is the home computer a popular target for hackers?
Your home computer is a popular target for intruders. Why? Because
intruders want what you've stored there. They look for credit card
numbers, bank account information, and anything else they can find.
By stealing that information, intruders can use your money to buy
themselves goods and services.
But it's not just money-related information they're after. Intruders
also want your computer's resources, meaning your hard disk space,
your fast processor, and your Internet connection. They use these
resources to attack other computers on the Internet. In fact, the
more computers an intruder uses, the harder it is for law enforcement
to figure out where the attack is really coming from. If intruders
can't be found, they can't be stopped, and they can't be prosecuted.
Why are intruders paying attention to home computers? Home computers
are typically not very secure and are easy to break into. When combined
with high-speed Internet connections that are always turned on, intruders
can quickly find and then attack home computers. While intruders also
attack home computers connected to the Internet through dial-in connections,
high-speed connections (cable modems and DSL modems) are a favorite
No matter how a home computer is connected to the Internet, intruders'
attacks are often successful. Many home computer owners don't realize
that they need to pay attention to computer security.
How do intruders break into your computer? In some cases, they send
you email with a virus. Reading that email activates the virus, creating
an opening that intruders use to enter or access your computer. In
other cases, they take advantage of a flaw or weakness in one of your
computer's programs - a vulnerability - to gain access.
Once they're on your computer, they often install new programs that
let them continue to use your computer - even after you plug the holes
they used to get onto your computer in the first place. These backdoors
are usually cleverly disguised so that they blend in with the other
programs running on your computer.
Whether your computer runs Microsoft? Windows?, Apple's Mac OS, LINUX,
or something else, the issues are the same and will remain so as new
versions of your system are released. The key is to understand the
security-related problems that you need to think about and solve.
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