Can you really make your computer hack-proof?
The word hacker was originally used to describe people who created computer systems. Today it is used to describe those who gain unauthorized access to computer systems. The internet itself was deliberately designed by hackers. The collaborative community was developed to create better technologies and function as a commons. Unfortunately, along with the good, often comes the bad.
Computers now permeate almost every aspect of our daily lives. It has drastically changed the way we live, and will only continue to do so in the future. More transactions are being processed online, and the pace at which transactions are transferred to digital format is sure to accelerate. Therefore we need to protect our computers as well as protect our online accounts.
Unfortunately, along with the many advantages, they are also accompanied by disadvantages. There are miscreants, who for whatever reasons, create and distribute malware for nefarious purposes.
It may be for monetary gains, or in many cases, it may be just mischief , to cause damage.
Malware and viruses are written by a number of perpetrators. It can be a group of people who may be loosely related, it may also be created by companies in countries, where there are lax laws around malware creation, and even organized crime may be involved in the creation of malware.
For a virus to be successful, it has to be executed on a computer, by a human. That means that the code must be executed by a human action, such as booting the computer or opening a file, and the virus performs the task, that primarily involves replicating itself, and make its way to other computers, where the replication cycle is repeated.
There are many methods used to move viruses between computers, but the main methods are thru external storage devices, such as portable drives, USB flash drives, digital discs or through network connections such as the internet.
Keeping track of viruses is an insurmountable task, as there are variations being released regularly. If you currently have no protection or maintenance software this website highly recommends you grab a free scan with PC Matic to see what it can do for you.
They may serve a number of different purposes, such as damaging files to make them unusable.
The creators have become clever enough to program viruses to become dormant after a certain date, and to be triggered after a period of dormancy.
One of the most common payloads are infections, that send spam or unwanted commercial messages from your computer. Viruses can also deploy payloads that monitor and steal data and personal information from your computer, by implanting what is known as a Trojan horse.
Your computer can also be infected, or hijacked as a member of a botnet to execute illicit activity.
Developing an awareness and being cognisant of the existing environment at all times is essential. Get to know the neighbourhoods that you visit on the web all times, and remember that the potential for malware or transferring viruses is always present.
It may be surprising, but they are many people who still access the internet without adequate Anti-Virus protection. While good security software is essential, developing good security habits, may be even more critical. Realize that it takes more than thinking about security, or tools to make your system and data secure.
In fact it is more of a process.
There are some very basic things that can can be done to protect yourself. These basic tasks are often neglected, and allow the spread of malware to proliferate.
- Ensure that your computers are protected with firewall software. Firewalls will prevent unauthorized connections through your internet connection. The access logs and firewall rules should be periodically monitored to ensure continued protection.
- You are most likely or will soon be using a wireless network. Wireless networks offer increased flexibility, but a trade- off appears to be decreased security. With a wireless network, physical barriers such as windows and doors, do not control access, and only physical proximity is needed to gain access to your signal. There are three simple steps to dramatically increase the security of your wireless network.
- Change your routers password often, and create strong passwords.
- Do not advertise your wireless network. Every wireless router is assigned a name by which it is identified. The name is called the Service Set Identifier or SSID. This feature should be disabled or you can even assign a different name periodically.
- Another thing you can do is to enable encryption, with a secret key that is known only by the wireless router and the network interface card.
- Do not use ad-hoc networking. In ad-hoc mode computers can communicate directly with each other without going through a router or other device. This can be great if you only need to quickly need to share a file with someone, but leaves you very vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Enable Anti-virus protection
This tip is just so obvious but people still avoid doing the right thing. Multiple forms and levels of Anti-virus protection are now available on the internet, and you cannot have too much protection. Your Internet Service Provider as well as the email client that you use, may allow you to enable some some form of Anti-viral protection.
Install AV software on every computer in your network, and be sure that the software is set up to perform periodic scans. This is the only way to protect your computer from harm.
The software should also automatically retrieve signature updates of new viruses.
While not being completely hackproof, the practices will go a longer way to creating a safer computing environment.
Richard D. Grandall is a independent computer consultant who spends several hours each day on his computer. He also writes frequently on computer related topics
He is passionate about security and is also a contributor to the website http://daily deals4you .com which also contributes to a safer computing environment by offering resources such as Bitdefender coupon and Kaspersky coupon code