There are various types of Internet security software products on the market today. Some claim to offer comprehensive protection against all online threats. On the other hand, there are numerous others which boast only of reducing the dangers posed by specific hazards. Some of aforementioned alternatives are extremely costly, requiring their purchasers to shell out significant sums of money to acquire the type of protection that they purport to offer. On the other hand, there are numerous others which cost users nothing upfront.
Internet security threats
The threats to Internet security posed by hackers are quite pronounced. Hackers are extremely technologically savvy individuals who use the significant amount of knowledge that they possess about computers and networks to circumvent the security protocols and mechanisms which regulate access to many systems. These security protocols are employed by the owners and administrators of these systems to prevent unauthorized access. Hackers can cause considerable monetary and reputation damage within a very short space of time.
The other major threats to Internet security are manmade. They are the various self-replicating programs that people write with the express intention of causing damage to the computers and networks owned and operated by other individuals. These programs are often termed as malware. This name alludes to the malicious effects that they typically have on the operation of the devices and systems which they are deployed to attack. The name is also indicative of the malevolent intentions that inspire people to write and dispatch them.
Combating Internet threats
As alluded to previously, there are numerous types of software which are on the market that can provide varying degrees of protection against the myriad threats that occupy the online world. These Internet security software titles can be categorized into three popular classes:
- Antiviral software
Though its name suggests that its protective scope is limited to viruses, the vast majority of antiviral software titles can actually combat the dangers posed by numerous other types of malware which a computer is exposed to when its user ventures on to the World Wide Web. The following are just a few of the extensive collection of malicious programs that the best antivirus software solutions can neutralize:
- Trojan horses
The abovementioned threats can corrupt data, leading to its damage or destruction. They can also affect the operational capacity of the machine. They may also discretely embed themselves in file directories as they wait for just the right opportunity to exploit the laxities in the Internet defenses of the individual whose machine is infected. Any foray on to the Internet while their computer is in this state can result in the individual’s sensitive personal information being mined and transmitted to remote locations.
- Firewall software
Firewalls are among the most effective defenses that can be mounted to combat the threats posed by the numerous dangers highlighted above. However, unlike the average antiviral program, this type of software places a virtual wall of protection around a network that prevents worms, Trojan horses, and viruses from infiltrating the computer system in the first place. Essentially, it neutralizes all potential threats before they even have the opportunity to embed themselves and cause any type of damage to the devices on the network and information that is being transferred amongst the various components within. Any packet of information that does not satisfy the stringent security requirements programmed into the firewall will not be permitted to enter. This is a particularly potent defense against malicious attacks which originate from Internet-based sources.
- Pop-up blocking software
Pop-ups may appear to be quite innocuous programs that pose no threat at all to the security of computers. However, they often prove to be a potent delivery mechanism for many types of malware. They often entice the user to click on them by promising them some type of reward. However, when the unfortunate individual does so, it frequently triggers the release of hazards such as viruses, worms, etc. Pop-up blocking software is integrated into many modern browsers. It is also a component of many of the free antivirus programs that so many computer owners download and install to protect their machines.
As suggested above, there are numerous comprehensive Internet security software solutions that allow users to provide their Internet-going computers with a substantial level of protection against many significant threats. Some of these are free. Others are quite costly. Others carry moderate price tags. One of the most popular and widely used of these comprehensive pieces of software is Microsoft Security Essentials. Packages such as these provide effective real-time protection against viruses and a variety of other such threats. Comprehensive security solutions similar to this provide the user with a heightened level of convenience and security coverage than that which is afforded by specialized and individualized types of Internet security solutions.
There are many threats to the safety and security of individuals’ information and their computers that originate on the Internet. The threats posed by hackers are among the most serious out there. These highly skilled and technologically savvy individuals have the ability to use the Internet to infiltrate computers, networks, and many other secure resources that contain sensitive personal information. There are also many other threats that can cause serious problems for the average Internet user. These include various malicious programs such as viruses, worms, rootkits, and Trojan horses which are written and dispersed with the intention of corrupting information owned by others or stealing it.