We have all heard the term Trojan Horse, but what exactly is it? A Trojan Horse is a destructive program that masquerades as a harmless application. Unlike viruses , Trojan Horses do not replicate themselves, but they can be just as destructive. One of the most dangerous examples of a Trojan is a program that promises to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses into your computer.
The Trojan can be tricky. Who hasnt been online and had an advertisement pop up claiming to be able to rid your computer of some nasty virus? Or, even more frightening, you receive an email that claims to be alerting you to a new virus that can threaten your computer. The sender promises to quickly eradicate, or protect, your computer from viruses if you simply download their “free”, attached software into your computer. You may be doubtful but the software looks legitimate and the company sounds of good reputation. You proceed to take them up on their offer and download the software. In doing so, you have just potentially exposed yourself to a massive headache and your computer to a laundry list of ailments.
When a Trojan is activated, numerous things can happen. Some of the Trojans are too irritable than malicious. Some of the less annoying Trojans may choose to change your desktop settings or add silly desktop icons. The more severe Trojans can overwrite or delete the data stored on your computer, corrupt files, spread other malware such as viruses, spy on the user of a computer and secretly report data like browsing habits to other people, log keystrokes to steal information such as passwords and credit card numbers, phish for bank account details (which can be used for criminal activities), and even install a backdoor into your computer system so that they can enter and out as at their wish.
To increase your odds of not encountering a Trojan, follow these guidelines.
- Remain diligent. Trojans can make your computer infected through rogue websites, instant messaging, and emails with attachments. Do not download anything into your computer unless you are fully assured of its source or the sender.
- Ensure that your operating system is always up-to-date. If you are running a Microsoft Windows operating system, this is essential.
- Install reliable anti-virus software. It is also important that you download any updates regularly in order to block all new Trojan Horses, viruses, and worms. Be sure that the anti-virus program that you opt can also do the scanning of e-mails and download files.
- Consider installing a firewall. A firewall is a system that puts a stoppage to an unauthorized use and entry to your computer. A firewall is not going to eliminate your computer virus problems, but when used in conjunction with regular operating system updates and reliable anti-virus software, it can provide additional security and protection for your computer.
Nobody can promise about the security of your computer cent percent. However, you can continue to boost your computer’s security and reduce the likelihood of infection by consistently following these guidelines.