What is computer security?
Computer security is required to prevent and detect unauthorized use of your computer. Taking these measures help you to stop unauthorized users from accessing any part of your computer system. With proper detection software you can determine whether or not someone attempted to break into your system, if they succeeded, and what they may have done.
Why should I care about computer security?
We use our computers for banking, investing, shopping and communicating with others through email and chat programs. You may not consider your communications “top secret,” but probably do not want strangers reading your email, using your computer to attack other systems, sending forged email from your computer, or examining personal information stored on your computer (such as banking and financial statements).
Who would want to break into my computer at home?
Intruders (also known as hackers, attackers, or crackers) may not care about your identity. Often they want to take control of your computer so they can use it to launch attacks on other computer systems.
Having control of your computer gives these intruders the ability to hide their true location as they launch attacks. These attacks are often against high-profile computer systems such as government or financial systems. Even if you have a computer connected to the Internet only to play the latest games or to send email to friends and family, your computer may be a target.
Intruders may be able to watch all your actions on the computer, or cause damage to your computer by reformatting your hard drive or changing your data.
How easy is it to break into my computer?
Unfortunately, intruders are always discovering new vulnerabilities often called a “security hole” to take control of your computer software. The complexity of software makes it increasingly difficult to thoroughly test the security of computer systems.
When a security hole is discovered, computer vendors will usually develop patches to address the problem. However, it is up to you, to obtain and install the patches, and correctly configure the software to operate more securely. Most of these incidents can be prevented if your computer is kept updated with the latest patches and security fixes.
Also, some hardware and software applications have default settings that allow other users to access your computer unless you change these settings. Hardware like Network Routers and chat programs that let outsiders access your computer and place programs that can cause damage when you click on them.