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Types of Computer Threats

The classification of the types of information security threats is made on the way the information in the system is compromised upon. There are the passive threats and the active threats. The passive threats are very difficult to detect and equally difficult to prevent as well. Then there are the active threats. Since these threats continue to make changes to the system, they are easy to find out and fix as well.

Virus: The most common of the types of cyber threats are the viruses. They infect different files on the computer network or on the stand alone systems. Most people fall prey to the viruses, as they trick the person into taking some action, like clicking on a malicious link, downloading a malicious file, etc. It is from these links and files, that the virus is transmitted to the computer. There are also cases of the viruses been a part of an email attachment, which may be downloaded from the internet. In some cases, the viruses can also spread through infected portable data storage as well. Hence, it is important to have an antivirus on the system, which can not only detect the virus, but be able to get rid of them as well.

Worms: The other common types of internet security threats are the worms. They are actually malicious programs, which take advantage of the weaknesses in the operating system. Like the worms in real life crawl to move from one place to another, similarly the worms in the cyber world also spread from one computer to another and from one network to another. The most prominent feature of the worms is that they are able to spread at very high rates, which can lead the system being at risk of crashing. There is a type of worm, called net worm. These worms replicates itself by sending complete and independent copes of itself over a network, thereby infecting almost all the systems on the said network.

Trojan: This is a different type of computer virus, which is disguised under the garbs of a friend. The Trojans derive their name from the legend. They make their way into the software, which may not be noticed. It is often seen, that the Trojans are a part of the different attachments in emails or download links. In some cases making a visit to certain web pages also puts the computer system at risk.

Spyware: Spyware as the name suggests spy on the network and the computer system. They may be downloaded unintentionally from different websites, email messages or instant messages. In some cases, they may also make their way through different direct file sharing connection. In some cases, clicking on ‘Accept User License Agreement’, can also put the computer at risk.

Rootkits: The job of the rootkits is to give cover to the hackers. The best or the worst part about rootkits is that they are able to hide themselves from the antivirus software as well, due to which the user is not aware that a rootkit is present on the system. This helps the hacker and he is able to spread malware on the system. Therefore, it is important that one opts for antivirus, which also has a rootkit scanner, which will be able to detect the invasion.

Riskware: They are dangerous applications, who often become a part of software applications. They are often seen as a part of development environment for malicious programs and spread to the software applications. In some cases, these applications can also be used by hackers as additional components to gain access in the network.

Adware: The recent addition to the list of computer threats are the adware. They are actually advertising supported software. It is not uncommon to see different advertisements or pop ups coming up on the computer, when certain applications are being used. They may not pose a lot of threat, but often lower the speed of the computers. There are chances that the computer system may become unstable because of these adware.

Cookies: When we visit a website, there are files due to which the website is able to remember the details of the computer. They are more of a threat to confidentiality as opposed to the data on the computer. In most cases, cookies may be stored on the computer without the consent of the user and data may be stored on them, which is passed back to the website server the next time, one visits the website. The data gathered may be sold to third parties and depending on the interests, which may lead to different advertisements flashing on the screen.

Phishing: Often people appear to get emails from trustworthy organizations, like banks. In some cases, the emails may come from bogus sites, which may resemble the original site or it may superimposes a bogus pop up, due to which confidential data is gathered. They are often a part of different scamming activities and often poses to the financial threats.