Computers, smartphones, and the Internet, just like money, are all amoral. Meaning, they are not inherently good or bad; rather, they are tools by which we can work or play; earn or entertain ourselves. But just like money, there is a way that these tools can be used for evil. And when evil people have an intent to carry out a crime, they may use other people in order to serve their ends. One of the ways that criminals can misuse these technologies is through stealing other people's data. They steal other people's data in order to commit identity theft, which may allow them to cash in to the tune of thousands of dollars of other people's money. Thanks to this growing crime, computer security is a practice you have to work into your use of technology.

Here are some ways that your computer security may be compromised:

Malware: One way that the Average Joe can expose his data to intruders would be if malware were introduced into his computer system. Before, the more common term for "malware" was "computer virus." Today, "malware" encompasses malicious software or malicious computer programs that can either siphon users' data, as in "spyware," damage computer files as in "worms," as well as hook itself into the operating system's kernel code and modify it, as in "rootkits." The malware that you have to be wary of the most would be "spyware," since spyware has the capacity to gather your data and send it back to its makers. The makers of the spyware may then be able to use your data in order to commit identity theft, which may divest your bank accounts of money, not to mention create a mess in your credit report. Installing the best antivirus software that detects spyware is your best defense against this.

Network: A computer security breach may be committed against you by a hacker that can access your accounts over-the-air. One way would be through open WiFi networks, where a hacker may set up his machine to mimic a WiFi access point, or by forcing himself into your system through the network. Hackers may also access your computer through IRC connections and other open ports.

Physical Access: Computers that are physically within the vicinity of would-be hackers and would-be identity thieves are at risk for a security breach. Better store your computers in a locked place and secure it with a login password.

Internal computer security breach: IT departments of companies should have a security policy in place. Some companies can benefit from "deep freeze," a computer management program that makes the system delete all the files and changes that their employees make on the computer work stations. While this software is primarily in use for Internet Cafes, if the company does not need employee output stored locally, this program may ensure that all data that is created or passes through the company's work stations are deleted and cleared. This practice should also be coupled with an email monitoring and No-Third-Party-Data-Storage-Device rule in the workplace. Meaning, no USB drives, SD Cards and other froms of storage media should be brought in and out of the workplace. This way, no employee can squirrel away data and use it for his own purposes.

The IT Department should also secure an exit policy for the company's outgoing employees. They should create a system of how the employee would turn over files and accounts, to ensure that company data stays within the company.

Sad to say, even when you install an antivirus security, even the best antivirus protection that money can buy, nothing beats practical habits like safe browsing practices and safe computer use habits, to promote computer security. If you have to be very strict with computer security, one thing we can recommend is that you regularly run your antivirus software in order to weed out malware from your system. Then, if you could manage it, work on never using portable storage media AT ALL. Truth be told, malware infections could be averted from a NO-USB policy better than if you were lax with your portable storage media. With these habits in place, computer security will be ensured.

Author's Bio: 

Author is a computer professional and blog writer who basically writes on various computer security topics. He brings many interesting reviews about the latest antivirus programs and inform readers about the best antivirus free download software for their computer protection.