Pc Security Checks

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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Once you've built your PC security system, you'll probably want a way to gauge its effectiveness. No one wants to find out too late that his computer's protection didn't cut it. Fortunately, you can now test your readiness to contend with a variety of security threats without putting your PC or your data in any real danger.

Several organizations offer PC security check services online, usually at no charge. The service subjects your computer to an assortment of simulated attacks, allowing you to see firsthand exactly how safe you really are. If your PC comes up lacking, the security check program can usually offer suggestions to bolster your system's defense.

Types Of PC Security Checks

A security scan is a type of security check that focuses on several key areas. A "hacker exposure" test will determine if your PC will accept unauthorized or suspicious transmissions. This alerts you to the possibility of hackers covertly communicating with your PC. An operating system check is next. It calculates whether any flaws in your system might enable hackers to spy on your information, such as location, identity, and network. Next, a trojan horse check will test if your computer can notice a malicious file concealed inside a seemingly innocent one. Finally, the security scan verifies that your anti-virus program is installed correctly, and that it is being regularly updated.

The security scan is followed by a virus detection security check. This test is similar to the duties of your anti-virus software. In addition to scanning for infected files, the virus detection check locates trojan horses, backdoor programs, and worms. Worms are self-replicating viruses. They are especially difficult to locate, as they don't alter any files, and remain invisible. They duplicate themselves, and can distribute the duplicates to other computers by affixing themselves to your sent email. Trojan horses are dangerous programs that have been hidden inside a friendly file. Once the file is opened, the trojan horse installs itself in the system. Backdoor programs are installed the same way, but their intent is more serious. Backdoors allow a hacker to access and control your computer remotely, over the Internet. As a result, they are instantly privy to all of your information, including emails, passwords, instant message conversations, and more. Backdoors can also be exploited by hackers who want to use your computer as a hacking tool. They can also use your computer to distribute thousands of spam emails without your knowledge. This slows your system performance, and makes you appear to be a criminal, as your IP address is then associated with any illegal activity.

If you don't completely pass a security check, the service will usually indicate any changes you need to make. After making the changes, go through the whole series of checks over again, until you can be certain that your PC is secured.

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