A good portion of the calls I get for computer support are to remove malware and viruses. But what are all of these threats that can wreak havoc on your poor computer? Here is a list with definitions of the things that go bump in the night when it comes to your computer (and, now phones and tablets). In my next article I with give you my top 10 tips to keep you safe so stay tuned…
Virus – Virus is a program designed to copy itself and propagate, usually attaching itself to applications. It can be spread by downloading files, exchanging CD/DVDs and USB sticks, copying files from servers, or by opening infected email attachments.
Worms – A worm can be injected into a network by any types of means, like an USB stick or an email attachment. Email worm tends to send itself to all email addresses it finds on the infected PC. The email then appears to originate from the infected user, who may be on your trusted senders’ list, and catch you off guard.
Trojan – It might appear harmless and even useful at first, but it leaves your PC unprotected, enabling hackers to steal sensitive information.
Spyware – Spyware is often secretly installed without users consent when a file is downloaded or a commercial pop-up is clicked. Spyware can reset your auto signature, monitor your keystrokes, scan, read and delete your files, access your applications and even reformat your hard drive. It constantly streams information back to the person that controls spyware.
Adware – This malware launches advertisements, mostly in the form of pop-ups. These are customized to you as a user, based on your behavior on the Internet, which may be monitored by spyware.
Spam – Spam may be defined as unwanted emails. Most users are exposed to scam, which is more than 50% of all Internet emails. Though spam is not a direct threat, it can be used to send different kinds of malware.
Phishing – This is the fraudulent acquiring of sensitive personal information such as passwords and credit card details. This is accomplished by sending official-looking emails impersonating a trustworthy sender. Users of online banking and auction sites are most likely to become a target.
Pharming – A more sophisticated form of phishing. By exploiting the DNS system, pharmers can create a fake website that looks like a real one for instance web bank page, and then collect the information users think they are giving to their real bank.
Keyloggers – Designed to record the user’s keystrokes. Keylogging allows criminals to look for particular bits of information that can be used for identity or intellectual property theft.
Rogue security software – A special type of threat is software that claims to be security software. It tricks users that have installed it to pay a sum of money to be really protected (which they will not be). Most often it pretends to be antivirus and antispyware programs.
Hacked Accounts – Hackers using special software can sometimes determine your password and login to your accounts
Unsecured Home Wireless Networks – Not adding a password to your wireless router may allow hackers to sit out side of your house and access your network
Data Theft – Once someone gets access to your computer they could steal your data including your financial records, personal records, photos, etc.
Mobile – More and more we are seeing data breaches directed towards mobile devices
If you need help with your computer please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Christopher Diamond is the driving force behind CDA Tech Pros (http://cdatechpros.com), a full service computer consulting and support firm in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Christopher honed his skills supporting the IT departments in the entertainment industry in California until he relocated to Mesa, AZ in 2005. He now offers the same corporate grade support to businesses in the Valley with a wide range of services including Consulting, Implementation, & Support for Computers, Servers, & Networks, IT Security Assessments & Solutions as well as Website Development.
We here at CDA Tech Pros and Hogfish Studios are committed to making sure our clients get the most out of the time and money they spend creating and maintaining their perfect website. If you have any question about making your website work the best for you please give us a call at 480-422-1243 or drop us an email at mailto:email@example.com
Chris is also the Webmaster for this publication as well as the technical guy for Kitchen & Bath Design Chat, Nancy’s podcasts.