A lot of people use computers to do their assignments for either school or work. Lots of times they are storing useful and important information. So it is very important that their information on the computer is kept safe and confidential. It is also highly necessary to keep the information from getting lost, stolen, or misused. In businesses, they have to make sure their information is secure from hackers, and being accessed by those who are unauthorized. Stolen information can be very crucial to a company. People who have computers at home also have to make sure confidential information such as bank accounts and credit card numbers are kept secure when doing internet transactions. An action that could cause lost of information, software, data, or the cause of damage to computer hardware is known as a computer security risk.
A computer crime is when someone purposely breeches a computer’s security. This is a little bit different from cybercrimes, which are known as illegal acts that are done over the internet, and is one of the top priorities for the FBI. People who commit these crimes are known as hackers, crackers, cyber terrorists, unethical employees, script kiddies, cyber extortionists, and corporate spies. Hackers used to have a good reputation, but they have now been labeled negatively. Unethical employees are people who steal information from the company that they work for by illegally accessing the databases.
Like a cracker, script kiddies are people who wish to do harm, but lack the technical knowledge to. Most of them are young and are just learning the basics of hacking programs. Corporate spies are hired because of their high knowledge of computers and networks to steal or delete data and information. Shady companies hire them to practice company espionage, gaining the advantage of their company’s competitor. Because of people like these, it is important that computers at businesses and at home are kept tightly secured.
There is no protection that guarantees 100% protection against attack. When you are transferring information over the internet, know that this is a high risk of it getting stolen by hackers. There may be administrators that help encrypt your information from being seen, but once again, there are no 100% guarantees of protection for your information. You could start by using internet services that scans your computer emails for viruses. There are other risks such as worms, spoofing, Trojan horses, and denial of service attacks. Computer viruses are capable of harming your computer, affecting the way it operates and sometimes causes it to crash.
Computer worms are programs that copies itself multiple times and is very similar to a virus. The Trojan horse is named after the Greek myth for a reason, it disguises itself as a legitimate program and hides. It usually isn’t trigger until it is accessed, but they don’t recreate itself like the worm or viruses do. Ways to know if your computer is infected by one of the above are, weird messages popping onto your screen, your available memory is a lot lower than it should, music or sounds play out of nowhere, files become corrupted, programs and files aren’t working correctly, unknown files pop up, or systems properties fluctuate. Be sure to scan all files if you are a common downloader, and try to keep your computers safe!