How to Always Stay on Top of Computer Security Threats

Computer Security Threats

What is Computer Security

Before we talk about computer security threats we need to know what exactly computer security is and what it encompasses. Computer security is not exclusive to your computer device but also extends to every device you use to access the internet and store data. Thus it also includes your smart phone as well as computer networks; which in the broader sense is what the internet itself is. Every mechanized machine which is used to carry out functions comes under computer security. By computer security it is implied that these devices are not misused and not used by unauthorized personnel. People who use a device without the permission of the owner are usually doing it illegally and in most parts of the world this is now considered a serious crime.

Computer security is both the safety of the physical component of the computer as well as the data stored inside it. There are multiple branches of computer safety which range from securing the physical units of the computer to safeguarding software and individual user accounts as well. Computer safety is a growing field and as the world becomes increasingly digitized and we rely on computers and machines more and more everyday to carry out daily functions, it becomes even more important to focus on computer security and its threats to ensure a safe cyber world for ourselves.

Different Forms of Computer Security Threats

There are many types of Computer security threats found these days and one should be wary of. These computer security threats are incredibly commonplace hence should be looked out for at all times. This means you need to know about them so you can know how to avoid them. Following are some of the most popular computer security threats.

1. Malware

Malware is one of the very common form of a computer security threats. It is any kind of software which was created with a malicious intent to penetrate the security of your computer device. A malware is said to be any kind of code which is hostile, unwanted and annoying to the host. It is always unwelcome and makes the computer susceptible to more computer security threats.

2. Virus

A virus is a software code in a computer which can infect other computers as well. It can delete, transfer and corrupt the data on your computer device. At times viruses can access your emails or other tools so that it can transfer itself to other computers. Viruses actively try to corrupt the files on your computer.

3. Trojan

This kind of software is incredibly dangerous and one of the major computer security threats. It is called as a Trojan virus because of the way it seems innocent and you have no idea that there is a virus. Trojan viruses are usually hidden within downloads; when you see something you want to download and start the download, it might actually turn out to be malicious and you have inadvertently downloaded a malicious software to your computer without even realizing it. This malicious program can do a lot of damage from recording your passwords and every other thing you type to hacking into your webcam. This is one of the very serious computer security threats since it is hard to detect as well.

4. Spyware

Spyware is one of the incredibly serious computer security threats as it is software which was specifically designed by the hacker to spy on people. This means they will use the spyware for either recording what you type through a keylogger or hack into your camera or microphone to record everything you are doing and saying. This is a very daunting thought and a huge invasion of your privacy.

5. Botnet Attacks

A botnet attack is when a group of computers that is connected to the internet is hacked by someone for malicious purposes.  A botnet attack is one of the very serious computer security threats faced by big websites. This is because these attacks can use fake website access requests and crash websites because of a big demand on their website. When this happens, actual users are given a ‘DoS’ which is a ‘Denial of Service’ which means they will not be able to access the website. This is an attack which is targeted a lot of times at major social media websites.

6. Phishing Attempts

As of late, phishing attacks have become one of the major computer security threats that companies face specially email service providers. This is because these are usually emails which seem legitimate from a source you know such as your bank or someone from work. These websites ask you to update your information and ask for your username and password for this purpose. This way the person orchestrating the phishing can easily get your login details and then misuse them for whatever purposes they wish to.

7. Rootkit

A rootkit is a collection of tools which are then used to gain administrator level access to a website or a computer networks. This is used by hackers when they spot a weakness in the cybersecurity protocol used by a computer network or website and can be devastating since a rootkit is almost impossible to detect unless it is done by a professional.

Tips on How to Safeguard Yourself from Computer Security Threats

Now that we know just how many computer security threats are out there and how vulnerable our computer devices can be to attacks such as these by professionals we need to know how we can safeguard ourselves from these attacks. There are several tips to avoid computer security threats so that you do not fall prey to hackers. These are incredibly simple tips which you can implement in your everyday life to up your online security.

Here are some tips that will serve you well in your effort to avoid computer security threats.

1. Operating System Updates

When your operating system gets an update and asks you to update it, always say yes! This is because when a software is outdated, it has weakness within it which have now been fixed. But since hackers know about the weak spots they can easily breach them and hack into your computer device. When you fail to update your operating system, you are actively opening yourself up to attacks since you are making it easier for hackers to find weaknesses and breach them.

2. Protective Software

There are many protective software available from firewalls to others which help you keep your computer clean and hence protected from computer security threats. You need to download one right away. There are multiple free software which you can check out but if you are willing to pay a little extra for more security, it is always a good idea.

3. Password

The most common way people expose themselves to computer security threats is by setting easy passwords for their computer systems as well as their accounts. It is incredibly important  is by setting easy passwords for their computer systems as well as their online accounts. It is incredibly important to have a very strong password so no one can hack into it. A good password is one with characters, symbols and numbers. Your password should not be a word which can be found in the dictionary.

4. Back up Your Data

You never know when you can fall victim to the various computer security threats which exist so it is a good idea to be proactive and back up your system regularly. This can be done manually with an external hard drive or you can get software which back up your data for you online in cloud systems storage. This is extremely beneficial since you can have your data saved at all times and be safe in the knowledge that your data is safe.

5. Restricted Access

Do not give people your computer device or smart phone to use just because they ask. This is a dangerous practice since people can download malware on your device without your knowledge and record your passwords, information and misuse it. This is one of the worst forms of computer security threats and you need to be wary of who you trust. Make sure you do not login to your accounts from public computers since this can be a big risk. There could be a keylogger on the device or other kinds of malware.

6. Be Alert

When you receive email message do not open them just out of curiosity. Make sure you know the sender. Look at the attachments and links to see whether there is something off about them. At times there is malware in attachments and the easiest way to detect it is to see whether the file size is what a file size of that sort usually is. Other than that, if you receive an email from someone you know but you were not expecting that email, make sure to ask them whether it is something they actually sent or it might be a virus.

7. Secure Connections

Make sure you only use internet connections which you trust and which are secure. Using open networks on your computer devices which are available is a bad idea since anyone can access that connection and if you are connected to it, they can access your device as well.

These computer security threats are very real and something you actively need to think about. Make sure you are wary of them and think of your cyber security since it is very important in this day and age.

Written by Adeline


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