Founder of Mashwani.com (2005-2013)
I write computer articles regularly. I will also publish them on mashwani.com as I write. I hope readers will benefit from my experience. I may also translate these articles in Urdu language.
The Internet was started in 1969. It started from local area network. Let me explain what is local area network. Computers connected with each other in a house or company makes local area network. On the other hand wide area network is the combination of countless LANs, wide area networks and individual machine around the world. All computers in the world when connected together make a network, which is known as Internet. These computers are connected through different ways via ISPs. Let me explain what is an ISP. Those companies who provide Internet service to computer users are called Internet service providers. These ISPs offer two types of connections. One is called slow speed or dialup and the other is known as high speed. Dialup gives a maximum speed of 56 kbps. High speed connections starts from 56kps and go behind 13mps (mega bit per second). ISPs provide different monthly packages for this service. Every package is priced according to the speed.
Suppose you have Internet service setup on your computer and you turn on it on, you are already on Internet. Just like in real world everybody has a name, on Internet every computer has a unique number, which is called IP (Internet Protocol) address. This number can be used to identify a computer. So if a computer in one part of the world wants to talk to another computer in the other part of the world, that machine will be using this number to talk to the other computer. That is how these computers and computer users can communicate with each other. If someone knows a computer number i.e. the IP address then he or she can connect to any computer (using the right tools) specially if that computer has a week security.
Those computer users who gain unauthorized access to other people computers are called hackers. This is possible if the target computer is weak on security and the IP for the said computer is available. The question is how they get a computer’s number i.e. IP address? Here are different possible ways of stealing or gaining access to IP address of a machine. Generally talking if someone has access to a computer then they can easily get it by punching a few simple commands. The IP address can be found during a chatting session. That’s why Internet security is the greatest challenge for IT professionals. Spamming is another way of hacking a computer. In the Spam emails users are instructed to click on fake links and as soon as they click, scripts and spyware are download into their computer resulting in hacking.
Hackers use different programs to scan other people computers to get the computer number. In that case they never know whose computer number they are getting. In such cases the target computers are used for advertisements or identity theft. Let me explain how identity theft happens. A computer is a powerful tool in our life. We use it for checking emails, buy or sell items online; do our banking, schoolwork and many other daily life activities. All these activities are done through user id and password and that is what hackers usually search for. After they get the unique IP number, they download programs in other people computers. One bad fact about hacking is, location, they can be local or they may be sitting in other part of the world. Hackers can be blocked through different types of technologies i.e. hardware and software. In both cases there is one main idea behind it and that idea is called firewall. A firewall is like a security guard on the entrance of a building. It stops all unauthorized access to computer. Rules are setup on fire walled computers to allow or deny access through local and wide area network.
Internet is a great tool. Let’s hope everybody use it for a better life. To me, Internet is power. Long live Internet.
Computer popup can bring spyware into your computer. What is a popup? A popup is a small window that opens when we click on a link on a website or sometime it opens automatically. Some websites are built for advertisement. As soon as we visit that site, it can throw a popup on our computer screen. There are links on some websites, which are usually attractive text or graphical banners. One example is, some websites have some text that state, “You are winner because you are visitor number xyz, click here to claim your prize”. There is another way that can bring a popup and that is adware. An Adware is a special program developed for advertisement purposes. A spyware can activate an adware. Some adware programs are packaged in other applications. Many advertisers these days send links in emails (These type of emails are called Spam) and they force users to click on links and again when user click on links, popup windows opens one after the other.
Question arises how a popup can bring virus or spyware into your computer? Let me explain how it works. A small window may open automatically and ask you to click on “yes” or “no” accordingly or it may say download something from a website or some time it will ask you to set an unknown website as your home page with “yes” or “no” options. Be careful in such situations because when you click on “yes”, your computer may go crazy.
You can install a good popup blocker to stop automatic popups, which may block popups from advertising websites. Always close popup windows by clicking on the red “X” sign on the top right corner of the window. Remember one thing some time the red “X” is a link to something else and as soon as you click on, it will install or open something else. Whenever you want to click on the red “X” always make sure that your mouse cursor remains an arrow when you click on it.
If the mouse arrow change into a hand-shape cursor that means it is a link and never click on it. Some popup windows have no red “X” on them. In that case you can open the task manager (by right clicking on task bar on the bottom of the screen) then click on application tab and then click on the program. Next click on the button in the bottom that says, “end task”. Let me explain how you start task manager. If your press “ctrl” plus “alt” plus “ delete” keys all at the same time then it will open task manager. The other way to open task manager will be to right click on the task bar (the blue line in the bottom of the screen) and click on task manager from the small menu, which will open it. This procedure could be different in different operating systems. The above procedure will work in Windows Vista, Windows 7, XP, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium and Windows 98.
If you follow the above instructions, you will never be a victim of virus attacks through popup windows. Don’t forget when your computer gets a virus, you may not be able to use it properly or it may stop working completely.
Good luck. Happy and safe surfing.
Virus, spyware, malware and other threats
Virus, Spy ware, ad ware, Worms, Malicious Codes, Scripts and Spam are the most dangerous computer programs that can be download to a computer if it is not protected properly. How these threats enter a computer? Let me explain it first. There are two ways to install a program. One is visible and the other is invisible. In invisible mode software can be installed in the background silently. You will be working and software will be installing in the background and all of the sudden you will see an icon i.e. shortcut to that software on your desktop or on the first page. In visible mode a program can actually be seen installing and showing progress.
Virus is also software, which can be used to destroy a computer’s operating system. When your computer gets a virus it can steal any information from it. It is a program that can do any job on your computer. I will explain it later. Virus is the number one source, which can do a lot of damage without your consent. A virus is a computer program used for different destructive purposes. Once your computer gets a virus it will spread inside it and will damage or corrupt files on your computer. Once it is inside your computer it communicates with the people who sent it to your computer. That means the source of this virus can do anything on your computer. Why you can’t see viruses when they are installed? When you install software on your computer you can see it as you follow step-by-step instructions. You use your computer for Internet, email or other jobs. All this is done with the help of different software like Internet explorer or windows etc. A virus is a software when installed on a computer, can do anything.
A spy ware is also a computer program, which can be downloaded to your computer without your permission. It searches your computer for different purposes like music, pictures, movies, passwords and email addresses. A spy ware can silently monitor all your computer activities and report it to the source that sent it. A spy ware is downloaded to your computer automatically.
Ad ware is another type of computer program, which is used to display advertisement on your computer. It is download the same way like spy ware. A virus is usually used to download ad ware on your computer. When a computer get an ad ware, popups will open automatically on a computer displaying different advertisements.
Worm, Malicious code and Script
Worms and malicious code are sent to slow down networks. Unlike viruses malicious codes installs itself automatically on your computer without your help. It’s a kind of virus. It cannot be controlled by anti virus program.
Spam is a kind of virus too, which you receive through emails. Every email program has the option to stop Spam. If setup properly, you can stop most of the Spam. All these threats like viruses, spy ware, ad ware, mal ware and other are programs designed for specific purposes. They can enter a computer through different ways like transferring files from one computer to another, downloading, from USB flash drives, clicking on different links on websites, emails and other ways.
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