Trojans are evil programs that hackers either secretly install on your system or trick you into installing yourself by disguising them as good programs. These programs enable hackers to access your network remotely, gain complete control and perform any number of dirty deeds, including making your computer into a zombie and using it to perform DDoS attacks.
- Build a firewall. Firewalls control access to your network according to a set of rules you devise, and protect against unauthorized logins and access. Most network software allows you to set up a firewall. According to the Internet Firewall Frequently Asked Questions Web site, for a firewall to work, it must be a part of a consistent organizational security architecture. Simply put, firewalls can't protect against all types of attacks, but they're a good first step.
- Act like a hacker. Self-taught hacker Markus "Fluid" Delves says the best way to protect your server is to try to break into it yourself. "I suggest heading to a site like Church of the Swimming Elephant or Security Focus. They have all sorts of excellent information on how to protect your machine," says Delves, owner of Fluid Enterprises Inc., a network consulting and security firm. "Security Focus has a large database of exploits [scripts that hackers can run on servers]. Test every one of them against your server. If one happens to work, you can find out how to patch the hole. I constantly check here for new holes that could appear on my system."