We are so dependent on computers and the internet these days, we often forget to take the time to make sure we maintain and secure them. Keeping your computer running properly will help you avoid losing data, or worse, losing your personal information.
Here is a list of common problems to be aware of:
- Viruses: a virus is attached to real files or programs. Each time one is opened by the user, the virus is opened as well. Viruses damage your files and also have the ability to reproduce themselves. Invest in anti-virus software and keep it updated to protect your computer.
- Email viruses: this virus attaches itself to email and can mail itself to your entire address book. You don't even have to send an infected file to someone else. Never open an email from an unknown sender.
- Worms: a worm is a piece of software that uses computer networks and holes in security to damage data. Worms scan the whole network looking for an opportunity to replicate. These infections can be transmitted worldwide and access personal data from your computer.
- Trojan Horses: a Trojan Horse is a computer program that says it does one thing (like a screen saver or game) but actually damages files when you run it. They can be just as dangerous as worms because they can make a security hole, allowing hackers to steal data.
- Spyware: Spyware helps to collect information about the user without his or her knowledge. This program secretly gathers information about the uses to give to advertisers and others.