What is a Trojan Horse?

The most common tool used by criminals is a Trojan horse. Unlike a virus a Trojan horse does not self-replicate. A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is malicious software (malware) pretending to perform some useful function while actually installing some harmful programs creating a backdoor to your computer for some criminal to enter. The name comes…

What is a Botnet?

Botnets actually started out as legitimate networks of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients connected through scripts named bots. The purpose was to keep the IRC channels open while preventing unwanted users from gaining access to the IRC network. Criminals created scripts similar to the IRC bot in that they are designed to have computers communicate…

What is Cross Site Scripting?

Cross-site scripting (XSS) allows criminals to introduce code through dynamic or interactive content such as via a web page, an interactive form, link, newsgroup posting, or any type of content that executes in your browser. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the common language web pages are delivered in. The code is made up of…

What is Phishing?

Phishing is when criminals impersonate well-known reputable organizations sending emails as that organization to lure a person into revealing private information that can be used in identity theft. The email informs the target they must go to a website to update their information. Criminals will attempt to scam you into revealing usernames, passwords, credit card…

What is a Rootkit?

A rootkit is the combining of two words. The first is “root”. Root is the default username for the administrator account on the traditional Unix operating system. The second word is “kit”. Kit is short for toolkit, referencing the modules used to deliver the tool. A rootkit is a hidden program that enables root or…

The Danger of Chat Clients

Chat clients are another point of entry into your computer you need to protect. An instant messaging network is made up of clients and servers. The client is a software application that can run off of a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, smartphone or any computing device. A user installs the chat application onto their…

Make Your Bluetooth Safe

For a criminal to break into a Bluetooth device, they must force two paired Bluetooth devices to break their connection, known as Blueballing. For instance the connection between a cellular phone and a Bluetooth enabled headset could be broken allowing the cell phone to be hijacked. One method used to send unwanted files is Bluejacking.…

Use Firewalls

Do not operate computers without using firewalls. A firewall protects a computer, or network, through a series of access control policies separating that computer, or network, from other computers, or networks. There are two types of firewalls: Software firewall – software running on an individual computer Hardware firewall – a dedicated device designed to protect…

Get Antivirus Software

Get antivirus software. Having software to protect your computer against malicious code is a must. There are a lot of antivirus software products on the market. Each company takes a different approach with different methods and implementations of combatting threats. One thing they all do is search the files on your computer by comparing those…

Secure Your Wireless Access Point

Secure your wireless access points. Unsecure wireless access points are the most common vulnerability most home and small business networks have. Very often consumers purchase a wireless access point, either stand alone or integrated into a firewall, plug it in and connect with no configuration. They use the default manufacturer settings. This is a disaster…