security of a computer

What is Computer Security and What Does it Involve?

Many people are concerned with the security of their computers as a result of the many threats and security risks that are inclined to affect computers that are connected to the Internet. With all these online threats on the rise, there became the need to put computer security (CS) measures in place.

What is computer security?

As the composition of the terms, computer and security, highlights the security of a computer. It refers to the protection and safety of computer systems and the data and information that is stored within.

CS is important for different reasons. Many computers and computer systems are protected for both physical and intellectual reasons. Computers are protected at different levels. They include:

  1. Computers are made secured to ensure that there is no destruction, theft, or damage done to computer hardware. Hardware refers to the peripheral devices that are attached to the computer system (all devices that make up the computer. Includes monitor, system unit, mouse, keyboard etc). This is any tangible aspect of the computer.
  2. To stop damage and theft to information.
  3. To prevent the interruption or disruption of computer services.

The main or most outstanding reasons why individuals or companies protect their computer data are as a result of the following:

  • Integrity

Computer or data integrity refers to quality of the data that is stored. People want to know that the data that they want is what they get. As a result of this, data accuracy is important. If an individual inputs garbage, they will get garbage out. The supports the GIGO (Garbage in Garbage out) notion.

  • Confidentiality

Computer confidentiality includes the privacy of data. This is usually in reference to those that are not privy to certain information.

  • Reliability

This governs the operations of the computer system. Computers should be functional when they are being used. They should work without having issues that were not anticipated.

  • Authentication

Computer authentication has to do with restrictions. This determines who or what has access to the computer. It deals with granting passwords and using names as a way to ensure that only authorized individuals are using the computer. This method was developed to protect data and information from unauthorized users.

These all support the notion that computer systems should be protected on all three levels. These levels include data security, network security, and hardware security.

All three levels can be referred to as the different types of computer security.

Each computer level is inclined and opened to different risk. There are times when there are events or actions that could cause data to be loss or damage to be done to computer hardware, software, data information or even the processing capabilities of the computer system. In effect, anything that is known to be a threat or harm to a computer system refers to what is called a computer security risks.

 

The different risks to computer security include:

  • Network and Software Security (malware, root kit, Trojan horse, spyware, spoofing, botnets, backdoors, denial of service attacks etc)
    • Denial of Service

This disables the access of authorized users. It actual denies them access to what they are authorized to use.

  • Trojan horse

This is one of the most common threats to a network and the software on it. They are malicious and they tend to break the security of a computer system. Trojans are usually disguised into something they are not. They are normally used by hackers to break into networks that are private.

  • Worms and viruses
  • Worms are officially known for being destruction and replicable. They tend to make copies of themselves.
  • Botnets and backdoors

Botnets are used by people with malicious intentions to control someone’s computer from a remote location. Backdoors operate similar to botnets. They are programs that are used to administrate a computer from a remote location.

Protection to these types of computer security risks includes putting a firewall in place and installation an effective anti-virus protection.

  • Software theft (illegal copying, software media theft, illegal registration and activation of programs, deliberate erasure of programs, information theft)

The most salient protection to software theft is to backup the data. This ensures that even if your data is stolen or destroyed, you will still have them to use. You can backup your data on CD-ROM, magnetic tapes etc.

  • Hardware threat (hardware theft and vandalism)

There are two things that can happen to computer peripherals or hardware. They can either be stolen or they can be damaged. Even if a computer is not in use, harm still can be done to it. An individual can open the computer’s cabinet and access devices such as its hard drives. They can be stolen or even misused. If your computer has important information that should not be viewed or disclosed, ensure that your system is under surveillance fulltime. The locking of the desktop and security chain can be great ways to prevent theft. Locking devices together so that they cannot be taken apart is also effective.  A disk lock which guards all the internal access appoints is just as effective.

Since system security is very important, computer users need to approach Internet and usage with caution. There are many threats that are out there. Hackers, viruses, malware etc do not care about how you feel when you’re left with a computer that is not functional. Protect yourself from buying a new computer or facing the consequences of losing important data by securing your computer network, hardware and data. 

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