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Healthy and General

Protect Your Computer Against the Most Dangerous Threats

4 min read

Computers are the core driving force in advancing technology and evidence-based knowledge. Their functions are to accept, process, analyses, and store data pertaining to different subjects. Computer threat is a term used to describe any potentially harmful action or event, facilitated by a vulnerability, that results in an undesired impact on the system or an application. Computer Threats can either be intentional or accidental and can be used to steal, corrupt, or destroy important information. In computer security, threats are categorized into many categories depending on severity, mode of transmission, target, and source(origin). These are some of the most disruptive threats that you should guard against.

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Computer Virus

This is a self-replicating, malicious program which affects files and applcations on your computer. Viruses range in severity in terms of damage, with the most dangerous ones causing non-functionality of the system and programs. Nimda, SQL slammer, CryptoLocker, Stuxnet, MyDoom and Anna Kournikova are some of the most recent viruses that are causing widespread havoc. Disadvantages of these viruses include slow computing speed, unnecessary pop-up windows, auto-execution of programs, passwords and information theft, and crashing of the device.

Spyware Threat

A spyware is a serious computer security threat that keeps track of your cyber activities or forcefully executes program without user consent. The main objective of any spyware is to enter your computer, gather your data then send it to a third-party without your permission. Spyware attacks leave you vulnerable to breaches and abuse of your personal information. Examples of menacing spyware that you should watch out for include adware, trojans, tracking cookie files and fake Keyloggers.

Computer Worms

A computer worm self-replicating, self-spreading computer program that spreads malicious codes or worms without user interaction. They are designed to spread across several devices while staying active on each. Unlike trojans which need user action, worms are far more dangerous because of their capability to replicate and spread across the entire network of computers without user knowledge or permission. This may lead to transferring documents and data using the users’ email addresses. Examples of such computer worms that you should watch out for include the Morris Worm, ILOVEYOU, WannaCry, and Slammer.

Ransomware

In recent times, hackers have resorted to creating disruptive computer applications and malware to attack computer systems then they offer solutions at a cost. This specialized malware is known as ransomware and they are currently very popular among cyber-criminals. Clop, Window OS, RaaS, and CryptoMix are a few of the deadliest ransomware to computers. Once the ransomware achieves its objective, the attacker can coerce you to make a ransom payment.

The terms Malware and Virus are ordinarily used interchangeably in conversation to refer to the same thing. However, they have two distinct technical definitions in the world of cyber security. Malware is a variant of malicious software whose intent is to infect the host or local computer. On the other hand, a virus is essentially a special type of malware that infects files and then propagates itself through a device whenever the file is accessed. If a system is attacked by malware, it may: retrieve personal data, steal sensitive information, initiate unauthorized processes, and overpower the system. Whereas, if a system is attacked by a virus, the consequences may include: a decrease in processing speed, a lot of pop-up windows, password and settings changes, and self-execution of different programs.

Regardless of the purpose, size, or specifications of your computer, it is vital to have protective measures against computer threats. It is undeniable that computers without anti-virus or anti-malware software, leave the user vulnerable to various attacks. A good practice among computer experts and professionals is to ensure that your device has a functional and up-to-date anti-malware program installed at any given time. This provides all-day protection against even the most recent virus or malware. Given access to the internet and the pre-requisite skills, a hacker can access virtually any unprotected computer in the world. With access to your PC, a hacker can do irreparable damage not only to you but to others who use your computer. They can steal, change and destroy information without your consent. The dangers of being hacked include stealing your identity, and credit card information, as well as being locked out of your data of important accounts.

How to Safeguard Your PC from These Computer Threats

The modern era of the internet has enabled experts to create a number of tools and methods of ensuring the safety of your computer. You can keep your computer safe by:

  • Using a genuine 2-way firewall to protect against hackers and threats.
  • Avoid visiting websites with questionable credibility
  • Always use an updated anti-virus/anti-malware
  • Download software from trustworthy sites only
  • Ensure that you practice safe email protocols like never opening messages/files from recipients that you don’t know.
  • Keep personal information and financial details away from online platforms and conversations.
  • Use high-level browser security settings

It is, therefore, important to ensure that your computer is safe from any and all of these threats. Visit https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus to get the best protection against dangerous threats and secure your personal information with a “Free Antivirus”.