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Online Safety - Is Your Personal Computer Under Threat?

23 Jun 2020


Computer systems play many essential roles today, including helping us connect to the internet. The connection, while highly beneficial, can be risky at times. Computer systems always have exposure to security threats and risks from the internet. The implications of these risks range from data loss in mild cases to hijacking of control in severe cases.

online safety threats

Now, you may ask - Is my personal computer under threat? The answer is yes, potentially. These threats come in various forms and operate differently. That said, you can beef up your computer's security to shut these threats out. In this post, we will discuss all you need to know about security threats and how to ensure safety online.

With this knowledge, you are now in a better position to protect your computer systems appropriately.

Security Threats Explained

Any risk that can harm your computer or network is a security threat. Security threats come in two forms - physical and non-physical threats. The former happens when an unauthorized individual gets access to a computer system with crucial information. The latter are usually virus and malware attacks - they involve no physical contact.

Let's take a closer look at both types of threats.

Physical Threats

If a security threat leads to loss of data or physical damage to your computer, such can be called a physical threat. Physical threats can be internal, external, or human-influenced. Safeguarding your computer system from physical threats is easy. All you have to do is put physical security control measures in place.

Non-Physical Threats

Any security threat that leads to loss or corruption of crucial system data or information is a non-physical threat. Non-physical threats may also lead to failure in business operations. These threats usually originate from cybersecurity breaches, which may lead to unauthorized monitoring of private or corporate activities.

You may also call the non-physical threats 'logical' threats. They include viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, and key loggers. Others include adware, denial, and distributed denial of service attacks, phishing, and unauthorized access to data and other computer system resources.

Safeguarding your computer systems

From all indications, it is clear that these threats are real and out there. So, if you have a computer system at home or work, you must safeguard it and your networks from these threats.

Before we go about looking for preventive measures

It is important to note that most, if not all, of these threats to personal computers come from the internet. Your internet connection is usually the weak point these threats exploit to infuse internet hazards into our computers and networks. Therefore, it is logical that we start by beefing up our internet security. The highest level of computer internet connection and protection is necessary to guarantee your online security.

Security Measures Against Online Threats

Here are some proven measures to safeguard your computer against online threats:

1. Firewalls

Firewalls are a necessity, despite being the lowest security level, it remains an essential security feature. With a firewall in place, you are in the best position to monitor who can and cannot access your personal computer. Monitoring your firewall will help you keep unauthorized users - hackers and spammers - out of your systems.

How do you get a firewall?

If you are connecting to the internet via a modem or router, chances are you already have inbuilt firewall protection. However, where this is absent, you can get a firewall installed into your operating system to keep threats from your system.

Is a firewall all you need?

The truth is you need more than a firewall to guarantee adequate online security. For instance, spyware and viruses are not immune to firewalls. What can you do to stop viruses, trojans, and spyware from infecting your computer system? We will find out soon enough!

2. Paid anti-virus software or programs

Installing efficient anti-virus software on your computer system will further your online security. Yes, there are free versions of these security programs out there. But they are not as effective as the paid versions, and they sometimes come with adware - a feature that displays adverts against your wish.

For instance, while the free versions will notify you of impending threats without removing them, the paid versions notify you, identify the dangers, and eliminate them properly. With a paid anti-virus software, you can worry less about trojans, worms, viruses, spyware, adware, or key-loggers infesting your computer system.

3. Regular system backups

Yes, you have firewalls and anti-virus software installed. But these are not enough. You should also back up the data on your personal computer regularly. Why do you have to do this? Regular backups will ensure that you have something to fall back to if you experience data loss due to breach of online security.

These system backups are usually on external storage devices. Which makes it convenient to retrieve your vital documents and data as well as save time and money.

4. Regular security updates

Your operating system has an inbuilt security system that the developers tend to improve on with every update. Precisely why you should watch out for security software updates and install them promptly. Doing this will guarantee you the best possible online protection.

Likewise, update every software and program on your personal computer regularly, especially if these programs are internet-enabled. These updates are ways in which developers safeguard their software from unauthorized access.

Conclusion

You should take online threats very seriously. In addition to putting in place the necessary preventive measures, you must be on the lookout for any unusual change in your computer system's operations or functionality. Being hit by an online security breach is devastating, but not detecting it early enough is worse. Early detection will save your personal computer from more severe damages and ultimately reduce the repair costs.

The online security measures discussed in this post are not entirely easy to put in place. You may not have a problem if you are a 'geek', but newbies will struggle. If you have questions about what we have discussed in this article, or seek professional help to beef up your system's security, feel free to reach out to our team of experienced technicians.

Our professional computer technicians know the latest, safest, and most-effective security measures that will safeguard your computer. We will be glad to help you out in every way possible.


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