Computers can be intimidating, and the more we hear about the “Dark Side” of computing the scarier it gets.There are several types of intrusions into our computers. Below is a list of a few, including definitions so that they are more easily understood, and hopefully less daunting.
- Virus - A computer virus is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected". Computer viruses spread from machine to machine on disks or, more commonly, over the Internet.
- Malware - "Malware" is short for malicious software and used as a single term to refer to virus, spyware, worm etc. Malware is designed to cause damage to a standalone computer or a networked pc. So wherever a malware term is used it means a program which is designed to damage your computer it may be a virus, worm or Trojan.
- Trojan - A program that appears legitimate but performs some illicit activity when ran. It may be used to locate password information or make the system more vulnerable to future entry or simply destroy the user's stored software and data. A Trojan is similar to a virus, except that it does not replicate itself. Often sneaking in attached to a free game or other supposedly worthwhile utility, the Trojan remains in the computer doing damage or allowing someone from a remote location to take control.
- Worm - In a computer, a worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself. Worms use parts of an operating system that are automatic and usually invisible to the user. It is common for worms to be noticed only when their uncontrolled replication consumes system resources, slowing or halting other tasks.
- Hacking - to circumvent security and break into (a network, computer, files, etc.), usually with malicious intent: Criminals hacked the bank's servers yesterday. To modify (a computer program or electronic device) or write (a program) in a skillful or clever way: Developers have hacked the app.
- Browser Hijacking - A browser hijacker (sometimes called hijack ware) is a type of malware program that alters your computer's browser settings so that you are redirected to Web sites that you had no intention of visiting.
- Backups – Simply, this is a copy of files. This offers the best protection against any type of intrusion or malware into your computer. Your files are the most important piece of that computer. Everything else is easily replaceable.
You can back up your files in several ways:
- External hard drive - some come with backup software, but simply copying from one place to another works also.
- Flash drive
- CD or DVD