Be afraid… be very afraid! Is your computer running slowly of late? Are files vanishing with regularity from your hard drive? Is your hard drive’s light blinking madly even when you are not accessing the same? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, it is high time that you scanned your PC for malwares.
There are different types of malwares out there in the wild and they are targeting vulnerable PC’s like yours. Most people just install an antivirus program and are contented in the knowledge that their computer is safe from prying eyes. This is a gross misunderstanding. There was a time, a decade of so ago, when a decent antivirus was more that sufficient to protect your PC from various kinds of attacks, but nowadays it is not adequate. While new and dangerous viruses are being unleashed with rapid regularity, some new breeds of malware are ruling the roost. These are generally termed as malwares and consist of adwares, trojans, keyloggers, spywares, etc. Then there are phishing websites that look like a real website, but are a disguised version of the same.
All these things have just a single intent in mind and that is to secure your private information without alerting you. Are you sure that your bank’s website is the genuine? Hid you check out for the ‘https://’ in the url or not? Did you visit your bank’s website by clicking on the link you received, purportedly, from your bankers via an email that threatened that your bank’s account would be freezed unless you changed your password. The email included a link to the password changing section of your bank’s website. You can bet that this link leads to a phishing website that resembles your bank’s website accurately.
Even if you have not received any email and are just checking your account status via online banking, is there any guarantee that your details are not being compromised? If your computer is infected with a keylogger, each and every keystroke of yours is being recorded and is being sent to some unauthorized person via the internet. Yes, these people can easily gain access to your credit card information and even the details of your bank account, including the logging name and password. Does this sound very scary? It should and you should be afraid… very afraid, unless you have taken proper precautions.
There are certain programs available for free on the net and by using them; you can thwart the intentions of these malicious persons. Though no program guarantees to protect your PC from all types of attacks, the level of protection gets enhanced if you install a few of them. You can search and install a few freeware programs like ‘Adaware’, ‘Spybot Search & Destroy’, and ‘Spywareblaster’ to enhance the security of your PC while surfing the net or while accessing your email. Ensure that you download them from the author’s or publisher’s website only. Install them and update their signatures on a regular basis, preferably daily. This will help increase the security of your PC.
I’ll follow up with more articles which will further educate you about these creatures, how to identify them, how they gain access to your PC and how you can prevent them from attacking your PC. I’ll also follow up with in depth articles that will guide you to keep your computer safe and secure.
The author of this article is a freelance typographer and also writes articles. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org