Systems Security: Threats to computers

To deal with a current situation of SPAM, you can acquire SPAM removal software, and use that to search your system and mail applications to remove all unwanted SPAM.

To prevent future cases of SPAM, install SPAM filtering software, alter ports and keep your email private without sharing it to unknown sources.

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* Viruses – These can infect a computer and corrupt, delete and alter personal, general, and system files.

To deal with a current situation of this, try running anti-virus software. If it is unable to run, try and load it from a portable device. If that doesn’t work, use search engines on the internet to gain knowledge and possible solutions to the problem at hand. If the virus has stopped any possible access to the internet from your computer, then use another source to search the internet, e.g. a friend’s computer, or an internet-enabled library.

To prevent any future viruses from infecting your computer, acquire anti-virus software, steer clear of unknown sites and material, and also use software that blocks unwanted IP’s from your network.

* Cracking – This is when things like a combination or key is broken into, a software loss may be caused which can be replaced at a possible high cost.

To deal with a current situation of this, you could change any user-defined security that protects things on your system, e.g. passwords, combinations and keys.

To prevent any future cracking on your computer, install high security software that can block a high percentage of cracking methods.

* Hard Disk Drive failure – A distressing event that occurs very rarely. When the hard drive is booted or just while it’s running, it suddenly fails and stops working, this can cause a loss of data.

To deal with a current situation with this, you could take your failed HDD to a specialist that deals with these types of problems. Software that can try and retrieve any data from failed hard drives also exists, so that’s also an option.

To prevent future HDD failures, get software that can defrag your HDD on a regular basis. Or get a new HDD that is more reliable.

* Full Hard Disk Drives – A HDD can be full up with data, this is not a good situation as a loss of data could be caused, as well as failures and slowdowns.

To deal with a current situation of this, you could delete data from the hard drive, but obviously still keeping files that are required for the system to run properly intact. Also, you could transfer files to other storage devices such as USBs, external hard drives, and CDs.

To prevent any future cases like this, have another storage device plugged into your system, e.g. another HDD, or an external hard drive.

* New updates to an Operating System (such as Microsoft Windows Service Packs or similar) – A new set of updated system files could overwrite needed files and could make the computer unstable.

To deal with this kind of situation, you could contact the provider of the updates and get any information from them concerning your new system problems. Also you could analyze previous experiences from users who have applied the updates before by using search engines on the internet.

To prevent any future cases of this, don’t install updates to your OS without checking details such as the system requirements, and analyze other users’ experiences and outcomes with the updates you’re thinking of installing.

* New updates to Applications (such as a new version of Microsoft Office) – An application can get updated to fix bugs and errors, however this can make files that previously worked incompatible with the new version.

To deal with a current situation like this, you could contact the provider of the updates and get any information from them concerning your new application problems. Also you could analyze previous experiences from users who have applied the updates before by using search engines on the internet.

To prevent any future cases of this, don’t install updates for your applications without checking details such as the system requirements, and analyze other users’ experiences and outcomes with the updates you’re thinking of installing.

* Network Interface Card failure – The card could suddenly fail and become unusable; this could cause data loss that was on the network being sent or received at the time.

To deal with a current situation like this, you could restart the router/server or get another one. Also, you could acquire another Network Interface Card or contact your ISP. If the problem persists, you could find a better ISP.

To prevent future cases involving problems such as the ones previously mentioned, you could acquire a more reliable router/server, get a more reliable Network Interface Card, or find a better ISP.

* Internet Network outage – During a web session data can be lost if the connection ends.

To deal with a current situation like this, you could restart the router/server, replace parts to your network for more reliable ones, or find a better ISP.

To prevent future cases like this, acquire more reliable parts to your network, or find a better ISP.

* CPU, RAM, motherboard failure – Any of these components can randomly fail and can lose data on the hard drives or/and damage the physical parts in the computer.

To deal with a situation like this, you could take the damaged parts to a specialist, or replace the damaged parts with new, more reliable ones.

To prevent future cases like this, use more reliable parts for your system and make sure they’re stationed under suitable conditions You could also back-up your data frequently in-case of any future incidents.

* Theft – The whole system can be stolen which obviously means physical access is lost.

To deal with a situation like this, contact the authorities, and let them know what has happened. Also analyze the area where your computer was stationed for any evidence of the theft, and note down anything that could possibly trace back to the thief.

To prevent future cases like this, you could place your computer in a higher-security location, with more safety. Also, install security measures such as cameras, and guarding for your computer. On a further note, you could install software that could lock or possibly destroy your data/components if the computer is stolen again to render the stolen property useless to the thief and to protect your data from unwanted people.

* Damage to keyboard, mouse, power/network cables or monitor – These are required to use the operating system properly, if these aren’t present, then access is lost.

To deal with a situation like this, replace the damaged parts, or take the parts to a specialist.

To prevent future cases like this, get more reliable parts, and make sure they remain in suitable locations and conditions.