Computer Security

Every day new threats or viruses are known to endanger your safe surfing the Internet. The solution, in most cases, depends on you and the correct use of new technologies. On International Information Security Day, learn how to protect yourself on the Internet with our Information Security guide. Earn peace of mind.

Computer Security Definition and Classification

When we talk about computer security we are referring to the set of measures we must take to ensure safe surfing on the Internet and thus prevent threats that could affect and infect our computer or mobile devices.

Information technologies have changed the way we relate to the world. The massive use of electronic mail, social networks, electronic commerce, downloading mobile applications, online games or instant messaging systems (Whatsapp, Telegram…) have brought with them an increase in dangers on the Internet and the need to be more vigilant than ever with our computer security.

The data in the latest report on Cybersecurity and trust in Spanish households by the National Observatory for Telecommunications and the Information Society (ONTSI) leave no room for doubt. 70.4% of the internet users surveyed admit to having suffered some incident related to computer security on their computer, which is mainly summarised in spam (88%), viruses (26%) or cyber attacks on their accounts and passwords (11%).

A relevant fact of this study is that of those affected, 53% had not realized that their computers were infected and that leads us directly to the question, what computer security measures can you apply to avoid the threats that affect your safe surfing on the Internet? According to ONTSI, we can summarize them in:

Passive computer security measures

They are those aimed at preventing Internet security threats and can be summed up with the saying: prevention is better than cure. We can divide them into automatable (do not require user action) and non-automatable, and they are classified into:

  • Firewall.
  • Passwords.
  • Backup copies.
  • Digital certificates.
  • Encryption of documents and folders.
  • Electronic ID.

Active computer security measures

They are those that we take once we suffer an incident related to the computer security of our data or equipment, and can also be classified as automatable and non-automatable. They are classified in:

  • Plugins for the computer.
  • Pop-up blocking.
  • Deleting temporary files.
  • Anti-spam and anti-fraud programs.

At an intermediate level we can find some computer security measures that combine both options (active and passive security) such as the installation of antivirus programs and operating system updates that will always ensure safer surfing on the Internet.

Main indicators of computer security

What is the level of cybersecurity among Andalusians? Do they use ICTs responsibly? What are the main threats they detect and what means do they use to solve the security incidents they suffer on the Internet? The study on ICT by the National Statistics Institute informs us of all of this, which, in the case of Andalusia, draws these conclusions:

  • 60.4% of Andalusians indicated that they have “enough” degree of digital confidence, 10.3% said they have “a lot” and 29.2% that they have “little or nothing”.
  • 69.4% of Andalusians acknowledge that they have provided personal data over the Internet.
  • 66.9% indicated that they took action to manage their privacy and access to their personal data. Among these, checking that the site they access is secure (45.8%), limiting access to their profile on social networks (43.1%) or denying permission to use their information for advertising purposes (42.3%).
  • 45.3% were concerned that their Internet activity could be monitored or tracked. This situation is of great concern to 14.5% and nothing to 40.3% of those surveyed.
  • 75% of Andalusians indicate that they use some type of security program or software, although only 14.2% use some device to prevent the tracking of their browsing on the Internet.

Virus

We all know what we’re talking about when we mention the term computer virus. We mean malicious software that installs itself and infects your computer or mobile device, and that can spread to others. Malware is still very much present on the Internet, where new virus alerts are announced every day.

Spam

Also known as junk mail or junk messages. Spam arrives in your mailbox and usually contains a malicious file (malware) that when executed activates a Trojan that can take control or damage your computer. The main danger of spam is that it copies and spreads to your entire address book.

Phishing

The definition of phishing is closely linked to online banking systems and Internet payments. Phishing has become one of the main threats to the computer security of millions of users and entities. Phishing impersonates an entity or company in order to fraudulently obtain the user’s personal data (passwords or bank access data).

Ransomware

Undoubtedly one of the most worrying threats to computer security today. The definition of ransomware has to do with the terms (ransom ‘rescue’ in English and ware, referred to the software) and refers to malicious software that runs on your computer and encrypts access to your files demanding a rescue for their release.

Keyloggers

The term keylogger refers to a malicious application that, once downloaded on our computer (usually through a spam mail) runs in the background and copies all our keystrokes in a txt file. In this way we are making all our passwords and security codes available to cyber-criminals.

Spyware

Also called spyware. It is another variety of malicious software that, after being installed on our computer, poses a threat to our computer security because it spies and shares our security keys remotely. Nowadays it is very present in the form of APP that, after downloading to our mobile phone, take control and copy all our agenda of contacts and personal data. In traditional computer equipment (PC) can be installed via webcam or microphone. Be careful: cover your webcam and deactivate the microphone if you are not using them.

Essential measures for your computer security

To prevent these threats and ensure safe surfing on the Web, there are several basic computer security measures that can prevent problems on the Internet. Putting them in place means guaranteeing the privacy of our data and encouraging a greater degree of digital trust. Please note:

Password

They are the gateway to our email, social network profile and other online services that we use in our day to day Internet. Remember: Always use long passwords (minimum eight characters) that combine letters, numbers and special characters (_ , &, -), and change them from time to time. Never use the same passwords for different profiles and email accounts.

Two-Step Verification

Increasingly used by the grandes email platforms, social networks or messaging services such as Whatsapp. It consists of the use of a second security code, which is usually sent via SMS and increases the security of our data and personal information. Do you know how to activate verification in two steps in your Google Account?

Watch out for public WIFI networks

If you are going to use a public WIFI network (which you access in cafes, hotels or other places) it is better to avoid online shopping and access to services that require you to enter a password. Avoid any type of personal data because it can be collected by outsiders.

Configure the security of your router

As with passwords, you should regularly change the access data to your router to prevent access by others. The keys for the password are the same as we have seen before.

Updated operating system

Any computer security expert will confirm to you that it is an indispensable measure to avoid threats on the Internet. If your software is not up to date, you are leaving the door open to malware which, be clear, is updated and renewed every day to infect your computer.

Antivirus installed

To ensure safe surfing on the Internet and avoid threats to your computer security, it is essential that you have an antivirus program and that it is always up to date. You can find free references in a section of this post.

Check privacy on Social Networks

If you have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network spend a few minutes reviewing your privacy options to decide what is visible and what is not. Keep in mind that many of these options are configured by default and that, especially in the case of minors, it is advisable to restrict them to the maximum.

Online shopping on secure platforms

Events such as Black Friday or Ciber Monday show that we buy more and more on the Internet, but doing so safely depends on whenever you make an online purchase you do so through reliable platforms and follow these tips for a safe purchase on the Internet.