As most people will agree, life has undoubtedly become easier thanks to advancements in computer technology. However, these advancements have also led to advances in computer threats since cybercriminals are smarter and better equipped.
PC security threats are dangerous programs that can affect the functionality of your computer or bring your PC to a stop. Common computer security threats include malware, adware, and numerous other attacks meant to wreak havoc in your system and steal crucial data.
Now more than ever, computer users need to find modern methods of protecting their computers since PC security threats are becoming more malicious by the day. To ensure you make safe use of your computer online and offline, you need to learn cyber hygiene.
If you are looking for ways to enhance the security of your PC, this article has all the information you need. Learning about common computer security threats makes it easier for you to protect your computer.
Common security Risks facing PC users
Spyware is any computer program installed in a system to secretly monitor the user’s online activities and steal confidential data. Spywares are known to install in computer systems without the user noticing since they install with other computer programs or extensions.
A spyware program can cause data breaches and loss when not detected early, which can cripple even the largest organization.
Of all security threats, viruses are the most popular. Cybercriminals use viruses to alter the normal functions of a PC without the knowledge or authority of a user. A virus can replicate itself, after which it self-executes, causing severe damage to your computer, especially when they run discreetly in the machine.
Social engineering attacks
Common social engineering attacks include fake communication, phishing, and pretexting, or any other attack that uses impersonation to gain trust. The hacker takes on the persona of a trusted colleague or employee in need of access to sensitive information.
According to a 2020 report by Microsoft, there were more than 10,000 more social engineering attacks in 2020 in the United States.
Social engineering is a non-technical security threat that exploits human interactions and margin of error.
A hacker will try to take advantage of human error in a typical social engineering attack by making unsuspecting victims cooperate and overlook standard security measures. This gives them access to important organization information without necessarily having to hack into the data system.
Social engineering cyber-attacks are expected to become more rampant in 2021 and the future since they are some of the most financially beneficial forms of attack for cybercriminals.
The best ways to protect your PC from threats in 2021
Update your OS regularly
Updating your PC’s OS (Operating System) is an ideal step for protecting your computer against security breaches.
Ensure you are notified whenever there is a new update available so that you can install it immediately. Installing the latest version of your operating system installs security patches for vulnerabilities found in the outgoing version.
To be sure that you never miss an update, set your computer system to install updates from the control panel automatically.
Use a VPN
Apart from hackers, it is also common practice for government agencies or ISPs to spy on users who do not have the necessary protection measures in place. The best way to avoid falling victim to unauthorized monitoring is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Using a VPN for PC ensures that all online spying bots or programs are blocked from accessing any data from your computer. A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts all data sent to and from your computer, rendering it unreadable. The data is sent through a secure channel, making it only legible to the recipient or sender.
Keep your software up to date
It is common practice for hackers to use popular programs like Adobe Shockwave, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Java to gain access to computers running older versions of the programs.
The best way to avoid this is to update these programs to the latest version for the latest security patches. This will make it harder for hackers to use them to access your PC.
Educate your employees
The only way to prevent common threats like social engineering attacks is by educating employees and computer users on the best cybersecurity practices. This is especially important for people using private computers to work on a company network and server.
By educating them on computer safety, they are better placed to spot phishing attacks and other social engineering attacks before they fall victim.
Invest in the best antivirus
Installing an antivirus program is a sure way of protecting your computer from malware.
Even though you can get protection from a free version, a premium version has tools that can fight rare malware. To get the best protection, only invest in an antivirus from a reputable company.
With computer security threats advancing every day, learning about the three most common threats facing PC users makes it easier for you to protect your PC and data.
Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools.