Thursday, November 12, 2015

Computer Threat and Cyber Attack Dangers

by M. J. Joachim

Viruses, spam, phishing, spyware, trojan horses and many other things cause increased threats to computer security these days. Computer threats and cyber attack dangers have kept speed with Internet advancement, in some cases marching way ahead of it, making it possible for them to wreak havoc on anyone’s system if it is minimally or not protected at all. Some of my recent articles have addressed cleaning up blogs and websites. I’ve discussed cleaning out spam, removing hyperlinks, updating articles and deleting dead links, because they can harm search results from visitors and minimize your page views.

Unfortunately, that’s not all they can do. You see, whatever links, spam and malware you remove from your blog or website, you also need to remove from your computer or device, because if it was found on your blog or website, it is also highly likely that it made its way into your personal technology, since your personal technology is what you use to access your blog or website. So, while you’re doing all this clean up on your blog or website, you need to remember to clean up your computer, because if you don’t and it’s infected with anything, you will likely reinfect your blog and website again, even if there is no spam, hyperlink or anything else to physically see and remove. These are little technology ticks working behind the scenes. They may use a bogus message or hyperlink to begin their task, but once their task is started, even if you delete the source, you still have to deal with the very real aftermath of it.

According to the Pew Research Center, “The Internet has become so integral to economic and national life that government, business and individual users are targets for ever-more frequent and threatening attacks.” Thankfully, there are a number of programs you can install to help remove and clean up these things. There are even apps for that, something I’m personally fond of for several of my devices.

The nice thing about apps, in my opinion, is that you can download more than one, taking advantage of all they have to offer. You can sweep your device, detect and remove malware, minimize ads, quarantine suspicious bots and more. Many of them are free - search free antivirus and antimalware apps on your device. I’m not going to personally recommend any, because each system and device is different, so you need to read the fine print and determine which one is best for you. Regarding your desk or laptop computer, it’s probably wise to purchase a full security protection software package that addresses all of your needs and cleans everything you have, including your hard drive, downloads, personal files and pictures etc.

Many of us already have computer security in place, so we rest easy thinking we are protected. This is a bit of a false security blanket in my mind, because unless we run it regularly, and unless we have enough security to address all the advancement in security threats today, we may not be as protected as we think we are. I ran into this recently, and downloaded new anti-malware protection, which found some serious threats that were slowing down my device. They were quarantined and removed by my new software, which I now run quite often to protect myself from future problems.

While I won’t recommend any specific program, because each of our systems and devices are unique, I will advise doing your research, reading reviews for programs that match your needs and making an educated decision about which software and apps to install on your device. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, especially in the app store. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of free ones available. I strongly urge you to consider what I’m saying and make a point to secure any and all devices you have, updating your security protection, and ultimately making your life easier, because we all know how difficult it can be to deal with computer problems.

Here’s to being safe and secure,

M. J.

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