the keys you press to the pages you view. It can even delete files from your system and change your hard drive. Information is fed back to the Spyware originator and you can end up with a serious security threat as well as a much slower internet connection because of the constant sending of information.
Adware tends to launch adverts which normally manifest as pop ups on your system. Often, spyware and adware go together so the spyware understands your behaviours and the adware matches the adverts to your internet habits.
Spam is like garden weeds. It is any e-mail that is not wanted at that particular time. Around half of all e-mails that go around the internet are spam. Although spam itself is not an internet threat, it is often used to house malware which is a threat.
Phishing is the activity of collecting data such as passwords and bank information. Normally, the information is garnered by sending e-mails that appear to originate from a trusted source. Banking and groupon style sites are often used as the hooks to gain the information.
Pharming is essentially a different level of phishing. Pharmers develop websites that are fake but appear exactly like the original site. An example is that they may create a very realistic online banking page and then get your information when you try to log in.
Keyloggers will monitor and save every key stroke you make. Criminals can therefore use this information to understand who you are, what you do, and sensitive information about you.
Rogue Security Software
Threats in this world today are often about imitation of genuine services. There is an increasing threat from security software that is in fact fake. You pay for it, and then you find that you are not protected and that youre having your information stolen. Some of these type of activity is manifest through doggy antivirus programs.
So there you have it, some of the most common threats on the internet today. By understanding them you can protect against them and ensure that your system dont let criminals or unscrupulous companies into your life.
It is only by understanding these threats that you can follow the right actions to mitigate against them. There is a lot of really good software out there to help you and you can even get software that works on your smartphones these days. As a business there are few more damaging situations than your company being the originator of security threats s o ensure that you don’t get infected and take the necessary precautions.
As an individual you don’t want to be the cause of your whole address book having problems with their computerised devices. Imagine the number of apology emails that you will be sending.
Ensure that you update your computer regularly with the latest updates of the operating systems, firewalls and antivirus software. If you run a website then also make sure that you install the latest plugins and versions. Content management systems such as WordPress are always at risk form attacks and you need to make sure that you stand the best chance of avoiding the very frustrating, and potentially financially damaging consequences of an attack. Your website could be taken sown completely, or could have malware installed and lost Googles trust. Your rankings and sales could plummet.
Think about using MacAfee, Norton or one of the other subscription-based tools to protect you. There are often deals on these software packages when you buy your devices, and these can save you a small fortune, especially if you need several licenses to protect multiple devices. It really is more important than ever to lock the door to your network and your computer. Failure to do so is irresponsible and you will have no one to blame but yourself if you let yourself be hit by an attack that could have been prevented by a small amount a=of investment and a few minutes of your time.
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