Common Types of Malware and how to Avoid Them

Malware is a catch all phrase that includes any sort of program designed to do harm to a computer or that disrupts its normal processes. This includes viruses, spyware, adware, and much more. Malware is one of the biggest enemies of any computer that has access to the Internet, be it a company computer or a personal one. The most common types of malware that you might acquire and they way in which they affect a computer are outlined in detail below.

Remote Administration Tools

Remote Administration Tools are also known as RATs. If you have a RAT infestation, it means that somebody has planted malware on your computer that will give a remote user administrator rights to your files. This can include gaining access to your personal software as well as some hardware like your computer's microphone or webcam. Essentially, anything you can do with your computer, somebody using a RAT can as well. This malware is usually spread by getting users to click on a link that they think is safe, especially via social media channels or file sharing networks. You should make sure to avoid any unknown files or links, as a single mistake can lead to a RAT infestation that can destroy your privacy.


Pros and Cons of Windows Remote Desktop Services

The Windows Remote Desktop Services, or Windows RDS for short, is Microsoft's remote desktop tool which is customized specifically to the features of Windows in all its various iterations. This service is available in both Windows 7 and Windows 8, and offers a free way to access a Windows computer remotely. Remote Utilities also supports RDP connection.

More information about RDS, including a complete rundown of all the pros and cons of this software, can be found below.

What is RDS?

This service, which is also known on some systems as the Windows Terminal Services, is targeted toward providing access from a distance for Windows users. This is ideal for businesses, especially if you have a centralized file storage but have employees who do a lot of traveling or who work from home. Because the technology was developed specifically by Microsoft, it has a great deal of compatibility with Windows and takes advantage of some special Windows only features. You can generally expect this system to work with both 32 bit and 64 bit applications on Windows, although you may have some compatibility issues when it comes to the remote access of certain third party products and programs.


A Look at Modern License Management

Software licensing has changed over the years, with software piracy and other end user situations complicating the distribution of programs. While various digital rights management, or DRM, techniques have come into play, many companies instead opt for the use of floating software licensing and a license manager tool. The use of both can help you to secure your software and also enable remote distribution to many different users in a simple manner.


What is a Network Administrator?

Virtually every business that has an IT department has a network administrator. Despite the common nature of this position, few people truly understand what such an individual does. By understanding what a network administrator does, you can communicate more effectively with your own administrator and also make sure that you know which qualities to look for if you are ever in the position where you need to find somebody to fill this role.

The Position at a Glance

A person in this position is responsible for performing support services for a variety of different information systems related to an organization. This may include the company's local area network, or LAN, a wide area network, or WAN, a company's internal intranet, or another Internet or network system. Individuals in this position can also perform general IT duties and systems repairs, but their specialty is in network operations. If you are having issues with your Internet or intranet, if you need to set up a new private network for specific individuals within your organization, or if you are looking to streamline your office's network activities, your network administrator is the person you should speak to.


Guide to Virtual Private Networks

Imagine leaving your home wearing a clearly legible sign around your neck that provides all of your most important and private information: your name, address, contact information, banking and other financial data, all of your shopping habits, places you frequent and what you do while you are there. Most of us would not want to share this information with complete strangers, for many obvious reasons. This data can put you at risk in any number of ways, including potential theft and physical harm. Yet, that is exactly what many people do every time they use internet.

When individuals and businesses use the internet without encryption they leave all of their information out in the open, and put themselves at great risk. A virtual private network (VPN) can ensure the security of your connections and your most important information. A VPN utilizes a public network (most commonly the Internet) to link distant sites or users. In the past computers had to be connected via hardwiring. A VPN uses "virtual" connections directed through the Internet from the individual or organization’s private network to the distant site or employee location. There are several advantages to using a VPN. As shown above, a VPN can be used to establish a secure connection to a remote network using the Internet. Many businesses use VPNs to enable employees to access to files, software, hardware, and other company resources. Individual users can also utilize a VPN to safely access their secure home network from a remote location.

VPNs are extremely useful to organizations that need to securely connect several networks. As a result, businesses of nearly every size depend on a VPN to connect and share servers and other assets between multiple locations around the world. Individuals can also utilize a VPN to connect their home or additional networks for personal use.


Port Forwarding and You

One of the most common techniques out there for people with a remote desktop is port forwarding. This allows remote computers to access a local area network (LAN) or specific router fr om an outside location. This technique is extremely useful if you are on the go a lot but want to keep using a specific network. It is especially useful to small businesses, which use it to connect satellite offices, provide remote access to employees on the move, and more.

What is Port Forwarding?

Port forwarding, also known as port mapping, is intended to open up access to network services for specific computers that are directly on a network. Typically, somebody logging onto the Internet actually has two IP addresses – the general address used by the Internet router and the specific, hidden address used by the specific computer. The computer feeds information to the router, which then handles all incoming and outgoing information. Port forwarding allows you to open up new channels on your router that allows the flow of information in different ways. Local port forwarding can be used to overcome firewalls for certain services, while remote forwarding can give outside access to chosen machines.