Computer security is a big issue for the average computer user. But what about the security threats that are not so obvious?
Computer Security Threat #1—The Computer We Threw Out
People give away computers or simply send them to the dump for disposal. My friend buys old discarded computers from the DUMP store and many a time the Pcs are still full of data and personal information.
What are people thinking???
Here is what you might find on a discarded computer:
- Sometimes there is still entire email accounts setup in email software on these computers. Simply logging onto the internet will allow you to download new emails. Wow. This means you can easily get emails to reset passwords too.
- Personal photos and documents. Don’t know about you but I would not like a complete stranger to be viewing my personal files and photos.
- Saved login details. For example you might have your password saved to login into your Facebook account. Bang, auto login is such a breeze!
- Evidence of a crime. It might not be that serious but the person that gets hold of your computer could blackmail you by threatening public exposure of whatever they have discovered.
There are more goodies to find on a discarded computer but I am sure we do not need to mention more.
Computer Security Threat #2—Your Own Children
Kids are natural born computer geniuses compared to most adults. Even a 5 year old is technology wise and needs to be treated as an experienced computer user.
Children are fantastic at learning what they need and altering parental controls on a computer is often an easy task, easier than it was for the adult to set them in the first place.
When children get free run on a computer they can get into all sorts of mischief. They might change the settings on the computer, use the computer for banned activities, or maybe crash the computer altogether.
The best and only way to supervise a child on a computer is to place your computer in a public area in your house and personally watch their computer time.
Computer Security Threat #3—Fake Emails
Everyone or most people now are very aware of the risk of fake emails. These are called phishing attacks and they are emails that claim they are from a reputable company when they actually are not.
Some of these emails are obvious while other emails are professionally crafted. You might get an email saying your Ebay account has been suspended or your Paypal account has been compromised. These are the most common examples.
The best way to protect you and your computer from these emails is to never click a link from inside an email. Always go to your web browser and type in the address of the website to see if the email is in fact genuine.
Real Computer Security Threat #4—Fake FREE Software
Everyone loves free stuff, especially computer software. I will always try out a new freeware program so I can recommend it but there are still risks.
Here are some precautions to take:
- Read online reviews before trying software. What’s the rush?
- Ask yourself, do you really need this software? Will it be installed on your computer and just take up space and simply slow your computer down?
- Download free software from sites you trust. For example I only download Microsoft freebies from the Microsoft website. This software is often repackaged with malware and spyware, so the only safe way to download is to go to the source.
- After downloading, take the time to scan executable software with your virus scanner before installing on your computer.
The Biggest Computer Security Threat #5
When did you ever think about the Internet as being a threat? Yes we face this hidden threat every day and with each day the danger grows.
I am not saying that the internet is bad, but with its invention, computer users have been hit from all angles. The internet gives us access to the world but works in reverse too.
Computer threats are everywhere! Internet safety is not the only threat to look for as you can see from the points mentioned above.
Mitz Pantic, founder of http://tips4pc.com/ wrote this article. Mitz has been obsessed with computer for over 30 years and loves writing about computers in an easy to understand way.