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What is "internet security"? This may sound like a silly question, but it's one that's often asked.
Computer/internet security is protecting your computer and data from threats such a viruses, spyware, spam, phishing, etc. Often that is accomplished with tools, both free and paid.
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Hackers and Firewalls
Hackers are out there, and some are attacking computers and want to install baddies in them. This is why you need a good firewall.
Some Free Firewalls
Comodo Internet Security Review: Free Security Software for Windows (Uncheck the anti-virus component to just get the firewall and the non-optional Defense+, though you can disable it later.)
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If you have an email address you use often, you probably get spam. Spam is usually just advertisements, though sometimes they are phishing scams (see the "Scams and Phishing" section below).
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Scams and Phishing
Some "phishing" (sounds like "fishing") sites try and get you to give them money by tricking you into buying fake security programs like MS Antivirus 2008 (not always security programs though, could be any type of program). That's why you should always search the program's name to see if it recommended by reliable sources, like Bright Hub.
WOT: A Different Approach to Online Security (Use browser add-ons like WOT to see others' ratings on a site, and whether they think it is safe or not.)
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Malware and Anti-Malware Programs
Malware is a big problem a lot of people have. Malware is software that has a malicious intent. There are some different types of malware:
- Viruses. This is a common name for malware; however, viruses are meant to harm or mess up your computer.
- Spyware. Like the name implies, this spies on you without your consent and sends what it finds to the developer, or wherever it is programmed to send the data.
- Trojans. Disguised as something legit and safe, trojans are really malware.
- Worms. This programs is malware designed to spread via a network.
- Rootkits. Designed to hide malware or malicious actions, rootkits usually are malware too.
- Adware. Even though it may not be considered as malicious, adware could fit into this category. Adware displays ads on your computer.
- Keyloggers. What are keyloggers? This is similar to spyware, because it records key strokes and sends the data somewhere.
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These are just the basic threats any internet user will face. Protect yourself by using the security solutions mentioned in each section, and remember that once your info is online and public, you mostly lose control of it.