We've all heard the term Trojan Horse, but what is it exactly? A Trojan is a destructive program that presents itself as a benign application. Unlike viruses, trojans do not replicate but they can be equally devastating. One of the most dangerous examples of a Trojan is a program that promises to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses to your computer.

The Trojan can be tricky. Who has not been online and had a pop-up ad that claims to be able to rid your computer of some nasty virus? Or, even more frightening, you receive an email that claims to be warning you of a new virus that could endanger your computer. The sender promises to quickly eradicate, or protect your computer from viruses if you simply download their "free" software connected to your computer. You may be skeptical but the software looks legitimate and the company sounds reputable. Will proceed to take their offer and download the software. In this way, only you are potentially exposed to a huge headache and equipment for a long list of ailments.
When the Trojan is activated, numerous things can happen. Some Trojans are more annoying than harmful. Some of the less annoying Trojans may choose to change your computer settings or add silly desktop icons. Trojans can erase or overwrite the most serious data on your computer, corrupt files, spread of malware such as viruses, spy on the user of a computer and secretly report data like browsing habits to other people, keystrokes registration to steal information such as passwords and credit card numbers, phishing for bank account details (which can be used for criminal activities), and even install a backdoor into your computer system so they can come and go as they please.

To increase your odds of not encountering a Trojan, follow these guidelines.

Stay alert

Trojans can infect your computer through unauthorized websites, instant messages and e-mail attachments. Do not download anything on your computer, you are not sure 100 percent of its sender or source.

Make sure your operating system is always current. If you run a Microsoft Windows operating system, which is crucial.

Install a good anti-virus. It is also important that you download updates frequently to catch all new Trojan horses, viruses and worms. Be sure to anti-virus program that you choose can also scan e-mails and files downloaded from the Internet.

Consider installing a firewall. A firewall is a system that prevents unauthorized use and access to your computer. A firewall is not to eliminate your computer virus problems, but when used in conjunction with regular updates of the operating system and a reliable anti-virus software, it can provide additional security and protecting your computer.

Nothing can guarantee the security of your computer 100 percent. However, you can continue to improve computer security and to reduce the threat of the virus in accordance with the following instructions.

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