Pc Security

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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There was a time when PC security was a far greater concern to corporations and other organizations than it was to private individuals. However, the increasing prevalence of high-speed Internet connections for home PC users, coupled with the escalating popularity of online commerce and related transactions, has made the home computer just as likely a target for hackers and cyber-thieves as a corporate network. Thanks to high-speed Internet service, home PCs can now remain online continuously, providing more opportunities for attempted infiltration. When you also take into account the volume of sensitive personal information that passes through home computers, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and bank account data, you can understand why it is so important for home computers to be effectively secured against outside threats.

The World Wide Web is teeming with potential interlopers, all hoping to covertly access your home computer. Although hackers may not be specifically targeting your PC, many of the most popular hacking tools and methods attack randomly selected computers. As a result, no one can really be considered safe from an attempted intrusion.

So why would an anonymous stranger work so hard just to break into your personal PC? There can be a variety of motives. One of the chief security concerns for PC users is currently identity theft. Over the last decade, the proliferation of e-commerce, Internet banking, bill paying, and other online transactions, has necessitated that a huge quantity of sensitive personal information be transmitted online. Hackers aim to locate enough such information to commit anything from theft to fraud.

PC Security Threats

Hackers attempt to access the personal records on your PC by exploiting any potential weakness they can find in your service provider, email client, security protocols, or home network. Their goal is to plunder enough significant data to successfully assume your identity (at least in the eyes of your bank or creditors). They then use the ill-gotten info to make unauthorized purchases with your credit card or bank account.

Identity thieves might even use your personal information to apply online for new credit cards, allowing them to go on shopping sprees, while you're stuck with the bill. This is a particularly detrimental brand of identity theft, as the spending could carry on unchecked for quite some time before coming to your attention. This could have devastating ramifications on your credit rating, creating a mess that can take years to resolve.

If you don't use your home PC to conduct any kind of financial transactions, and you keep your hard drive free of any personal information, you're still not in the clear. Online attackers might still have cause to hijack your computer. If hackers aren't trying to steal your identity, they might be trying to steal your resources. Your online connection, processor, drive space, and IP address are appealing prizes for a lot of hackers. Cyber criminals aim to secretly commandeer your computer in order to exploit components of your PC for their own goals.

By breaking into your computer, criminals can convert it into a remote hacking tool. Your computer can be configured to attack other computers, or for other dubious purposes, such as spam distribution, all without your knowledge. In addition to significantly diminishing your system's speed and functionality, this situation can have far more serious implications, as it is now your computer and IP address that are linked to illegal online activities.

As you can see, it is now imperative for home computers to be equipped with efficient, reliable protection. Computers with high speed connections are an especially popular target for hackers, as they're always online, and therefore constantly available for exploitation. However, dial-up computers are not safe from cyber-criminals either. In order to ensure that you don't fall victim to cyber-crime, you should be certain that your PC is secured against all manner of online attacks.

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