Today more than ever, we need to be aware of cyber attacks on our computer systems. Most people have heard about viruses and other online “viruses”, but not all of us are aware of what cyber attacks are. It’s a whole new ball game.
First, let’s define what a cyber attack is. It is a form of computer sabotage in which an attacker obtains data from a targeted computer without authorization, usually with the use of falsified information or a stolen password. These attacks are carried out using a variety of tools and techniques, ranging from straightforward data gathering to the use of automated programs (also called “keyloggers”). In all cases, the goal is to gain access to a system so that the attacker can execute the stolen data. There are actually quite a few variants on this theme.
Some attacks work by tricking the victim into clicking on a link or executing a program that downloads a virus or some other malicious software onto the infected computer. Other cyber attacks work by attacking the security systems of networks, or leaking out information from systems that are infected. Still, others attack systems directly using a program or tool that will send random user communications. The goal of each of these variations is the same: to secretly gain access and control of a computer or network of computers.
So how do we protect ourselves against these attacks? It’s pretty simple – it just takes awareness. We need to become familiar with the latest threats and the ways in which they are being carried out. This can be done through a variety of mediums. The Internet, for example, has made a lot of available information on cyber attacks, which is helpful to any business, large or small, trying to protect itself against such attacks.
However, the Internet is only one tool that we have at our disposal. In order to defend ourselves against cyber attacks, we also need to understand the other ways that malicious software programs and people are trying to intrude on the Internet and steal our information. In fact, there are cyber criminals who specialize in collecting confidential information from computer networks and distributing it across the Internet for their own personal gain. The most common way that this happens is through the so-called spear-phishing attack, where attackers send spam or viruses to gather your personal data so that they can send it to someone else.
The goal of a cyber attack is often to gain access to a computer or network of computers. Some attacks do not involve a direct connection to the Internet; instead, they are carried out by a person or group of people who obtain your information using a spear-phishing method. This means that an email or other transmission of information is sent to you, but it does not make its way to an Internet-connected computer until you click on a link or open a file. These kinds of techniques are often used by international terrorists, hackers, and even spammers. By gathering enough personal information to use it for online fraud, these people can then use that information to benefit themselves financially or politically.
Other kinds of cyber attacks are more subtle. One type is what is called a do-it-yourself virus. These viruses are sometimes downloaded accidentally from file sharing sites. When you try to remove them, you might not know what you are removing, and you could unknowingly infect many different computers. As you can imagine, this makes the problem much worse.
If you want to protect yourself from cyber attacks, you should invest in a good firewall. There are a number of excellent firewalls available to help you do this, but you don’t really need one just to protect yourself. You can install an application or two that will scan all incoming files and warn you if any seem malicious. You can also run a disk space check every so often (sometimes once per day), which could help you save space on your hard drive. Finally, you should avoid downloading files from suspicious locations, as these may be infected with spyware or harmful computer programs.