Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Most Common Computer Threats


Most Common Computer Threats

Computers are an amazing way to connect to the world around you, but they can also harbor several dangers. Many people may not even know how un-secure their computer is against things such as a hijacker, Trojans, spyware, and worms, but here is a list of the most common computer threats that you should be on the lookout for, and ways to protect your machine against these dangerous threats.

Computer Virus

One of the biggest threats to computer security that we see at Computer Fix SLC is the computer virus. It’s an insidious threat that, once inside your machine, can replicate itself and infect your PC, even before you might know it is in there. You may contract a virus from a hijacker, or just from a seemingly innocuous website or email that you receive. No matter what the source, it’s critical that you have an antivirus software installed on your machine in order to prevent the virus from taking over your machine, deleting or corrupting your files, and spreading through your networks.

Spyware

Detecting spyware can be very difficult, since it is designed to be installed on a PC without the user knowing of its existence. If you do get spyware on your machine, it could be monitoring your movements, tracking your network activity, or even interfering with the control of your machine. It collects information, including the websites that you go to, passwords and usernames used to log in to sensitive sites, and even personal details such as social security number, bank accounts and credit cards. You can get spyware removal programs, which function much like antivirus software, to scan your activity and keep spyware out. You can also do monthly scans, or bring your machine to Computer Fix SLC for regular scans to detect and remove the harmful programs.

Worms

Nobody wants to get worms, and that is true for your computer as well. Computer worms are software programs that attach to a program within your PC, then replicate themselves once you interact with the program. One of the biggest drawbacks to having a worm is how it can affect your network. By replicating and spreading through the network, it can reduce your network performance, and take up bandwidth, affecting your connection speeds and quality. On the more serious side, it can poke holes in your firewall or other system security that allows hackers to get into your computer and control it remotely. Keeping your system current with the latest security patches, and running scans to detect worms can keep them from getting into your PC.

Trojans 

If you don’t remember history class, the Trojans were the ones who tricked their enemies into letting them into their city by hiding inside a large, hollow horse. Once inside the city, they could attack from within and defeat their powerful enemy. In your computer, a Trojan or Trojan horse is software that looks just like a legitimate program, but it harbors a malicious program that will be released once inside. If they allow hackers or other malicious programs in to your machine, Trojans can cause significant damage or steal troves of private information from your PC.
 

The best defense against malicious software on your machine is a good offense. Being proactive about keeping your system clean and free of bad programs can help you avoid the difficulty that comes with trying to get rid of them once they are inside. Bring your PC to Computer Fix SLC to learn more and get it scanned for problems.

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