The internet is both the greatest and the worst invention of all time. On the one hand, it is a wealth of information that can be accessed for free. On the other hand, it enables people to access personal information about you as well. Each year, the use of internet continues to grow, but with it does the chance of you falling victim to cyber threats as well. But what exactly are those threats, and the reasons why you should have internet security software installed?
Spyware is a blanket term that covers such issues as keyloggers, modified cookies, popup ads, adware, Trojans, and more. It does not describe viruses, however, because spyware is not designed to replicate itself. Rather, it is a way for hackers to try and get hold of your information, such as your passwords, bank account details and more. Specifically, they look for flaws in your internet security.
- Identity Theft
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world. It is almost like the perfect crime, because it is virtually impossible to catch and prosecute the perpetrators. Hence, while credit card companies have systems in place to return your money straight away, many people don’t even notice it has happened and end up losing thousands. Plus, if your identity really gets stolen and people start applying for credit in your name, you really have a problem
- Spam Email
Spam email is, by and large, a simple annoyance. Most email providers now have excellent spam filters in place, which means you won’t even see the majority of messages. However, this doesn’t make them any less annoying, and they take up a great deal of space in your mail box as well.
Phishing messages are very cleverly designed, mimicking your bank or the Inland Revenue Service, for instance, encouraging you to click on a link. Once you’ve done that, your identity and other important details may get stolen.
The final, and perhaps greatest, threat to your online security and privacy is you. We are curious creatures by nature, wanting to click on things, and more. We also believe we are invincible, which is a necessary trait for survival. We know that bad things happen, but we always think that they will happen to other people. We have to think that way just to be able to survive. Otherwise, we would never cross the street again, for instance, just because we could get run over by a car.
Surprisingly, the threat of viruses doesn’t make it to the list of top 5 threats. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat, but rather that other things are more likely to affect you overall. You need to be careful, think about what you are doing and, most of all, have a virus scanner and internet security installed and running up to date. There’s no point having it if you don’t update it regularly, as new threats are developed almost every day.