security flaws in microsoft software

  MJS WARLORD 11:18 14 May 2017

I been a geek for many years but never understood the following. How can programs such as word have a security flaw that could let hackers take control of a pc. I ask this because yes my hub is on all the time but technically speaking my pc is not connected to the outside world unless I open something that uses the internet. Am I right or am I misunderstanding something.

  bremner 11:32 14 May 2017

"technically speaking my pc is not connected to the outside world unless I open something that uses the internet" - Incorrect

Your computer as described is always connected to the router which is connected to the web therefore you are connected to the "outside world" even if you do not have an application actually using the connection.

  Forum Editor 12:15 14 May 2017

You may not be using any software that connects to the internet, but your computer is constantly doing things in the background.

To get an idea of just what goes on (and what you can do about it), take a look at this.

  Bris 19:25 14 May 2017

Typically you receive an email that contains a Word attachment. Innocuous enough it would seem however the document contains a payload of some nasty software which takes advantage of a flaw in Word and installs itself on your PC without you even knowing.

The defence is to make sure you keep Word up to date with the latest fixes and secondly NEVER open an attachment even if you know the person who sent it.

Or in other words the majority of malware has to be invited in by you, increasingly a simple act such as accessing a compromised web page (invited in by you by accessing the website) can infect a PC.

Your best defence in all cases is to make sure that ALL your software is kept up to date especially your browsers and that you use a top notch antivirus suite.

The ONLY sure way of protecting your PC is to pull the plug so that you no longer access the Internet and never plug in a device that comes from outside but that of course, in this modern world, is not practical.

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