The Top Internet Security Threats

Internet security is a user's line of defense while searching and using the internet, and it encompasses malware, phishing, identity theft, hacking, bots, and many others. The primary job of internet security is to prevent the introduction of threats from files, media sources and downloaded content from the internet. Through the years, computer criminals have become better at writing the programs that infect home and business computers, and software has been upgraded and updated in order to keep these new threats out of user's computers. Every user should know about these threats and the possible security issues, and have a variety of tools to protect themselves.

Spyware and malware are typically handled by the same software. Spyware is any malicious program that finds and transmits personal habits, like web browsing, and information, like passwords and credit card information, back to its author's computer. Malware is any program that harms or damages the computer or operating system. All viruses, Trojans, and spyware are considered to be malware.

Spyware and Malware Information:

Understanding and preventing Spyware: a simple guide

A guide to finding and removing spyware for any level computer user

Phishing and identity theft go hand in hand in the online world; phishing is any practice that allows a user to be tricked into thinking the sender of the program or email attachment is associated with a reputable business or financial institution. The sender of the file or program poses as a bank or credit card company to get the user's information. The sender will then use the information to obtain credit card numbers, street addresses and even social security numbers to steal the identity of the targeted user or users.

Information on Phishing and Identity theft:

How to guide on protecting, preventing and solving phishing on the internet, includes education on phishing and how to be safe on the internet.

Phishing covered by Indiana University.

Hackers are not all malicious in their work and programming. By definition, a hacker is any person involved with the security or insecurity of computers and networks. Hackers are the brain children of the computer and technological age and they know all of the coding and programming tricks that make security and insecurity possible. These individuals are the ones writing the viruses, worms, Trojans, and phishing scams on the internet. The main problem with PCs comes from the fact that for years, prior to the internet, some operating systems treated the internet like any other network; this means files, folders and sharing is possible while on the internet. This works to the hacker’s advantage, as they can more easily "see" your computer and its files, folders, passwords, and the like. The best defense is a secure and robust firewall.

Protection from Hackers:

Protecting a home user from hackers

A definition of hacking and hackers, as well as preventative measures for home users

A guide to protection from hackers and hacking

Bots are most commonly referred to in search engines and chat software; bots are programs that can receive commands and execute those commands and transmit data to a source. This can be anything from a recent chat message to personal information such as credit card numbers. Computers that are hijacked can become bots as well, but in this instance, the bot is a computer no longer being completely controlled by its owner.

Prevention of Bots:

A how to on avoiding botnets and bots for home and business users

How to keep bots off a computer

Bot security risks; what are the possible outcomes?

Trojans are one of the most common forms of viruses and malicious programming that

users come into contact with, and are programs that hide what they truly are. A Trojan poses as another kind of program to fool the computer, or is part of a seemingly secure program, but hidden from view. The Trojan will then have unrestricted access to the files and programs on a computer, allowing it to do anything and send anything to its creator, leaving a user open for infiltration and identity theft.

Trojan Protection:

Preventing and protecting against Trojans

Trojan prevention and removal techniques

Trojan information and prevention

Worms are similar to Trojans, but they do not eat and take data; worms can replicate themselves into other programs or files and cause havoc by taking up more space and memory usage on a computer.

Protection from Worms:

Current protection on worms from the US government

A complete guide to worms and internet security

Worms and ways of preventing them

A security hole is any point in a computer or network that is left open for attack either by faulty programming or an intentional loop hole for later exploitation. Security holes allow hackers and malicious programming to enter a system unchecked. The security hole can allow almost any program to upload to the network or computer in question.

Preventing Security Holes:

Preventing security holes on Apple computers

Security holes on the internet: what's the risk?

How to prevent security holes on a network

A network sniffer is software or hardware that inspects incoming data packets from a network; these can be both helpful and malicious. A posing sniffer can allow any program or file to access and implement code on a remote computer, reducing the ability of a firewall to prevent intrusions.

Preventing Network Sniffing:

Preventing and detecting network sniffing threats

Information security handbook with information on network sniffing

Network security FAQ with tips on network sniffing

Wardriving is the active search for Wi-Fi networks by mobile computer criminals; they seek out unsecured wireless networks, typically from homes, and exploit the weaknesses in them. The most susceptible networks are those without any security codes or passwords. Most home wireless networks are not secured with a password, allowing access from anyone close enough to obtain a signal.

Protection form Wardriving:

Protection from wardriving

Wardriving tools and prevention

The largest data breach in US history was due to wardriving

Encryption is a great line of defense, unless the encryption is weak or not in place at all, which surprisingly enough, is commonplace in the online world. Encryption can mean the difference between identity theft and being secure.

Encryption Tools:

Information on new threats to encryption

Threats to wireless encryption methods

Preventing encryption threats to home computers

Security threats come in all forms and sizes and affect the home and business user alike. The programs and protocols available provide ample support for protection and are being updated on a daily basis. This protection must be used in conjunction with personal practices to ensure that no malicious code gets in that shouldn't; common sense and software will protect any user.