It would be fair to say that PC security has well and truly been brought into the forefront of the public eye over the last few years. Once upon a time the odd person might have been armed with antivirus software, now it is recommended for everyone courtesy of some high-profile security breaches that have brought absolute chaos to some companies.
While the big news stories might focus on said companies, the threats still exist for domestic users. This is what today’s article is all about and if you are serious about protecting yourself, and your data for that matter, let’s now take a look at some of the key threats that you need to be aware of.
Let’s start with the one that has been doing the rounds for a number of years. If you were to ask any antivirus security advisor, this is the one that they commonly get contacted about.
In their simplest terms, viruses will change the way in which your computer works. At times it can result in it completely malfunctioning, meaning that you may even have to completely reinstall your operating system.
Fortunately, common sense can usually protect you against these threats. As the virus has to be downloaded onto your computer, you just have to be a little more vigilant when it comes to downloads and ensure that anything you see in an email, or a file sharing site, is absolutely what it seems. If there is any suspicion, avoid, and check with your antivirus software. There are lots of signs which can help you identify the signs.
Spyware is another common threat, and one that has also been around. This time it’s all about a program monitoring what you do online, and sometimes installing programs without your knowledge on your computer. Generally, they aren’t quite as harmful as viruses, but they can prove to be exceptionally annoying and can be avoided by abiding by the advice we have documented above.
Out of all of the types of threat we have mulled over, it could be said that phishing is the most recent. It’s also something that can prove to be incredibly harmful. While your computer system isn’t necessarily going to be at risk with this, your personal data can be. This is because “phishers” will embed various files in emails and other messages that can infiltrate your computer, and track your use. Ultimately, as modern-day use of a computer surrounds banking and other sensitive things, this can mean that very private, and lucrative, data can be given to the wrong hands.
Again, the best way to safeguard yourself is to make sure that all emails are legitimate. This might sound a little too much like common sense, but nowadays scammers are becoming shrewder than ever and can mask themselves as the real-deal very easily.
In truth, hackers could fall into all of the above. A hacker is an individual who is able to break into a computer and effectively, do whatever damage they wish to. Sometimes this might be stealing your private data, while on other occasions it might be to make life as difficult as possible for the computer user. Again, by being extra-diligent through your PC use you can safeguard yourself against hacking.