Cyber Threats and Protection: Hello Friends !!! I am Lokesh from quickstudyhelper.com and in this blog, I’m going to explain to you the Cyber Threats and Protection. After reading this blog, you will be able to understand What are Cyber Threats, How Many Cyber Attacks Happen Daily per day, Protecting Your Computer, and also your personal information and Protection. So don’t miss this blog and read it till the end.
What are the Cyber Threats?
Definition of Cyber Threats: Cyber Threats is any such activity that can result in an undesirable incident that could cause harm to your computer activities. For example, your computer becoming unusable, your computer files being deleted or your information being stolen, etc.
The term Cyber Security refers to security on the Internet, that is, when you use the Internet, your important data, device, software, network and your identity are at risk of being stolen, misused or hacked on the Internet.
Some examples of cyber threats could be viruses, worms, spam emails, online frauds, and hackers. Let us understand these and learn how to protect ourselves from such threats.
Remember: Cyber threats can impact your personal information, your computer equipment, your online reputation, and even your safety.
How many cyber attacks happen daily per day
Cyber Threats and Protection: It is important to know how many types of cyberattacks happen.
Malware, short for malicious software, is software that is used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. ‘Malware‘ is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or invasive software.
A computer virus is a software program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another or perform other activities like delete or modify files. Such programs infect some executable software and when the program runs triggered by some action taken by the user, the virus gets activated and causes harm to the program.
A Trojan horse is a version of a virus that, unlike a computer virus, does not attempt to inject itself into other files. Instead, a Trojan Horse is programmed to deceive the user by appearing to be a genuine file (like an image or video or a software utility). However, when used, it performs other malicious activities like making copies of itself, steals information, or harm its host computer systems. Trojans sometimes access personal information like email addresses, credit card numbers stored locally at home or business computers then sends these data to a remote party via the Internet.
Worm is a software program that actively transmits itself over a network to infect other computers but unlike a virus, can travel without any human action. A worm is similar to a virus by design and is considered to be a sub-class of a virus that utilizes file or information transport protocols on the system, which is what allows worms to travel unaided.
Spyware includes software programs that are installed on your computer to steal information from your computer on an ongoing basis without your knowledge Hackers may install key logger software which will be able to track and report to the hackers all the keystrokes you make on your computer.
Adware is the short form for advertising-supported software. It is a software program that automatically brings up advertisements in the form of pop-ups. The objective of Adware is to lure you to click on the advertisement. Every time you click on the advertisement it helps generate revenue for the author of the advertisement in what is called a pay-for-click advertisement model. Monthly adware is annoying but other than that it is harmless.
Most of us use email. You may have won unwanted emails that come to you promoting some products. Some of these products or services may be genuine, some may be fake. Also, some of the Spam messages are sent to lure you to take actions that may lead to other unwanted implications like downloading malware on your computer. These unwanted messages by email or even by SMS are known as Spam.
Denial of Service (DOS):
Whenever you are prevented to use a website or any other online resource by a deliberate action by somebody It can be termed as a “denial-of-service” attack. Some of the ways through which it can be done include attempts to “flood” a network by writing a program that will send too many requests that will end up crashing the website. Since the website is not designed to handle such traffic, it will prevent preventing legitimate network traffic.
Protecting Your Computer
Cyber Threats and Protection: Computers that you use at home or school are vulnerable to threats like viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and hacking attacks. These could have various types of negative impacts on the confidentiality of information on your computer or even impact the availability of the computer when you want to use it.
Follow these simple yet effective practices to guard your computer against threats.
- Keep your systems free of vulnerabilities: Manufacturers of Operating Systems continuously work to keep their software patched against all known vulnerabilities that have been identified. So, if you are using a genuine licensed Operating System (OS) which is set to automatically update patches, the Operating System will stay free of vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or malicious programs.
- Install Anti-Virus Software: Install effective anti-virus software and ensure that it is set to download updates automatically. This will ensure that the Anti- Virus Software will be able to protect your computer as it will have the latest fixes for new viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Since most of you use emails and often download attachments, you must ensure that the Anti-Virus program is set to scan e-mail and files as they are downloaded from the Internet. Many free but effective Anti-Virus software is also available for individual use.
- Run virus scans periodically: It is a good practice to run full disk antivirus scans to detect malicious programs that may not have been picked up before an update on the antivirus system.
- Use a Firewall: A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized use of and access to your computer. A firewall can be either hardware or software. Most individual users prefer a software firewall. If you are using Windows, you can use the built-in Windows firewall.
Check Point: Divide yourself into 2 teams and bring out two experiences per team, where you experienced the cyber threats and what you did. Let the other team analyze whether your actions were right. What else could have been done to protect yourself from the threat?
What is Personal Information?
Personal information can be considered to include your actual name, your phone number, your address, the name of your school, your date of birth names of your family members, the username and password that you set on your computer or Internet websites, etc.
Risks to Personal Information
If others get your personal information e.g. your password, they can misuse this information to cause harm to you. For example, they can log on to your email account and send an email to others on your behalf, or they can post undesirable messages or pictures on social networking websites, like Facebook, without your knowledge or approval. Someone may use your phone number or address to contact you and can even threaten or harm you.
How to Protect Your Personal Information
Do not post your personal information on websites where the general public can view it. Do not post information like your phone number, your address, and your present location online. Make sure you set the privacy settings on the website such that only your close friends can see your information.
Cyber Threats and Protection: An important step to protecting your information online and on your computer is through passwords. Be cautious and follow the best practices given below to make sure passwords and your good habits help protect your information.
- Set Strong Passwords: A mistake many people make is to use simple passwords that often contain their name or other regular words. These are easy to guess and break into by hackers. You should use strong passwords that are long, mix capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t Use the Same Password for Different Accounts: Another common mistake that many people make is that they use the same passwords for logging onto their computer, their Facebook profile, and even their bank account. So in this case, if your password is stolen or disclosed to a person who wants to harm you, he or she could get access to all your information with just one password. It is like using the same key for multiple locks. The solution is to use different passwords for different accounts and websites.
- Don’t Share your Password: Do not share your passwords or PIN WITH ANYONE, not even your best friend. The golden rule is to treat passwords like toothbrushes. Just as you do not share toothbrushes, do not share passwords.
Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information.
Social engineers often rely on the natural helpfulness of people as well as on their weaknesses. The criminals are usually trying to trick you into giving them your passwords or bank information or access your computer by using human psychology or by secretly installing malicious software that will give them access to your passwords and bank information as well as giving them control over your computer.
Example: The Social-Engineer may pretend to be technical support from one of the organization’s software vendors to gain information. The attacker explains that he is troubleshooting a network problem and has narrowed the problem to a certain computer. He claims to need a user ID and password from that computer to finish tracing the problem. Unless the user has been properly educated in security practices, they will likely give the “trouble-shooter” the information requested.
Guard Against Social Engineering
These are certain precautions that you can take to protect yourself from social engineering.
- Don’t Open attachments or Click on Links in Emails from People you do not know – Many spammers and hackers send emails to unsuspecting persons with attachments that contain viruses or include links that could take the person to a malicious site that could download viruses on your computer. Such messages are also called phishing messages (since the hacker is trying to “phish” for your information). If you get emails from people that you do not recognize, just delete them.
- Be particular about what you install on your computer – Don’t install programs you didn’t intentionally download and never download antivirus as a result of some ad or a bogus popup claiming your PC is infected with viruses.
- Learn to trust your instincts – If something doesn’t seem quite right with an email or a website, believe in yourself. With enough time and practice, you can train your instincts to be even sharper and that will help you to secure yourself.
Fact File: Phishing is the use of forged (fake) email messages that claim to be from a company that you may trust, usually a bank or other financial organization. The Phishing emails will often look exactly like you would expect a legitimate message from your bank to look. The difference is that when you submit your information you will not be sending it to the real company, rather it will be sent to a criminal gang who could then use that information to either withdraw money from your account or perform other criminal acts such as identity theft.
When you browse the web, you need to know that some of the websites that you visit could be storing your web usage patterns and other personal information in small pieces of software which are called cookies.
Cookies are data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while a user is browsing a website. These cookies contain your personal information and allow the website company to build a profile of sites that you visit over time.
They do this to gather information about a particular population buying the product which can be sold to other companies. There is a risk to the privacy of your information in allowing your browser to accept cookies.
Guarding your Privacy against Cookies
Do not allow your browser to store cookies and dear cookies from your computer manually from time to time. If you are using Internet Explorer to disable cookies, follow the steps given below:
- Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button and then clicking Internet Explorer
- Click the Tools button and then click Internet Options
- Click the Privacy tab. Under Settings, move the slider to the top to block all cookies, and then click OK
Remember: Blocking cookies might prevent some pages from displaying correctly.
Revision Time: Cyber Threats and Protection:
- A cyber threat is any such activity that can result in an undesirable incident that could cause harm.
- Personal information can be considered to include your actual name, your phone number, and your address.
- Do not post your personal information on websites where the general public can view it.
- A mistake many people make is to use simple passwords that often contain their name or other regular words.
- Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information.
- Cookies are data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while a user is browsing a website.
- A computer virus is a software program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another or perform other activities like delete or modify files.
- A Trojan horse is a program to deceive the user by appearing to be a genuine file (like an image or a video or a software utility). However, when used, it performs other malicious activities.
- The worm is a software program that actively transmits itself over a network to infect other computers but unlike a virus, it can travel without any human action.
- A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized use and access to your computer
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