The web has expanded over the past few years and nowadays the Internet is huge and includes all kinds of information, both good and bad. Along with the progress and the exponential increase of the World Wide Web (or www for short) came the online threats and exploits that deteriorate one’s user experience to a great extent. Hackers have been targeting users who navigate the web and they benefit from software vulnerabilities or other exploits altogether. Does this mean that people had better stay away from using the web as a whole?
Fortunately enough, this is not the sole path that a person can choose to walk on for avoiding online infection. On the contrary, the Internet is an incredibly great and amazingly diverse tool that has bettered our lives in multiple ways. Nevertheless, knowledge is the key to success and this is why we ought to learn more on online exploits infection.
Once we have fully comprehended which the major threats actually are for us in the field of web surfing, we will instantly become more powerful and efficient in our goal to remain safe and secure online. So, prior to moving forward and find out everything about how one can get infected via the WWW, let’s dig deeper to the sources of the infection.
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Sources of Online Infection
A study of HP has revealed the outstanding 70%, which highlights the percentage of Internet of Things devices that are vulnerable to online exploits. Of course, not all online threats generate from the same source and thus it is quite hard to focus on a single aspect of the web for preventing such problems from emerging. To be more specific, online exploits can result from:
- Websites: It is true that a lot of websites do not have the proper security level and this leads to severe vulnerabilities. Malware and other viruses and threats can lurk on a website and harm your computer, as soon as you have visited the specific site.
- Hidden Content: Besides the obvious details on a website, there is concealed content that can harm your computer. When you click on a site or a link and so on, this click can pull the trigger and start downloading and installing harmful content without your actual consent.
- Phishing Pages: Phishing has become one of the top threats on the web, due to the fact that users ignore the severity of being redirected to an un-trusted site and sometimes continue on with their navigation.
- Other Sources: Third party exploits and man-in-the-middle attacks are just few of the additional threats that you ought to look out for. Dis-pleasingly, the web is not a very safe place to wander nowadays.
How Can You Get Infected via WWW?
Now, let’s have a look at the most commonly used methods for infecting someone online. This is a crucial thing to know, as you will need to be on alert and address the dangers towards avoiding them efficiently. There are various types of sites that can get you infected via the Internet and therefore you should remain vigilant at all times. So, behold the most frequent sources of online infection for you to keep in mind:
- Advertisement Networks: Most of the times, advertisement networks engage in various tactics that are considered fruitful to them financially. This means that they go ahead with installing adware and cookies on your computer, in order to best monitor your habits and patterns online. However, the cookies and the adware are not always safe and harmless for you; instead, they can feature malware and other viruses and threats that often lead to the deterioration of your computer’s performance, data interception and even total break-down of your device.
- Sites of Malicious Intent: Unfortunately, there are sites whose sole purpose is to harm your computer. There is nothing personal to al that, of course; on the contrary, the sites conceal content that is malicious and they target all the users upon their visit to the specific site. So, the moment you visit a suspicious website is the moment when the malicious purpose starts unveiling itself and affecting your computer.
- Remarketing Networks: Affiliates and other remarketing networks can be responsible for infecting your computer with viruses and other exploits. It is true that not all websites can monitor their affiliates and the links that they include within their content. So, a frequent source of being infected with malware and other threats is directly related to remarketing networks.
- Typosquatting Sites: This is also called URL hijacking, taking advantage of the typo errors of Internet users (for instance, when somebody types YouToube instead of YouTube and so on). Once you have done that, you can be redirected to a malicious website through typosquatting and of course the overall security of your computer can be jeopardized.
- Content Delivery Networks: Data centres all over the globe feature a lot of different servers and they structure Content Delivery Networks, more commonly known as CDNs. However helpful they actually are, they involve some risks as to the security breaches and vulnerabilities that might come up.
- Malware Affected Websites: Though it may sound simple, this is among the most powerful sources of affecting one’s computer on the spot. There is a plethora of malware affected websites that can damage your computer from the very first moment when you visit them. One recent example among many that happened, is the Jamie Oliver’s site Malware infection.
- Sites Including Drive-By Downloads: As we have stated above, there are numerous sources that can result to affecting your computer. Another thing to keep in mind is the drive-by downloads that are triggered as soon as you have visited a suspicious website. These downloads are not harmless at all; on the contrary, they include malware and other downloads that mess with your computer.
- Redirecting Websites: Similarly to what we have mentioned earlier, websites can sometimes mislead Internet users and redirect them to the wrong website. This is a truly severe problem, as most of the times this does not become noticeable and thus the user does not know of the online infection that he has just suffered from.
- Phishing Attacks: Last but certainly not least, phishing attacks target sensitive data of yours and this includes passwords to your email account or even your banking account, personal information and documents that should have been classified. Most of the times, phishing takes place in electronic communication and frequently users do not realize that they are being scammed.
How the Online Crooks Target Vulnerabilities in Your System
All the details that we have highlighted above indicate that there is no single answer as to what causes online exploits. From the information that we have gathered, hackers and online crooks spread their attention and make use of different details every single time. Among the most frequently used techniques, we find their eagerness to do the following:
- Exploit the security breaches and vulnerabilities that have already taken place within your computer.
- Affect you with malware without your consent.
- Take advantage of phishing for acquiring personal information of yours, not to your knowledge.
This does not mean that they do not have other tactics and therefore you should be kept on alert for anything that catches your eye and that does not feel right to you at first sight.
The World Wide Web is a truly essential part of our lives and nobody can argue with that. There is no reason why we should be afraid of the Internet, as long as we realize the dangers that we put ourselves to every day.
With the right level of education and knowledge, we can address the threats and diminish them to a huge extent; so, it is imperative that we know the primary sources of online infection and make sure that we are kept up to date with the latest in online privacy and anonymity.
Once more, the use of a thorough protective system that includes anti-virus software, updated OS and of course anonymity tools like VPN can be the remedy against such online threats that shade the bright light of the web!
Top/Featured Image: By bykst / Pixabay