The Internet has become the communication tool of choice, and unfortunately, the ultimate tool for fraudulent activities. The simple act of surfing the Web exposes you to Spam, computer viruses and even the disclosure of your personal information. Remember, when you connect to the Internet you are joining an online community with millions of people, and not all of them have the best of intentions. That's why it's more important than ever before to learn how to protect your computer and your personal information while surfing the Web. The following suggestions are intended to help reduce the risks associated with using the Internet.
The three-letter code at the end of a file name that tells you what kind of file it is. Double extensions are often used to conceal viruses.
Software application and/or Hardware, which prevents unauthorized access to your computer from the Internet and prevents unauthorized programs sending information from your computer.
A term used to define an individual(s) who attempts to gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and/or corrupting data.
Software that captures the keys pressed on your computer keyboard and sends a log of these to the hacker via the Internet. Used to capture your passwords and often included in Trojans.
A hacker's attack which aims to redirect a website's traffic to another, fraudulent website. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the hosts file on a victim's computer or by exploiting a vulnerability in DNS server software.
The use of 'spoofed' e-mails and fraudulent websites which are designed to trick recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and PINs/passwords.
Software installed as part of another application which is designed to monitor and report back on activity on a computer. Often installed without the users knowledge. May also be called scumware, adware or malware.
An apparently harmless program that contains malicious code designed to give control of your computer to a hacker. Can be used to record keystrokes (see keystroke logger) and delete files or even view your screen contents.
Software disguised as something else that can cause damage to data and systems. Often spread as email attachments or files hidden in disks.
The list of known viruses that anti-virus software searches for on your computer or incoming files and emails. In order for anti-virus software to work effectively it is vital that you should keep your virus definition files as up to date as possible.
Similar to viruses in that they are programs that are often designed to interfere with the computers they infect. They don't attach themselves to files or other programs but spread automatically across networks of computers.