The internet has proven to be a powerful and useful tool for billions of people worldwide. However, in the same way that you shouldn’t leave your house unlocked, you shouldn’t venture online without taking some basic precautions. Where do you start? Learn more about online threats and ways to protect yourself.

How Much Do You Know?
While many consumers are unfamiliar with different online threats, 44 percent say they are very concerned about Phishing email attacks on their computer. In addition, 54 percent say they are very concerned about Trojan and spyware being installed on their computer.

Short for malicious software, this is a type of unwanted software that is installed without your consent. Viruses, worms and Trojan horses are examples of the malicious software referred to as malware.

Criminals, such as black hat hackers, who use malevolent programs on a computer and the internet to commit illegal activity. This can be breaking into computers and stealing personal/corporate data or disrupting operations, among many others.

A Trojan horse is a destructive computer program that masquerades itself as a benign file or application (such as .jpg or .doc.) it then opens up a “backdoor” or access to your PC without your knowledge.

A botnet is a large network of compromised computers. A “bot” is a malicious software that enables cybercriminals to control your computer without your knowledge and use it to execute illegal activities, such as send out spam, spread viruses, etc.

Harmful computer programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and interfere with computer operations. A virus corrupt or delete data on your computer and damage your hard drive.

This self-replicating malicious computer program uses a computer network to send copies of itself to other computers on the same network. Unlike a virus, it doesn’t need to attach itself to an existing program. Worms almost always cause some damage to a network.

Spyware, which can be legitimate software, monitors a user’s online activities and collects various personal information, such as internet suffering habits, etc. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect.

Phishing is a type of online identity theft that uses email and fraudulent websites designed to steal your personal data or information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data or other information.

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