Types of Security Threats and What to Watch Out For


The Internet is full of fun and insightful information, but with all of the benefits, it can bring an array of disadvantages as well.

This is especially true when it comes to one’s own privacy and security.

To learn more we will discuss the types of security threats one might encounter and how to avoid or fix them.

  1. Virus

    Undeniably the most well-known among the types of security threats.

    Similar to the disease humans may catch, computer viruses poses the same threat.

    Its main objective is to multiply and conquer, able to spread from one computer to the next via physical means (e.g. USB, Hard-drive, Memory Card) or through digital (e.g. corrupted emails, infected websites, etc.). 

    A virus would try to take all sensitive information, e.g. credit card information, bank account, from the infected host and exploit it for its own malicious intent. 

    A slow, unresponsive computer is a sure sign that your computer is infected with this type of security threat.

    Luckily, nowadays viruses can easily be removed by the use of anti-virus software that comes along with the latest release of Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS,

    In the chance that you are using an older copy of the Windows OS you may need to purchase an antivirus to secure your computer, but in retrospect upgrading your system is probably the best way to protect your computer from this threat.

  2. Worms

    Worms are a specific type of virus, their main goal is to replicate itself countless times in an attempt to deaden and crash your system.

    Fortunately, it can easily be detected and removed by anti-virus.

    To avoid getting infected, always scan USB devices being plugged into your system also be wary of suspicious e-mails being received and websites flagged as unsafe by your web browser.
  3. Trojans

    A trojan is oftentimes mistaken as a virus,

    Trojans or Trojan Horse have usually disguised as legitimate-looking software.

    Ones installed, Trojans will give remote access to hackers on an infected system.

    Here they could easily install keystroke logging software that records keyboard inputs from users acquiring sensitive data such as credit card numbers, email passwords, and the likes in the process.

    Unlike viruses, Trojans don’t replicate and require the assistance of a user, usually through installation, for it to have control over the system.

    Trojans are usually undetectable but should be easily identified and removed through the use of an Anti-Malware Software.

    To avoid getting infected always check the source of the software you are about to download, routinely scan your PC for possible infection at least ones a week and always check for the latest update of your OS and anti-virus.
  4. Spyware

    Similar to Trojans, spyware infects a computer by masquerading as a harmless free software.

    Ones installed into the system, it called install additional software that monitors the user’s internet activity, gathering this sensitive information and forwarding it to the attacker in which they could exploit it for their own purpose.

    To avoid this follow the same method in removing a Trojan, use anti-malware software and scan your PC with the built-in anti-virus.
  5. Adware

    This type of threat goes hand in hand with the spyware.

    Once the spyware is installed into the system, the adware is usually installed with it.

    The main purpose of the adware is to post unsolicited advertisement into the users desktop, filling the window with an unnecessary clatter that could hinder the PC’s performance dramatically.

    This is particularly troubling when the pop-ups contain adult-oriented material that children may be exposed to. 

    Adware is usually installed into the corrupted browser as well.

    One way of removing this is by resetting the browser settings and deleting the history. You may also scan your PC with anti-malware software and remember to always avoid suspicious-looking software no matter what it claims it may be.
  6. Privilege Escalation Attack

    This type of attack is done by exploiting an error on the system that could give the hacker additional access, into a user’s system.

    With this additional access, in this case, elevated access, the hacker could easily bypass all security and go straight to the root of the system.

    Taking in sensitive information such as bank account password with them.

  7. Rootkits

    A rootkit is a tool designed to provide privileged access to another users computer, this is done while actively being hidden from the user the perpetrator is attacking.

    This is designed by using two key components. Root, originally used on Unix and Linux system to provide additional access to files and data, and Kit, a software component that manages the tool.

    Nowadays, rootkits are, often than not, bundled with Malware, Viruses, and Trojans that want to gain access to users data.

  8. Botnets

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things devices that are infected and controlled by a common type of malware.

  9. Phishing

    Phishing email messages, websites, and phone calls are designed to steal money.

    Cyber-criminals can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or stealing personal information off of your computer.

    Avoid this by never clicking links on any suspicious emails. You may also report them to your I.T. department in your company so that they may add the server into the banned list.
  10. Ransomware

    Probably the most well-known threat at the moment,

    Ransom malware, or ransomware, is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands a ransom payment in order to regain access.

    An article discussing this further can be found here.

Have you had any recent issues involving any of these types of security threats lately? Was this article helpful? Please let me know by sending me a message here.