Computer systems today are under attack from a number of sources. This range from natural, human and health threats. These attacks can have negative impact on your computer system and your life. Examples of these threats include heat, rodents, virus (malicious code), dust, liquids, power fluctuations, etc.
Many computer users, though, aren’t experts on these matters, they just use computers for work and entertainment. This article is an overview of basic information about computer threats. Knowing these common threats will help you to spot potential problems and protect yourself.
Let’s look at some of these threats:
Energy perceived as increase in temperature is referred to as heat. If there is excessive heat in the environment where computers are installed, it poses threat to both computers and the users. Under such high temperatures computers can malfunction or damage completely and users will also feel very uncomfortable and can suffer from heat related injuries.
Rodents are mammals with long incisor teeth that grow continuously throughout the animal’s life. Examples are rat, mouse, squirrel or marmot. They can enter system units which have been left open and destroy the cables. This can cause damage to computers which will lead to loss of information stored on them.
A computer virus is a malicious program that alters the way computers operate without your knowledge. They can also modify programmes and files on the computer. Computer virus can damage a programme by copying itself into the executable programme by adding to or overwriting the existing programme code. A virus is capable of erasing the contents of an entire disk, destroying vital information, and even damage storage media. A boot sector virus can even prevent the computer from booting.
Hackers and crackers
People who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the fun and challenge of it are referred to as hackers but crackers do the same thing for malicious purposes. All may intend to steal technical information or to introduce what they call a bomb which is destructive computer programme into the system. Disgruntled employees also sometimes attempt to destroy computers and programmes or files.
Power fluctuations refer to the day to day variations in the voltage of your power supply especially with desktop computers. Low and high voltage can absolutely damage the computer. Unexpected computer shutdown is the real danger of blackouts and brownouts. The operating system has to go through a “shutdown sequence” to make sure all running processes have properly terminated before the computer finally powers off. Suppose the hard drive is writing data to the disk but suddenly the computer shuts down in the middle of it. The files being written to might get corrupted and if system files for booting are involved then the computer might not be able to boot without going through a recovery procedure. Low voltage caused by brownout or blackout may cause the loss of data in primary storage. Most equipment can survive these fluctuations but there are long-term damages to the components. Surge protector or voltage stabilizer as well as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can be used to regulate the flow of power to computer systems.
Health hazards to computer users
Computer personnel experience health hazards while using the computer. Steps are being taken to reduce these health hazards in the computer industry. Ergonomics aim to incorporate comfort, efficiency and safety into the design of products in the workplace. Computer Vision Syndrome and Repetitive Stress Injuries are some hazards associated with the use of the computer.
Computer Vision Syndrome is a collection of eye and vision problems associated with the operation of the computer system. The most common symptoms of the syndrome include eyestrain or eye fatigue, dry eyes, burning eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision and headaches. Eyestrain is a defect caused by pains derived from the eyeballs of the user mostly from excessive screen focusing and light reflection from the screen. To curb some of these hazards focusing should be done at a comfortable distance. Screen filters can also be used to reduce the amount of light from the computer screen into the eyes.
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) are common physical conditions caused by computer use as a result of performing the same physical movements over and over again. These include eyestrain, headaches, backaches, neck, hand, wrist and finger pains. One RSI related to the repetitive finger movements when using a keyboard is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This is a disorder caused by compression or squeezing of a nerve in the wrist that causes a prickling or numbness in the hand. If left untreated CTS can cause extreme pain, reduced hand physical movement and in rare cases, paralysis.
Setting up the computer the wrong way can result in most of these health conditions. It is therefore necessary to adopt good user habits, ergonomic hardware, and proper arrangement of furniture, accessories and peripherals when setting up the computer system.
Do you mind sharing your experience with any threats that you have encountered using the computer? And don’t hesitate to ask any question should you have any. If you like this article and find it helpful, please don’t hesitate to share it.