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Technology and Viruses

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Technology continues to evolve, hardware becomes more advanced and software is more complex. Each day, the number of people incorporating technology into their everyday lives continues to grow. With this, security and privacy have become important aspects of our lives as cyber threats continue to become more advanced and on a larger scale, ultimately affecting people’s lives and especially businesses. The main issue lies in the available talent and the small number of people in IT departments skilled enough to prevent, spot, and resolve potential security threats and loopholes.

Technology And Viruses

As time passes, security threats become more advanced and complicated with algorithms being deployed as well as the usage of artificial intelligence. Another issue is the large amount of data transfers that are happening each day, becoming much easier for security threats to not be spotted. The history of cybersecurity is extremely fascinating and here we can see how and when security threats have appeared and how they evolved over time.

The First Virus

The very first computer virus was called the Creeper System that was created in 1971 for computers using the TENEX operating system. It was developed as an experiment. The virus was programmed to replicate itself on a computer until its hard drive became full, rendering the computer unusable. The virus was a worm and was able to spread to other computers that used the TENEX operating system. What followed the Creeper was the Reaper. This virus was developed to spread to the previously infected computers with the self-replicating Creeper virus and delete it. As mentioned, the Creeper was developed as an experiment, did not damage any data and was not malicious in any way. It has served as inspiration for the programming game, Core War.

The First MS-DOS Virus

“Brain” was created by two brothers which was released in January of 1986. It was the very first virus to infect the IBM personal computers and its creation was not intentionally malicious. It was created after the two brothers noticed pirated copies of their computer programme that was circulating between their customers. Their intention was to prevent that from happening and it was a clever way to address the illegal distribution of their program.

The Morris Worm

This was the first virus that took advantage of the early internet and was able to spread to many devices. Its creator wanted to use it to try and determine the size of the internet. The worm used security holes in Sendmail as well as other applications. However, due to coding errors in its programming, the worm spread too fast and affected many of a computer’s operations. Around 15,000 computers were infected in 15 hours. Keeping in mind that the internet back then in 1988 consisted of around some few thousand computers, ⅓ of the internet was infected with the virus.

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These are 3 of the famous viruses of the early internet and since 2000, many newer ones have been unleashed on the internet and so, privacy and security has become a top priority of many people and businesses today.

How to Protect Yourself

While there may be a large number of viruses out in the wild, people have the possibility to take a few precautions to protect themselves from possible threats. 

  • Making sure that one has all the necessary OS security updates installed
  • Not opening the emails and their contents that come from an untrustworthy source
  • Checking the URL of websites to see if the website has the standard https encryption
  • Practicing safe browsing (try visiting only legitimate websites)
  • Keep your personal information on the web limited
  • Use strong and different passwords to protect your accounts

Keeping these few things in mind should be able to protect most people from threats found on the internet. Websites themselves are becoming more secure using the newest and best methods of encryption to protect users personal information. For example, gaming platforms such as the online casino Starvegas is secured using the latest methods of encryption. To determine what kind of encryption a website uses, one only has to look at the “lock” icon at the beginning of the URL bar.

Unique passwords are essential for each account. Keeping all of the unique passwords in mind may prove challenging, but there are more streamlined methods to do so, such as using a password manager. With these few tools at one’s disposal, it should prove enough to protect themselves from online threats.



By

Ram Kumar blogs at DeviceBowl. He is a graduate in Computer Science and Engineering. Addicted to Blogging and Coding.

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