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What is Computer Security?

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Computer security refers to the keeping of information contained on computers safe. If you're talking about computer security for a cell phone or smartphone, it’s called mobile computer security since there are differences in the way security is handled. Computer security doesn't always refer to just one computer. Sometimes it refers to a network of computers. The general goal of computer security is to protect the information on the computer from unauthorized access.

Computer Security Threats

Computer security threats can come from a lot of different places. Most of the time, these threats, generally called viruses, are built off of existing vulnerabilities on a computer. There are many different types of viruses that have different behaviors. One of the most commonly found viruses is called a Trojan. Trojans infiltrate your computer and then trick it into doing something that it normally wouldn't do. This can mean exposing its data or changing system settings.

Like most programs, viruses can be installed onto your computer via USB drive or CD. In most cases today, viruses are spread through the Internet. This usually happens when the person using the computer downloads a file that they didn't realize was unsafe or potentially dangerous.

Why You Should Be Concerned about Computer Security

There is a great deal of information stored on your computer about you at any given time. Even if there are no documents on your computer that contain sensitive information about you, your Internet browsing history, as well as any passwords and usernames you use while using the Internet, could be accessed by the owner of a virus that is installed on your computer. This means that you're potentially at risk of identity theft if your computer is infected with the virus and is left unchecked.

What Is a Computer Security Specialist?

Computer security specialists can also be called information security specialists. Their job is to protect the information that belongs to the business or company that they work for. This can be accomplished in many ways. For example, they might spend several days working on patching their company's server software in order to be protected from a new vulnerability that was recently discovered.

Since there are many dangers on the internet, Internet usage policies that other employees are supposed to follow in order to maintain security are in the works. Another part of their job might also be to create and deliver reports to upper-level management on the status of their security.

Computer security specialists are expected to have least a bachelor's degree in most cases. Equivalent experience or an associate's degree is sometimes enough though. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average income for computer security specialists was $86,170 in 2012.

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