The Computer Trojan Horse

You’ve probably heard the story of the huge wooden horse built by the Greeks and how their army hid inside. The horse was a symbol of the Trojans and when they pulled it into their city, the Greek army surprised the Trojans and destroyed the city of Troy and defeated the Trojans. That same concept is used in the computer age by cyber criminals to gain access to your computer and stealing your personal information. It may be referred to as a Trojan horse or simply a Trojan. It isn’t really a virus because unlike viruses it does not reproduce itself, but it can still be very destructive nonetheless. It is fairly common as it disguises itself as a program that will get rid of viruses on your computer. I know I’ve said this before, perhaps you have been surfing the net and received a pop up telling you to click on a link to remove viruses on your computer when in fact there will be a virus hiding inside and by clicking that link a virus will infect your computer.

An even more devious way a Trojan can infect your computer is when you get an e-mail telling you that a new virus is making its rounds and it’s extremely likely that your computer may be infected. All you need to do is click on the attachment or link in the e-mail and your computer will be protected. Getting an e-mail like this can freak you out and you go against your better judgment and follow their instructions and now the real trouble begins. Some Trojans are considerably nastier than others. Instead of just annoying you by slowing down your computer’s speed or changing your desktop settings and adding goofy icons, the really nasty ones delete data on your computer or completely overwrite your hard drive. Some Trojans can actually infect your computer with malware or spyware that can deliver sensitive information to others like key strokes and websites you visit, or even worse, capture your credit card numbers, bank details, passwords, and user names. The really nasty Trojans can actually create and install a back door, so to speak, on your computer allowing a cyber criminal to enter your computer whenever they wish. Now I’m sure you can see why Trojans are used quite frequently by cyber criminals, or as I like to call them, low life bottom feeders.

So what can you do to protect your computer and yourself from all this ugliness? Follow these guidelines to protect yourself against the computer Trojan horse.

1. be aware of questionable websites, instant messaging, and e-mails with attachments. I know I’ve said this before, if you are not one hundred percent sure, then don’t download it, and stay away from those that you suspect are questionable.

2. Set your operating system to update automatically so that those updates are installed as soon as they become available especially if you are using Microsoft Windows.

3. Insure that you have a trustworthy anti-virus and also set it up so that it will automatically install updates. New Trojans, viruses, and worms are created all the time and this is the best way to stay on top of it. Some of the most reliable anti-virus programs include Norton, Symantec, and McAfee. Personally I use Trend Micro. One reason I like Trend Micro is if a website I am considering visiting is questionable or malicious, it warns me with great big letters that says “DANGEROUS PAGE” and then it further says, “Trend Micro has confirmed that this website can transmit malicious software or has been involved in online scams or fraud.” I’ve used it for several years now and it does a great job of catching and eliminating all this nasty business.

4. Look into installing a firewall. It is an excellent way to prevent unwanted access to your computer system. It won’t get rid of any viruses or Trojans but used in combination with a good anti-virus program it can give you the extra protection and security you need.

5. be extremely vigilant when using a public Wi-Fi at the library or in a cyber café. Those types of networks are not secure, and anyone can use them for anything, and I do mean anything, if you get my drift.

6. Always lock your computer when you walk away from it no matter how long you are away from it.

7. You wouldn’t leave your wallet or your money sitting on a table in a public place would you? Of course not, well the same goes for your computer too.

8. When you log out of any of your accounts, make sure you completely log out, and close your browser. Also don’t let your browser store or remember your log in information, passwords, and user names.

9. If you use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) remember you are using a computer connection to talk on the phone and it is also susceptible to all those things I talked about earlier, so treat it the same way you would any other computer program.

10. Make your passwords extremely complex by using a combination of upper case and lower case letters as well as symbols and numbers, and for crying out loud don’t store them on your computer. Keep them written down and in a safe place somewhere else. I have a password vault application on my smart phone where I keep all my passwords, user names, and other sensitive information as well as a little hand written notebook that never leaves the desk in my house. And please, please, don’t make all your passwords the same.

To be in compliance with United States Federal Trade Commission Regulations, I must tell you that I, or my publishing company, may receive a commission from the sale of these products or programs. It takes a great deal of time to research, investigate, assemble, and publish, and to be honest, the few dollars  in commissions I, or my company, make in bringing you the best of the best in programs are what keeps my company going.  Allow me to take this time to thank you for reading this article and reviewing the following offers.

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