7 Types of Computer Security Threats and Their Potential Risks

  • Simon Archer
  • June 10, 2019
  • 0

It’s becoming more and more common for people to spend the majority of their workdays on the computer. If your job or hobbies require you to be on the computer, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself from different threats.

With the ease and automation that computers provide, sometimes we get lazy and lackadaisical with security checks. As the internet continues to develop and become more populated, staying cautious is a must-have trait. This list contains the 7 different types of computer security threats and how to keep your computer safe.

1. Physical Computer Attacks

Physical computer attacks are one of the easiest types of computer security threats to understand. Anyone who has physical access to your computer can control your information. Even with hidden files and passwords, you can only keep a person out of your computer so long if they have access to the physical machine.

This is why computer hosting companies hire security guards and use many other security techniques to protect their computers. If an attacker were to gain physical access to the hosting location, the entire company would be at risk.

It’s vital to keep in mind that even your computers at work are susceptible to a physical attack. Most offices leave the computers unattended for up to 16 hours a day which makes building security paramount. Finding ways to secure your property will protect you from this type of attack.

2. Network Security Attack

Network security threats aren’t visible to the naked eye but are still a great cause for concern. These types of computer security attacks target your firewall, which is made to prevent unauthorized access to your computer. Network security attacks are often the result of downloading an unknown program or corrupted file from the internet.

People with malicious intentions will use a wide variety of techniques to trick you into granting them access to your computer remotely. Some computer attacks will even pretend to be a remote printer hoping that you accidentally connect to their network. A strong foundation of managed IT support, proper browser defenses and safe internet browsing techniques can help prevent these types of attacks.

3. Phishing Attempt

Phishing is an underhanded tactic used to gain access to sensitive information. People use phishing attacks to gather created card numbers, passwords, and other private information that can be sold for money. Phishing attacks are defined by their seemingly legitimate nature.

Common phishing attacks include receiving an email from someone posing as a friend or someone encouraging you to download a file or visit a malicious link. Some attackers will even design their website to look exactly like your bank’s website and hope you get tricked into logging into your bank account. Paying attention to detail when working online can help protect you from these phishing attempts.

4. Adware/Spyware

Adware is designed to track your internet browsing habits and show you related advertisements and pop-ups. Adware is a variation of malicious software which shows unwanted ads on your computer even if you’re not connected to the internet. Adware attacks will often change your desktop background image and open pop-ups every time you click.

Spyware is another form of malicious software designed to steal your information. As the name implies, spyware lets people spy on you while you’re using your computer. This allows people to record your passwords, financial information, and your conversations. Spyware is designed to be hard to detect.

5. Trojan Horse Attack

Similar to a phishing attack, trojan horse attacks attempts to trick you into giving your consent for a virus to take over your computer. People will pose as someone you know and encourage you to download a file or attachment. Once inside your computer, a trojan virus can do a variety of things such as controlling your webcam, recording your keystrokes, and stealing sensitive data. Make sure you trust the source whenever you’re downloading files from the internet.

6. Computer Worm

Computer worms are a form of malware designed to quickly spread and replicate from one computer to another. Computer worms usually target your contacts and encourage everyone to download the virus. Once it spreads to another computer, it targets the contacts again, which allows it to spread to more and more people. Computer worms are usually the result of exploiting a vulnerability in a piece of software.

7. Rootkit

Rootkits use a collection of software tools that allow a person to remotely control your computer at the administration level. Once they have control of your computer, there isn’t much you can do. Rootkit viruses are often hidden in legitimate software.

Attackers like to hide rootkits in software that requires you to grant the program administrator level access. Once administrator access is granted, they have the same type of access to your files as a physical computer attack. Rootkits are also often spread by phishing emails, corrupt files, and illegal copies of licensed programs.

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