The old childhood warning “Stranger danger!” has withstood the test of time even in our modern, developed world. Now that most of our daily procedures and activities are automatized and available for use on the Internet, we need to take the same level of precaution we did as children, crossing to the other side of the street whenever we saw a suspicious stranger. This precaution is needed even more after seeing some critical statistics surface, claiming that nearly one-third of the world’s computers are infected with some type of malware.
We’ve all heard about them, and we all have our fears. For everyday Internet users, computer viruses are one of the most common threats to cybersecurity. Statistics show that approximately 33% of household computers are affected with some type of malware, more than half of which are viruses.
Computer viruses are pieces of software that are designed to be spread from one computer to another. They’re often sent as email attachments or downloaded from specific websites with the intent to infect your computer — and other computers on your contact list — by using systems on your network. Viruses are known to send spam, disable your security settings, corrupt and steal data from your computer including personal information such as passwords, even going as far as to delete everything on your hard drive.
It can seem a difficult task to keep track of all the network security threats that are out there, and the new ones that just keep emerging. Whether the media is creating a culture of fear out of being online and placing trust in leaving our information out for all to see, or whether the threats that wait in the dark corners of the Internet are truly serious and can happen to anyone, the best thing we can all do is to be prepared. There is no way to be completely sure that a system is impenetrable by cybersecurity threat. We need to ensure that our systems are as secure as possible.