Unit 11. More on electronic communication

Topic C: Web search engine

Click play on the following audio player to listen along as you read this section.

Perform a Search using a Web Search Engine

Search engine – an Internet search engine is a web-based tool (a software) that is designed to search the content of web pages and to find particular information on the Internet.

Some popular search engines

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Baidu
  • Yahoo!
  • Yandex
  • Ask.com
  • DuckDuckGo

Search the Internet using a web search engine

  1. Open a search engine in a web browser (such as Google in Chrome).
  2. Type a few specific keywords or phrases to describe whatever you wish to search in the search bar. Search engines look for the keywords in your query.
  3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  4. Repeat above steps if necessary.

Security Issues on the Internet

Internet security issues

Although Internet led to many benefits, it also poses a greater potential for security threats.

The common Internet security issues

  • Hacker – refers to a person who can gain unauthorized access (break into) to 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 systems;
    • Hold those system hostages to collect ransom.
  • Malware (short for malicious software) – a software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or infect computers.
    • Malware can gain unauthorized access to a computer and continuously run in the background without owner’s knowledge.
    • 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.
  • Computer virus – 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, removable storage devices, networks (e.g. 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.
  • Trojan horse(or Trojan) – a type of malware that looks harmless but can damage, disrupt, steal data on your computer.
    • A Trojan misleads users of its true intent.
    • A Trojan may claim to get rid of your computer viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.
    • A Trojan can take the form of an innocent-looking email attachment, download, etc.
  • Worm – it is similar to a virus (a sub-class of a virus). It is designed to quickly self-replicate and spread copies of themselves from one computer to another.
    • The key difference between a virus and a worm is that a virus needs human action to replicate, whereas, a worm doesn’t.
    • A virus only spreads when a user opens an affected file whereas a worm spreads without the use of a host file.
  • Phishing – 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.
  • Spyware – a software that secretly monitors (spies) user’s online behavior and gets sensitive information about a person or organization without the user’s knowledge.
    • A spyware can record a user’s Web browsing habits, e-mail 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 / website address should represent the company that owns the email / website (domain).
  • Don’t download an unknown or a 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 Free Antivirus
  • AVAST Free Antivirus
  • AVG Antivirus Free
  • Avira Antivirus
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Key Concepts of Computer Studies Copyright © 2020 by Meizhong Wang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book