Computer security threats are a big problem to any computer user. Masters of disguise and manipulation, these threats constantly evolve to find new ways to annoy, steal and harm. Hacking. Online fraud attacks. Mobile scams. Common cyber threats like these have sadly become familiar to most of us, and attacks are even more prevalent since the pandemic. Cybercriminals act quickly to identify and exploit opportunities. Arm yourself with information and resources to protect yourself against complex and growing computer security threats and stay safe online.
The most common threats online
A computer virus is a program written to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. A virus replicates and executes itself, usually doing damage to your computer in the process.
Computer viruses are the most common internet security threats out there. Viruses enter your computers by attaching to a host file or a system. Once they enter your computer, they can create damage instantly or remain dormant. The goal of viruses is to infect your other computers and networked systems. One of the basic steps to protecting your computers from viruses is by setting up a firewall. This firewall works by blocking external access to your network systems. A firewall is not 100% foolproof. But it will at least deter or slow down cyber attackers.
How to avoid viruses
Use antivirus software and keep your programs and software up to date. You should also be proactive with firewalls, popup blockers, and strong passwords. Of course, the more your business grows, the more you have to lose so choose a strong antivirus to protect all your precious data.
Another common security threat to your computer systems is malware or ransomware. Malware attacks your files and will only stop until you pay the cybercriminal a hefty ransom. The attack starts by infecting your database systems. From there, it will encrypt your data then pose a threat to delete all your files. One of the first signs of a malware attack is the slowing down of your system. If you notice your computers slowing down for no apparent reason, shut it down first. Disconnect them from the internet then reboot your system. Thereafter, you can install a security product to scan your system for malware. Furthermore, install reputable antivirus software along with your firewall.
Malware is also becoming more sophisticated and there are many different types. You’ve probably heard about ransomware, a type of malware that locks you out of your device until you pay a ransom. A keylogger virus or spyware can record what you type in online forms, such as online banking login credentials, and send that information to a cybercriminal.
How to avoid Malware
Install an antivirus program on all the devices you use, including your phone and tablet. Make sure to keep it up to date. Use a firewall to control which programs have access to the internet. Your firewall can prevent an infected program from broadcasting your sensitive data. You can avoid malicious web pages and links by installing a browser extension that scans the pages you visit. Secure your home Wi-Fi network with a strong password and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks. Don’t use public networks to shop online or log in to your online banking account.
Masquerading as a trustworthy person or business, phishers attempt to steal sensitive financial or personal information through fraudulent email or instant messages. Phishing attacks are some of the most successful methods for cybercriminals looking to pull off a data breach. Antivirus solutions with identity theft protection can be “taught” to recognize phishing threats in fractions of a second.
The main targets of a phishing attack include your usernames, passwords, and credit card information.
They steal valuable data by pretending to be banks and financial institutions, and they can also impersonate reputable websites and even some of your personal contacts. They use emails or instant messages that look legitimate at first glance. Their messages come with URLs that prompt you to input your personal information. In turn, they’ll steal your credentials and use them to access your accounts.
How to avoid phishing attacks
To keep away from phishing attacks, be mindful of the emails and messages you receive. If you don’t know the sender, think twice before opening the message. Also, check the content of your emails before opening any links. If you see a lot of misspelled words, then a phishing attack is possible. Additionally, invest in a total security program that offers protection against phishing attacks. Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats. Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.