Malware can spy on your computer, steal passwords, encrypt your data, and demand payment in return. You can minimize the threat by ensuring your antivirus software is current, disconnecting IoT devices when not in use, and regularly updating your OS and browsers.
Cyber attacks exploit software and hardware supply chain vulnerabilities to access sensitive information. They can be performed through phishing, hacking, or other methods.
A virus is a malicious program that can infect the computer and corrupt or delete data. It can also replicate itself. Viruses can be more dangerous than worms because they change files/data.
Viruses are internet threats that can enter your computer through emails/instant messages, hyperlinks, and pop-ups. They can also be bundled with free/trial software downloads. Viruses can also spread by clicking on a link redirecting you to a website designed to steal personal information.
Viruses can cause damage that ranges from deleting files to encrypting data and demanding a ransom in exchange for decryption keys. Often viruses will not cause noticeable wear or symptoms, but you should watch for signs such as prolonged performance and frequent crashes.
Like viruses, worms can harm the device they infect. Worms typically use network connections to seek out other computers to infect. As a result, they often cause system congestion and slow down devices. In addition, worms can steal information, install back doors that cybercriminals can use to take control of your computer or device and corrupt files.
Most worms are spread by exploiting security holes in software. Email and instant messaging worms hide in attachments or embedded links. When a user opens or clicks the attachment or link, the worm replicates on the victim’s computer and spreads to their contact list. Similarly, worms infect computers via P2P file-sharing networks and cloud storage services by disguising themselves as legitimate files or applications.
Regularly updating software helps prevent worms by closing known vulnerabilities. Also, avoid clicking on unsolicited emails and IMs, visiting suspicious websites, or downloading software from P2P file-sharing networks. Instead, use comprehensive security software with a firewall that protects against phishing and identifies other malware threats.
While ransomware has been spotlighted lately, other malware and attacks are still active. One of those is botnets – networks of computers, devices, and even routers infected with malware and controlled remotely without the owner’s knowledge.
Hackers use these zombie-like networks to do a wide variety of cybercriminal activities. For example, they can mine cryptocurrency on infected computers, send spam and phishing emails to steal financial information, or create large-scale DDoS attacks to take down websites and Internet services.
Botnet malware can infect desktop and laptop computers and smart home devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers, and IoT (Internet of Things) systems. It can also target routers and network core devices like packet switches. You might notice a botnet infection if you experience slow reboots and shutdowns, applications that crash frequently, or excessive RAM usage on your device.
Malware, or malicious software, is any program designed to harm your computer. It can range from viruses that corrupt or delete data to ransomware that encrypts files.
Some of the most dangerous malware types are Trojans and worms. Trojans represent themselves as useful programs and trick unsuspecting users into installing them, while worms spread from file to file across systems. Rootkits are another dangerous type of malware that gives hackers privileged administrator-level access to a computer without detection.
Adware, adware, spyware, and fake security software are common forms of malware. Typically, they relay your personal preferences to interested third parties without your knowledge or consent and can affect your PC’s performance and security. Adware is harmful and can cause pop-up ads to appear on your screen or hijack browsers.
Although it used to happen primarily offline due to high-profile data breaches and phishing scams, much of it has moved online. This is because criminals have many personal information online, including names, addresses, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.
Thieves can use this information to take over victims’ financial accounts, file tax returns or governmental benefits, commit medical fraud, and obtain prescription drugs. Often, the first clue that something is wrong is when a victim receives bills in another name or is turned down for a loan.
To thwart this, shred credit card receipts, credit application forms, checks and bank statements, and insurance documents. Also, when using public Wi-Fi, connect to a secure network or a VPN that encrypts the connection. This will prevent criminals from snooping on the data traveling to and from your device.
Cyberbullying is a form of harassment that involves harassing or embarrassing someone using digital technologies such as mobile phones, email, social media, and text messages. It can include mean or hurtful texts, emails, or instant messages; spreading rumors online; creating websites or blogs to make fun of someone; or posing embarrassing photos or videos of someone.
Kids who cyberbully might also post nude or inappropriate images of others on social media or photo-sharing sites. They may use these images to shame their target by publicly displaying them. They could also engage in slut shaming, humiliating girls for their looks, the number of men they have dated, or other characteristics.
Other examples of cyberbullying involve impersonating a victim and sending damaging information under their name. This can cause actual emotional harm to a person. Sometimes kids who cyberbully do so because they are unhappy at home or don’t fit in.