Is Your Network Secure?

Geek!This is Rodrigo Anonimo’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

When you think about security, you probably think of your own physical security. There are other kinds of security that you should be concerned about. When you are working on the computer, your personal information can be at risk. You should be concerned about network security, and what can you do to protect yourself. In fact, your credit/debit card is part of some kind of Network. This article explains threats and solutions for a computer network.

Viruses are the first threat to be concerned with when using the Internet. A computer virus is a small application which is downloaded while you visit a web site, or can be embedded in something you download. There are different kinds of viruses, but the most common are Trojan horses and Worms. If you know about the Trojan horse back in history, you should know that it was a threat pretending to be a gift, and that’s what Trojan viruses are. The program claims to do one thing (it may claim to be a game) but instead does damage when you run it, such as corrupting your hard drive. Worms are like bacteria in the human body, and they can reproduce and pass themselves on to other people. The worms have the ability to copy and paste and pass themselves to other computers. A worm is the most risky virus in a network because it can spread to other computers, and make the network crash.

You may be asking yourself, who makes all of these things? People who make the viruses and other security threats call themselves hackers. There are two types of hackers, White Hat hackers and Black Hat hackers. A hacker is someone who modifies something that already exists, and makes changes to it. For example, they can do reverse engineering which allows them to modify an existent computer program to make it work better… or to completely trash it. When one is using the hacked program, their computer can completely crash or the program can spy on the infected computer. The same thing applies to computer hardware.

There are tons of securities tools, but none of them are one hundred percent secure. The best bet is to enable firewalls on your computer to protect yourself from hackers. You must also get an AntiVirus software, to protect yourself from the different types of Viruses. Be careful when you buy your AV software. Make sure you buy from a well-known brand of AV. Also – make sure you have a WPA password for your wireless network. This type of key is harder to crack/hack. The last thing to do is to make sure the operating system is up to date with all security patches and fixes.

You will never know if you are hundred percent secure, and any kind of security is not one hundred percent safe. Having a little knowledge of what dangerous threats can do for a computer can be very helpful.