It’s a dangerous world out there in the World Wide Web. Just as your mother may have told you to never talk to strangers, the same advice holds true for the virtual world. You may know to be wary of giving strangers your business bank account details. But can you be sure the website you’re logging into is that of your bank and not a forgery created by a cybercriminal?Cybercriminals use many different methods to lure you into parting with your confidential personal or business information. Hence you ought to be aware of the issues and be extra vigilant when online and offline..
Computer virus: A computer virus is a small piece of software that can spread from one infected computer to another. The virus could corrupt, steal, or delete data on your computer— even erasing everything on your hard drive. A virus could also use other programs like your email program to spread itself to other computers.
Malware: Malware is short for “malicious software.” Malware is used to mean a “variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.” Malware could be computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, dishonest spyware, and malicious rootkits—all of which are defined below.
Trojan horse: Users can infect their computers with Trojan horse software simply by downloading an application they thought was legitimate but was in fact malicious. Once it enters inside the computer, a Trojan horse can do anything from recording your passwords by logging its keystrokes, hijacking your webcam to watch and record every movement.
Malicious spyware: Malicious spyware is used to describe the Trojan application that was created by cybercriminals to spy on their victims. An example would be keylogger software that records a victim’s every keystroke on his or her keyboard. The recorded information is periodically sent back to the originating cybercriminal over the Internet. Keylogging software is widely available and is marketed to parents or businesses that want to monitor their kids’ or employees’ Internet usage.
Computer worm: A computer worm is a software program that can copy itself from one computer to another, without human interaction. Worms can replicate in great volume and with great speed. For example, a worm can send copies of itself to every contact in your email address book and then send itself to all the contacts in your contacts’ address books.
Because of their speed of infection, worms often gain notoriety overnight infecting computers across the globe as quickly as victims around the world and switch them on to open their email.
Botnet: A botnet is a group of computers connected to the Internet that have been compromised by a hacker using a computer virus or Trojan horse. An individual computer in the group is known as a “zombie“ computer.
Spam: Spam in the security context is primarily used to describe email spam. Unwanted messages in your email inbox. Spam, or electronic junk mail, is a nuisance as it can clutter your mailbox as well as potentially take up space on your mail server. However, spam messages can contain links that when clicked on could go to a website that installs malicious software onto your computer.
Phishing: Phishing scams are fraudulent attempts by cybercriminals to obtain private information. Phishing scams often appear in the guise of email messages designed to appear as though they are from legitimate sources. For example, the message would try to lure you into giving your personal information by pretending that your bank or email service provider is updating its website and that you must click on the link in the email to verify your account information and password details.
Rootkit: A rootkit is a collection of tools that are used to obtain administrator-level access to a computer or a network of computers. A rootkit could be installed on your computer by a cybercriminal exploiting a vulnerability or security hole in a legitimate application on your PC and may contain spyware that monitors and records keystrokes.