Internet security is vital to protecting your computer from possible computer viruses that could become latched onto your hard drive and endanger your security. These computer viruses are pieces of programming that attempt to subtly get information or disrupt your computer. Internet security programs are designed to find and destroy these pieces of programming either before or after they get onto your computer. If you want to protect your computer, here are some basic guidelines when using any type of Internet connection.
Here are a few basic types of computer viruses:
–A Trojan horse is a type of program that mimics a real program already on your computer. The real purpose of the hidden programming is to destroy data or even give another user control over your computer from a remote location.
–A worm copies itself and spreads from computer to computer through email. A worm is meant to disrupt normal computer function.
–Spyware are types of viruses designed to spy on your computer usage. They can do things such as monitor your keystrokes in order to obtain passwords to vital accounts.
Ways to Combat Attacks
Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is essential to combating newer threats. Some services offer daily downloads to update your system. Several companies offer computer security software that you can find by doing a simple search for computer security software. Consult with computer magazines to read reviews of the best software.
As the name suggest, having a firewall type of security on your computer helps prevent your hard drive from being infected in the first place. You can tell a firewall is working when you try to go to a particular website and it denies you access or it says there may be a security threat if you continue.
Scanning software allows you to check your systems after you go to various Internet sites. My wife and I scan each of our home computers once per day as we go to bed to take care of anything that might have gotten past our firewall. Scanning software can take minutes or hours to go through every little file saved on your computer.
You can tell that your Internet connection is secure if your computer security system pops up and alerts you to possible bad sites. You will also know it works when it picks up something in a scan. You should still be careful perusing the Internet by reducing the times you input secure information.
You should also verify that certain websites you go to have secure connections. Each Internet browser has its own way of informing you that a secure connection has been made. Become familiar with your browser’s security icons if you are unsure of possible security breaches to your computer.
The Internet is a great tool you shouldn’t be afraid of. If you are careful and have security systems on your computer, then your experiences with the Internet should be just fine.
Jane F. Kinkus, “Science and Technology Resources on the Internet: Computer Security,” UC Santa Barbara Library.