Have you ever had to constantly get your laptop checked because of viruses that corrupt your files? Just recently, I got my laptop checked, and what do you know, I had more than a hundred viruses that made my laptop their virtual home. Considering that I downloaded only just a couple of songs, it really is amazing how that happened. No wonder my computer had been playing tricks on me, playing "freeze" on me just when I was in the middle of something important (playing Plants vs. Zombies is classified as a life and death situation in my vocabulary).
Anyway, that made me curious. I needed to protect my computer. But before I could understand WHY I needed protection for my computer, I had to know WHAT I needed protection from. And so I did a little Research and came up with some information that could eventually HELP YOU avoid the same tragic tale that I had. Information is power. And so I came up with the following:
• Virus (also referred to as bug) - just like the physiologic virus, a virtual virus has the ability to replicate itself, either by structure or by function. It works by attacking or attaching itself to already existing files in your computer. It works by deleting, corrupting, or hiding information that threatens the integrity of your computer.
• Worms- just like viruses, worms can work by replicating itself but it can reach over an extensive computer network or society and in just a matter of minutes if not seconds. The best example of a worm is the ILOVEYOU worm that was able to penetrate even the strictest security of the Pentagon in just over a day from its release from the Philippines (its country of origin).
• Trojans- just like to Trojan horse (from which its name was based), this program is set to appear different from that of which it was originally made for. It may appear like a harmless program that you download to your computer, but it may end up stealing information, or corrupting your network.
• Spyware- from its root word "spy", it is designed to monitor the functionality of your computer, and sends these information to outside parties without consent.
• Bots- are designed to take over, control, & utilize the information found in your computer & sent to another network without consent.
• Malwares- is the general term that can be used for all programs designed to break into your personal system and cause various problems.
In order to avoid the above-mentioned problems, it is important to be constantly aware of the updates concerning Internet Security. It is no wonder that all the problems above can be acquired through the still not fully secured World Wide Web.
There are several programs-downloadable- in order to protect you computer from problems posed by the Internet. One important key factor before choosing such programs is the integrity of the provider, because there are providers that- instead of giving protection- are the ones who introduce the problems in the first place.
Importance of Internet Security
Some people have been exploited online through the use of their personal profiles. Not only is their personal information stolen and used by a different person but this also includes their pictures, videos, files, and what not. Various cases of online exploitation have spread as social networks have invaded the internet with a force. Stealing information online is as fast and easy as creating an online profile that is why securing your profiles are the most important thing to do when getting into various internet sites and applications. With the emergence of Friendster, MySpace, Multiply and now Facebook, everyone is now accessible to more and more contacts and information on millions of people. Additions to this are even group emails, personal emails, and even online blogs. The internet is clearly a very useful way to communicate but it too is a dangerous place if you are not careful with what you publish online.
Some websites are careful to ensure that your profiles are safe. These sites have within their systems a security mechanism that enables you to protect the information you want to be displayed. As a user, it is your responsibility to know what kind of web site you are getting yourself into. Being aware of how a web page protects you is the responsible decision before joining it. You should know what online crackers can do to your information as well so as to avoid the classic mishaps online.
Crackers are the true online villains. As opposed to the commonly known villain called Hacker, these two terms have been greatly misused in the layman's language. A cracker is the person who illegally invades your profiles and steals your information. This is a big threat because this may lead to even more grave incidents such as bank theft or organized crimes. Hacking on the other hand is a totally different concept. Hacking is the process in which a system is tested before it goes into the market for direct use by the customers. It operates in a way where the system is tested for glitches so that when it reaches the market, it is now full proof of any cracker. Hacking is done to ensure that all holes within the system are patched.
But at the end of the day, it is the user's discretion on what kind of information you post online. You attract more attention depending on what you lay available for other users to see. Your profile is your responsibility that is why most sites require the creation of a password to your account in order to ensure that only you can be able to access your profile. If you share your password too loosely then you give permission for the use of whatever is on your profile to a wider range of individuals. The strength of your password is also a very tricky mechanism. Most people choose a password that directly relates to their personal information but this only makes it easier to figure out and thus no longer becomes a secret. Passwords have to be tough and not easily guessed.