A trojan is a type of malicious software (malware) that appears to be something useful or safe, but in reality, it is performing background tasks such as giving access to your computer or sending personal information to other computers. Trojan horses are one of the most common methods a hacker uses to infect computers and collect personal information from the machine.
How can your computer get infected?
One way is by using pirated or ‘cracked’ software. Installing a pirated version of a program could actually install a Trojan backdoor on your system. This will then give hackers access to your system remotely, as if a hacker is sitting at your keyboard.
What are the risks of being infected?
- Hackers could use your system and Internet connection to send spam. A majority of spam is generated by infected systems.
- Your passwords can be stolen, in addition to other private information stored on your computer such as credit card numbers, address, phone number, and can be used for identity theft or financial fraud.
- Hackers can log your activity, read emails, view and download contents of documents, pictures, videos and other private data.
- They could use your computer and Internet connection, in conjunction with others to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
- They could even modify system files, disable antivirus, delete files, and change system settings.
- How can I protect myself from Trojan Horses?
- It is absolutely crucial to install the latest version of legitimate antivirus software.
- Avoid downloading pirated programs and games.
- Never open unknown attachments from emails unless you know what it is.