Since the increase in internet usage in the early 90’s, threats to computer security have increased tenfold. They are also becoming more complex and harder to fend off.
Threats to computer security can range from annoying and easy fix to straight up devastating as it wipes out your entire network. To prevent these threats from ever entering your computer, it is important to know what they are.
Here are 5 of the most common computer security threats you could encounter:
Virus – Viruses are some of the most common threats to computer systems. You can get them whenever you use an unsecured connection, click on files that contain a virus, or use flash drives that contain the virus. Viruses threaten your computer systems by replicating and executing themselves over and over until they cause damage to your computer. These viruses alter the way your computer programs work. This can cause disruption and, eventually, the breakdown of your computer.
Phishing – Phishing is emails, links, and websites that pretend to be trustworthy but are actually just out to steal your personal or financial information. An example of this could be an email stating that your account has been compromised and the tech support guys need you to send your personal login details so they can fix it. Don’t fall for this. Tech support guys know their way around the system and most likely won’t need your login details to fix any problem they encounter. To make sure that emails that you get are legitimate, check via phone or ask your IT guy face to face if they indeed sent you that request for your personal data.
Spyware – Spyware is computer programs that track your online activity in order to get information from you. These programs attach to your computer and gain information from your keystrokes, cookies, and internet history. People who use spyware have made millions stealing other people’s bank accounts and such. Spywares is almost undetectable until you see charges on your credit card for items that you never bought. Spyware can be very tricky to remove. Some people never know about it until much later.
Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malware that limits or restricts your access to your computer or the data on your computer. These programs encrypt your data so that you cannot use them. The hackers who have put it there will often send you a note that will tell you that they are holding your files hostage. You can only get the decryption password if you pay the ransom.
Worms – Just like viruses, worms replicate and attach themselves to your files and live off your computer’s memory. They can attach to all the files you send and to your files in your flash drives and infect other computers that they come in contact with. They can spread in your contact list. Worms can also cause major damage to your computer as they keep making copies of themselves in all of your files.
These are just some of the many threats to computer security that you may encounter. Many of them are almost undetectable until your computer starts behaving differently.