What Is A Trojan Horse And Why Should You Worry About It?

The Internet in many ways is still like the wild wild west.

Overall it is safe but there are bad guys lurking around every corner that will try to infect your computer and steal your information.

Luckily most attacks can be easily thwarted by the right technology and common sense.

To use common sense though, it helps to know the different ways that your computer can be attacked.

One of these ways is through a technique known as a Trojan.

trojan-horse

I will explain what it is and how to avoid getting your computer infected by one –

If you know your Greek mythology then you would know that the Greeks used a giant wooden horse to enter the gates of Troy to finally conquer them.

Trojan Infection

A Trojan infection on your computer uses a similar methodology.

A Trojan on your computer masquerades around as a simple little innocent program that will not hurt a flea.

It may look like the latest coldplay mp3 or might look like a word document that someone has sent to you.

Trojans have also known to pretended to be real upgrades to different programs on your system, such as a Microsoft upgrade.

That is why it pays to go directly to the vendors site and download the upgrades from there.

The Trojan will look innocent until you double click it to try to run the program.

It will then make its intentions know on your system.

After the Trojan is run on your system, most of the time you will not even know that it is running.

It will hum along in the background, very quietly, performing a function that you will not know anything about.

Password Stealing

Some of these functions maybe stealing your passwords, becoming a botnet that someone else is using, viewing your screen as you are working, and all kind of other nefarious stuff that you do not want to think about.

Trojans are very bad news on your system, so you must be prepared to stop them from getting on your system.

There are several ways that you can avoid getting a Trojan on your system.

Most of the ways that you can avoid such a fate involves common sense on the user part.

Also a little technology to go along with that common sense will go a long way to helping to achieve these goals.

The first that you will want to do, as we discussed before, is to avoid downloading software updates from any web site other than the vendors own web site.

Also when you download software make sure that it is from a trusted web site.

If you have never been to the web site before do not download software from it or at the very least keep your guard up.

Another step is to avoid accepting email attachments from unknown senders.

This is one of the most prevalent ways of spreading Trojans to people.

Always Back up!

After you have used your common sense to avoid getting a Trojan on your system it will help to have a little back up.

Back up usually includes having a good antivirus program running on your system.

A good anti virus program will detect contamination as soon as it introduced onto your system.

There are numerous different vendors that are out there for you to choose from so read up a little about them to see which one suits your needs.

The prices and the packages will vary.

Also once you have picked a good antivirus be sure to confirm that it is updated daily.

An anti virus is no good if the person doe not keep it regularly updated.

As you can see, a Trojan can be a very nasty to thing to have unleashed on your computer.

Prevention through common sense and anti virus is the best way to avoid any trouble from them.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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