Today’s tech-savvy generation cannot take their eyes off their computers, laptops, and mobile phones as they are the most important assets of their lives. But when you are using the Internet, your device is exposed to malicious viruses and Trojan which can harm your system in the worst way possible. They can hack into your system, steal the confidential data or completely disable your system.
Different kinds of viruses cause different levels of harm to computers which range from corrupting of files to replicating itself. Unlike viruses, there are Trojans which do not replicate themselves but are equally destructive.
What is Trojans?
Trojan, also known as Trojan horse, is a kind of a malicious code which is present inside another harmless program or data.
Though Trojans seem similar to viruses, they are completely different. A virus, as mentioned earlier, would corrupt files, replicate themselves and propagate to another system whereas Trojans do not propagate to other system but are otherwise equally damaging to your system.
Trojans take the form of something the user wants; it could be an attachment in your e-mail or free software. When you allow it to install on your system it shows its true colors by taking complete control of your system.
It records everything you do on your system and forwards it to some third party. Though it is a threat to anyone who has a Trojan on his computer, but users who use their system for financial transactions are at greater risk.
A Trojan could be sent to you by a hacker or a cyber thief to steal confidential data, spy on you or to get unauthorized access to your system and use it to launch cyber attacks.
How to Avoid Trojans?
Trojan is a huge threat but only if you allow it to enter into your system. They need your permission to enter the system and this could be our first step to shut the doors to Trojans.
Do not allow any unknown program to run on your system, download an email attachment you are not certain about the source and this includes all the file downloads from the Internet.
All the Trojan files have extensions such as .vbs, .exe, and .bat. This could be an impossible task when the Internet is one of the major sources of information. But there are various other methods to prevent your system from Trojans.
1. Software updates – The software needs to be updated on a regular basis to get rid of any previous bugs. Either choose the option for automatic updates for software or keep freeware to check for all the available updates.
2. Firewalls – the Basic purpose of a firewall is to monitor traffic entering and leaving a network. It acts as a barrier between the Internet and the computer system.
Both hardware and software firewalls monitor the communication and provide security from your Internet connection by blocking unwanted communication which violates the predefined set of rules and guidelines – Access Control list.
Firewalls can even filter data on the basis of source and destination IP addresses which means unwanted websites could be blocked. It is important to keep the updated version of the firewall to get maximum security.
3. Antivirus Software – Sometimes we go for free anti-virus software on the internet even without being certain about the source and ignoring the fact that it could be a Trojan itself. You need a definite and known anti-virus which would provide complete security to your system. There are some well-known brands to choose from like Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton and many more. The job is not yet complete you need to update the software as and when available so as to gain complete security for your system.
4. Scan – We rely on our peers for many of our work files, so exchanging files via external storage devices is quite common. We do so without realizing that any file could contain a Trojan so a scan is mandatory whenever dealing with external storage devices like pen drives, CDs or DVDs to ensure the security of your computer system.
5. Avoid Windows – Though it sounds weird, but the majority of cyber thieves target this platform, so to minimize the risk you can switch to other operating systems say MacOS or Linux based depending on the sensitivity of your work. You can also install Linux in a partition along with your Windows PC. You can use any of them on the basis of the sensitivity of your computer activities.
How to Get Rid of Trojan?
The only way to get rid of Trojan horse once it enters the computer system is by a System Restore and malware scan.
System Restore in Safe Mode
- Restart the system by clicking on the “Start” button and select “Restart”
- While the system restarts press and holds the “F8” button before the Windows logo flashes on the computer system.
- From Advanced Boot Options menu select “Safe Mode” using arrow keys and press “Enter”.
- Click on the “Start” button and select “Programs” from “Control Panel” and remove all unwanted and unknown programs.
- Once you have uninstalled unnecessary programs go for a complete scan of your computer system, this might take a couple of hours.
- The antivirus would successfully detect and remove the virus if it does not go for other anti-virus software.
Though keeping your laptop away from Virus and Trojan Horse is a tough task in today’s world but it can definitely be attained with the help of above-mentioned attributes. We all know that a stitch in time saves nine so it would be better to get hardware or software firewall along with antivirus software installed on your computer system and keeping a regular check on the availability of updates is also required to prevent your PC from this malicious virus. Avoid going for free software as it might be a trap to gain access to all your confidential data. At the end of the day, your system security is in your hands.