- Hackers are everywhere. He can be your business rival, your neighbor, or simply a person out to take over your computer. He makes use of software loopholes and hijacks your computer through backdoors, usually installed programs, or through cracking software. When he finally marches into your computer, he can gain access to possibly all your personal and confidential information such as bank accounts, credit cards, or top trade secret. He can also use your computer to attack other networks, with you apparently oblivious to all his malicious operations.
- Internet scams and frauds are rampant. These include phishing, a very organized cyber crime, which deceives people into giving their banking details. Cyber criminals, pretending to be representatives from legitimate financial institutions, send e-mail messages and ask unsuspecting people to verify their passwords, account numbers, and other vital information. According to a report, in 2006 alone, phishing attempts increased by 81%. These attempts could effectively be counterattacked if they weren’t too sophisticated to actually deaden spam filters.
- Cyber theft is a common cyber crime. In fact, it is the most reported. Over time, it has increasingly become so easy for cyber criminals to steal information from computers, not only from individuals but for companies, banks, and other organizations as well. Though they hardly report the case, big companies lose large amounts of money.
- Virus can slow down your computer. Worse, it can cause system crash. Virus reaches your system through a number of entryways. One is through unsecured and unknown websites from which you download files, programs, applications, or tools for free. As much as it can infect home computers, virus can leave damaging effects to companies, both big and small. For instance, Melissa virus hit Microsoft and other big companies in 1999, which led them to temporarily terminate their e-mail systems.
- Spyware, as the name hints, can spy on you. A computer program automatically installed on your computer, spyware tracks personal information you entered and sends it to its creator. In most cases, spyware is used to steal big sum of money. Unlike computer viruses, spyware leaves the computer owners totally unaware of its presence. A study revealed that 92% of users with infected systems don’t know that spyware has broken into their computers.
- Adware can keep unwanted ads to show up. Like spyware, adware penetrates the system through shareware. On its own, it downloads ads and allows them to run and pop up. This proves to be quite annoying for computer owners. But what’s even more troubling is that adware can sometimes contain spyware. This increases the risk for cyber threats.
Why do we need cyber security? Cyber criminals are smart beings. They find ways to get into our systems and create havoc in less time than we expect. And because they don’t cease to innovate and produce more sophisticated threats, we should always put our guard on and reinforce whatever cyber security measures we have these days.