PC Security In A Global Environment
PC security is a global subject relative to your personal computer (PC) because the threats to your local computer on your desktop are very real caused by hackers anywhere in the world. A hacker is a person that plays with computers for the sheer intellectual challenge. They can be good guys or bad guys; the bad guys are the ones that get the most media attention.
It may be hard to visualize someone wanting to harm your computer or its stored and processed data in remote locations anywhere in the world by people you don't know or have contact with, but they are out there just the same. And, not only are they out there, they are out there 24/7. PC security is real.
Why do bad guy hackers do there malicious work? Who knows? They do it for the same reasons kids write markings on public buildings or let the air out of car tires just for kicks. They may do it as part of nation vs nation warfare. Who knows?
The only secure PC is one that is turned off and not connected to any others in a network. If your PC is turned on and connected to others in a network or to the Internet, it is vulnerable to attack through data transfer PC to PC.
Your personal computer is also vulnerable by attack from persons that have physical access to it. The only way to prevent this type of attack is to restrict access to computers. Allow only trustworthy people to have access to your computers.
Some of the most common types of threats to personal computers are the following.
- Virus - a set of instructions in computer programs that, when executed, inserts copies of itself into other programs, most notably through e-mail messages.
- Worms - are programs that replicate themselves by installing copies of themselves on other computers across a network.
- Trojan Horses - are instructions hidden inside an otherwise useful program that does bad things. These malicious instructions are normally installed at the time the program is written.
- Denial-Of-Service Attacks are when someone sends multiple messages, thousands or millions, one after the other in rapid succession to overload a computer or a computer network and shut it down.
- Trapdoor - is an undocumented entry point intentionally written into a program, often for debugging (bug removal) purposes, which can be exploited as a security flaw.
- Logic bomb - is malicious instructions that trigger on some event in the future, such as a particular time occurring.
- Zombie - is harmful instructions installed on a computer system that can be remotely triggered to carry out some attack with less traceability because the attack comes from another victim.
The most common transfer of harmful computer programs are through e-mail messages sent via the Internet. When you open the e-mail with the "bug" in it the bug does its bad work.
Don't open e-mail messages from unknown sources, or with non-sense, unknown subject titles to avoid allowing the bug to execute. It takes just a moment to scan an e-mail for suspicious indications.
The following are some things you can do to help protect your personal computer and computer networks.
- Install firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to your computer(s) through networked connection lines or via the Internet.
- Install virus protection software. And, frequently run virus checkers to detect and remove harmful viruses.
- Don't run programs from suspicious sources, like bulletin boards or people who aren't as careful as you.
- Dedicate certain computers for specific purposes such as to play games, do important work, or write computer programs. That way you can isolate the problem.
- When your computer screen shows a warning message that there is a problem or potential problem, heed its instructions, and don't do the unadvised things.
- Do frequent backups, and save old backups. That way you have the work already done that may be bug free.
- Don't boot up your computer off of floppy disks, such as the first time you unpack your machine, unless you know the floppy disk is safe.
PC security is part of the computing world. The good guys and bad guys are out there to stay.
PC security is an all-time thing. Don't get frustrated. It is just part of the real world, and the real world of computing. Make computer protection part of your computing system just like you do for home or auto protection.
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