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Free Computer Security Threats Essay Sample

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Computer security can be defined as the process of ascertaining discretion, integrity, and reliability of computers, their hardware devices, data, as well as their programs. In case one of the three properties fails, then the computer faces insecurity. The unsanctioned revealing of data or accessing a computer program or a computing system without being authorized constitutes lack of confidentiality. Unauthorized alteration of data or causing impairment to a computer program or a computing system results into a failure of integrity. In this case denial of service will result if at all the computing resources will not be in place (Stallings, 2009).


 Realizing and recognizing the potential security threats a computer can reveal to one's online privacy, the personal information can be better protected as well as have secured online experience.   Internet communication and information sharing was quite safe in the past when the internet was not popular, and during this time the computer security threats were restricted to virus that was known to harm files on a computer. One' computer was safe if there was no sharing of information with other terminals (Russell, 2006).

Computer security threats

There is a number of computer security threats right from physical security threats to software security threats, for instance fire, theft, environmental catastrophe, computer virus, computer worms, Trojan horse, computer hacking, and computer cracking.   

According to Subramanian (2008), a computer virus is defined as a computer program that can infect a computer and has the ability replicate itself several times. It implements and executes activities on the computer even without the consent of the owner or computer administrator.  Some viruses are not harmful but most of them are very destructive such that they can result into a total failure of a computer system.  A virus can totally cancel out all the data on computer hard drive or it can multiply itself severally thus rendering a computer useless altogether.  

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According to Vacca (2009), Trojan horse is defined as a program that makes a computer user, for instance administrator to consider that it is useful and harmless but actually it executes illegal malevolent activities on the computer. Trojan horse is so much related to a virus but they differ when it comes to replication since Trojan horse does not replicate but can deletes files, alters computer security settings, and can steal data. Trojan horse can download and install independently by visiting the websites which are not safe and as well they can be found in free software or free games.

Computer worms are the computer programs that replicate, perform tasks independently and travel across the connections of a network. Computer worms are capable of doing the whole progression of harm for example destroying essential files in the computer system, resulting into its eventual slowdown or even can make a computer to stop working altogether. The most outstanding examples of worms include the Sasser worms and MS-Blaster (Russell, 2006).

Computer hacking can be defined as the practice of altering computer software and hardware to achieve an objective which was not intended by the creator. Those individual who engage in the activities of computer hacking are referred to as hackers. The term "hack" has been employed to identify an individual who is not competent at his or her profession, thus a number of hackers assert this term is illegal and fall short of giving suitable actualization to their acquisitions. Most hackers are real technology lovers who take pleasure in getting to know more regarding the way computers work.  They therefore conceive computer hacking as an artistic creation (Subramanian, 2008).  

Computer cracking is process by which computer networks are used to bring impairment or pilfer from a computer system. An individual who illegitimately makes use of computer networks to harm or pilfer from a computer system is referred to as a computer cracker.

The computer attackers who are either computer hackers or computer crackers use a key logger and a spyware to access data in other people's computer systems. A key logger is defined as a tool that is intended to trace each keystroke on target machine so that it can be retrieved later. Its principle is generally to enable the computer attacker to acquire access to private information that is keyed in on the target machine, for instance the password of the user. Spyware is a malevolent code intended to examine activity on a given computer without the attention of the computer user. The basic monitoring spyware is more irritating than malevolent. They keep record of what the computer user does, the length of time they spend on each site, after which they force pop-up ads on the computer user (Erbschloe, 2005).

So that the computer users can ensure the personal information is better protected as well as have secured online experience, then they have to realize and recognize the potential security threats a computer can reveal to their online privacy.   In the past Internet communication and information sharing was quite safe when the internet was not popular, and during this time the computer security threats were restricted to virus that was known to harm files on a computer.

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