Unit 5. Electronic communication
Topic A: Security issues on the Internet
Click play on the following audio player to listen along as you read this section.
Although Internet led to many benefits, it also poses a greater potential for security threats. Below are a number of common Internet security issues.
– refers to a person who can gain unauthorized access to (break into) a computer or a network to commit crimes.
Some things a skilled hacker can do to your computer:
- Hijack your usernames and passwords;
- Gain access to the personal information (credit card numbers, bank account, Social Insurance Number, etc.);
- Steal, change, exploit, sell, or destroy data;
- Damage or bring down the system;
- Hold the system hostage to collect ransom;
(short for malicious software) – a software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or infect computers.
- Malware is a single term that refers to all the different types of threats to your computer safety such as virus, Trojan horse, worm, spyware, etc.
- Malware can gain unauthorized access to a computer and continuously run in the background without the owner’s knowledge.
– a specific type of malware that is designed to replicate (copy) and spread from one computer to another.
- A virus can make a copy of itself over and over again.
- A virus can spread from one computer to another through email attachments, removable storage devices, networks (Internet messaging services, download infected files …), etc.
- A virus can damage your computer by corrupting system files, sending spam, stealing data and personal information from your computer, destroying data, deleting everything on your hard drive, etc.
(or Trojan) – a type of malware that looks harmless but can cause harm to a computer system.
- A Trojan misleads users of its true intent.
- A Trojan may claim to get rid of your computer viruses but instead introduce viruses onto your computer.
- A Trojan can take the form of innocent-looking email attachments, downloads, etc.
– it is similar to a virus (a sub-class of a virus). It is designed to quickly self-replicate and spread copies of itself from one computer to another.
- The key difference between a worm and a virus is that a worm does not require any human action to replicate while a virus does. A virus only spreads when a user opens an affected file whereas a worm spreads without the use of a host file.
– a scammer uses deceptive emails or websites and tries to obtain valuable personal information (i.e., username, password, account number, etc.).
- Phishing is a common online scam used by cyber criminals.
- A scammer may use a deceptive email or website appearing to represent a legitimate firm.
– a software that secretly monitors (spies) user’s online behaviour and gets sensitive information about a person or organization without the user’s knowledge.
- A spyware can record a user’s Web browsing habits, email messages, keystrokes on online advertisements, personal information, etc., and forward it to a third party.
- Advertisers can use spyware to target specific advertisements to your tastes.
- Criminal organizations can use spyware to collect financial information (banking accounts, credit card information, password, etc.).
Prevent Cyber Threats
Tips on how to prevent malware from infecting your computer
- Backup files and store in different locations.
- Don’t open any suspicious/unknown emails or the websites.
- The second part (the part after the @) of an email should represent the company that owns the email (domain).
(cnc.bc.ca is the domain for the College of New Caledonia)
- Don’t download an unknown or suspicious attachment (document, picture, music, game, video, etc.).
- Do not call fake tech support numbers (tech support scams).
- If you get pop-up window from fake companies offering to help you with a malware infection, don’t call the number.
- Use a secure and strong password (unique, hard to guess, etc.).
- Install anti-malware/virus software (keep it up to date).
- Scan with antivirus software on a regular basis.
Some free antivirus software
- Comodo Antivirus
- AVAST Free Antivirus
- AVG Antivirus Free
- Avira Antivirus
- Bitdefender Antivirus
- Sophos Home Free
- Kaspersky Free
a person who can gain unauthorized access to (break into) a computer or a network to commit crimes.
a software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or infect computers.
a specific type of malware that is designed to replicate (copy) and spread from one computer to another.
(or Trojan) a type of malware that looks harmless but can cause harm to a computer system.
a type of virus designed to quickly self-replicate and spread copies of itself from one computer to another.
when an Internet scammer uses deceptive emails or websites to try to obtain valuable personal information from people.
a software that secretly monitors (spies) a user’s online behaviour and gets sensitive information about a person or organization without the user’s knowledge.