Even if your business computer has the latest antivirus, malware and other cybersecurity protection, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the latest online threats. That way, you have a better idea of your vulnerabilities and what steps you can take to protect yourself, your business and your peace of mind. There’s also the fact that there are threats popping up seemingly every day, so while you may be familiar with most of the old threats, you may not be so well-versed on some of the newer threats.

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses aren’t anything new. That said, computer viruses can change and mutate just like regular viruses, making it essential that you know how the newest viruses operate. For instance, it’s vital that you not open questionable emails, even if they come from people you know. Website downloads can also contain harmful viruses, so be sure you thoroughly scan anything before you download it onto your computer. The effects of computer viruses range from stealing and corrupting sensitive information stored on your computer to fully wiping out your hard drive.

Botnets

Botnets often go largely undetected, which makes them an especially dangerous cyber security threat. Specifically, a botnet is a cluster of software “bots” that infect computers, all of which are controlled by the virus’s originator. Infected computers can be made to send out spam emails with virus attachments, become part of a denial of service attack or send out malicious malware.

Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack

Touching back on botnets, they can be used to launch a coordinated attack against a website or server. The attack is designed to overload the site or server until it either shuts down or operates much slower than usual. Again, staying up-to-date on the latest computer safeguards is your best bet to avoid having your computer be used for such an attack. If you believe you are the target of a DDoS attack, it’s best to contact your internet service provider ASAP to see what can be done.

Rogue Security Software

Online criminals can use your desire to protect your computer against you with rogue security software. What this type of software does is make you think you have a virus on your computer or that your current security measures are not current. A scammer may contact you with an offer for a program that takes care of the virus; you may even be asked to pay for it. If you accept the offer, you may wind up installing a program that infects your computer with actual malware.

Trojan Horse

Trojan horses are packed into legitimate computer programs, usually spread through email. You open the email attachment, and the malware is downloaded onto your computer. Besides email, this particular cybersecurity threat is spread through false advertisements. If you are unable to identify the Trojan horse when it first infects your computer, it can go on to log your keystrokes, hijack your computer’s webcam and siphon sensitive information.

Ransomware

You may power on your computer and discover you’ve been denied access to your files. A message pops up informing you that you’ll have to pay to have access restored. You’ve just become a victim of ransomware, which is a type of malware.

The two main types of ransomware are lock screen ransomware, which blocks you from accessing your computer, and encryption ransomware, which locks up external hard drives, USB drives, shared network drives and some cloud storage drives via encryption.

So, what do you do if you’re locked out of your computer via ransomware? You’ll have to contact a computer specialist. She or he can tell you whether your data can be retrieved and your computer repaired. To avoid the frustration involved with ransomware, make it a habit to back up your data on a removable external hard drive.

Rootkit

With rootkits, software tools allow for remote control and administration-level access to computers and their networks. They infect your system by concealing themselves in legitimate software. You give the software permission to make changes to your operating system, which creates an open door for the rootkit. The hacker can activate it to steal your passwords, disable your security software and log your keystrokes.

Be cautious when it comes to allowing programs to make changes to your computer, even if you’ve used the program in the past. It’s best to give the program a thorough scan before installing it.

Contact a Cyber Security Expert

Don’t allow yourself to become lax when it comes to the safety of your business’s network and all the information stored on it. BDA’s Cyber Division has proactive solutions that can help protect your endpoints, your employees and your customers. Contact us today to learn more about Advanced Cyber Security.