Today the Internet connects billions of computer world wide and it had become a personification of the real world.
You can meet people, chat, play, shop, do business, watch movies, meet friends and study using an internet.
But the bad news is, by personifying or making its self an extension of the real world, Internet became vulnerable to the threats we face in the real world, which means your internet safety is at stake.
Today it's a reality that we face serious threats like identity theft, fraud, etc on the internet.
It is an ironic fact that the activities that you think are productive for you like sharing information, doing research, sending instant messages and emailing are the ones that make your internet infrastructure more vulnerable and fragile.
Each time you turn on your computer and connect to the internet, you face multiple threats from cyber criminals. According to computer Economics "New security threats such as web attacks, spyware, malicious mobile code, and phishing cost organizations worldwide an estimated $16.7 billion by the close of the year 2004."
Based on recent research and analysis the internet safety threats that we face today on internet are listed below:
1. Malicious programs
4. Identity fraud
5. Denial of Service Attacks
8. Pornographic content
Malicious programs can be further divided into viruses, Trojans, rootkits and worms. The basic purpose of these programs is to disrupt the normal functionality of computer by reprogramming its features and forcing the system to act in a way not facilitated by the administrator or the legal owner.
These programs find their way to the system via email attachments and downloads. Extreme care therefore should be taken while downloading files from internet. We must use a standard and good quality antivirus to protect our computer from malicious programs. Firewall also help us protect internet safety from these programs.
Spywares and adware are used as spying tools. Keyloggers are also used to obtain confidential information such as passwords, login ids and pin numbers that are stored in our computer. A good quality anti spyware program must be used and all attachments must be verified and checked by an antivirus program before downloading to ensure internet safety. Computers must be protected by passwords. Intrusion detection software must be used.
Hacking comprises one of the most serious threats that we face on internet. Hackers get into our computers by sending malicious code or spywares. These programs are engineered to transfer the control of our system to the prospective hacker. That person than in turn use the victim's computer for cyber crime. Extreme care must be taken while downloading files from internet. Some websites also act as 'traps', by visiting these websites the malicious code automatically gets installed in computer. Good antivirus, firewall and intrusion detection software can help us protect our computers from hackers.
Identity theft or identity fraud means somebody steals your id and password and then uses your id and passwords for illegal purposes. Strong passwords and anti spyware programs can protect you from Identity fraud. Encryption must be used while transferring confidential information to guarantee internet safety.
Denial Of Service Attacks:
Denial of service attack or distributed denial of service attacks are generally targeted at websites and servers. The basic purpose of these attacks is to knock off a website or server and made it unavailable for its intended users. The attacker uses a host of computers called bots to send multiple ping requests to the server, eventually knocking it offline due to large volume of requests.
Phishing (what is phishing email?):
Phishing is the process of gaining confidential and valuable information by camouflaging a fake website to look like a trustworthy or authentic website. Users are lured via instant messaging or email to enter confidential information to a fake site that looks exactly like the original one. This information then can be used to harm the users. To protect yourself from phishing you must verify the authenticity of website before entering your personal information by checking the certificate and looking for the SSL connection symbol.
Spam (what is a spam filter?):
Spam means use of electronic networks like instant messaging and email to send unsolicited bulks of information to multiple users indiscriminately. According to European Union Internal Market commission junk email and spam cost internet users 10 billion Euros every year. Spam also consumes the email service resources and is a waste of time for everyone making it a threat for internet safety and your computer.
Pornographic content is extremely harmful for children. The websites containing pornographic material are also main cause of spreading malicious programs which can damage your computers and put internet safety at stake. By using parental control features found in antivirus programs and operating systems we can block access to these websites and protect our computers.