The Internet is a popular place in this day and age. Almost everyone young and old uses it in some form or another. Although there are many benefits to connecting your personal or business computer to the Internet there are also many threats to your data that come along with that decision. Many people are unaware of these threats and how they can adversely affect your data and ultimately your life. These threats include viruses, spyware, adware, key loggers, botnets, remote administration tools (RATs), and the list goes on. All of these threats fall under the umbrella known as malware. Malware is basically a software program that contains malicious code and is sent or released into the public with the intent to do harm. The damage can come in many forms such as destruction of data and/or theft of data. Many people use computers on a daily basis that are infected with some type of malware, yet they have no idea. How could this be possible? Simple, they have not been educated enough in this area to know the symptoms of infection. Perhaps many believe they are protected against all malware because they have an antivirus program running and keep its virus signature database up to date, but they are wrong. There are some attackers who are able to circumvent the antivirus scanning software by “packing” and “repacking” the malicious code. Each threat has a different goal as does each attacker that is using these threats against someone. The attacker may simply be curious, a graduate student having fun, or they could be a identity thief looking for their next victim. The best approach to this problem is to be knowledgeable of the potential threats and the defenses you can use against each one. In most cases a layered defense approach will be the best way to go.
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