Some people, not us of course, but some other people, when talking about computer security, might compare the attitude of a few business owners to that of the infamous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. The Bugblatter, for those too young to know, is a creature from the fabulous Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This unusual character was known for its particularly silly belief that; ‘if you can’t see it, then it can’t see you’. Hence Ford et al. and their oh so useful travel towels. Unfortunately, though, putting a towel over your head when presented with a nasty cyber-attack really isn’t going to work IRL! So, what are the types of computer security threats you need to stop ignoring and what can you do about them?
Computer Security Threats – The Big 4
1. Computer Viruses
Computer viruses are the most common threat to your system’s security. Essentially, viruses are bits of dirty code written to change the way a computer operates, without the owner’s permission or knowledge. They are often bundled with free software, hidden within copied software offered on peer-to-peer sites or activated by a careless click on a dodgy email. So, avoid, or at least, closely evaluate these offerings and never click on suspect email attachments. Above all, keep your antivirus software up-to-date.
2. Spyware Threats
Spyware seems to be pretty ubiquitous. It will sit quietly within your system and steadily syphon off sensitive data. This can be contact details or worse, like credit card and identity details. In any case, enough data to pose an identity theft threat. To minimise the threat from spyware, stay away from adverts offering unbelievable deals, check out terms and conditions (you might be agreeing to download spyware) and use internet security that sniffs out the Spies.
3. Computer Security Threats from Hackers
Computers don’t make viruses, people do. Hackers and predators steal from their victims by loading malicious code onto their system. This unwanted software can create havoc by stealing credit card information, destroying data or locking the owner out of their own system until a ransom is paid. Fortunately, specialist online security tools do exist to protect individuals and business.
The phishing threat seems like an everyday occurrence. Open your email and let’s go phishing! Your collection of bait might include a fake eBay message, PayPal message or something important looking from the bank. They are generally trying to compel you to enter your login details. If you do this, you’re gone, hook, line and sinker. So, be vigilant when being asked for sensitive data, check and doublecheck the email details. If you’re still in doubt, call the company and verify the message.