What is a Trojan?

A Trojan is a virus in disguise. Its goal is to trick you into letting it into your device. Read on to learn more about computer Trojans and how to stay safe.

An ancient trick to bypass defenses

According to the legend, the ancient Greeks couldn’t capture the great city of Troy even after years of war. To achieve their goal, they came up with a plan: masking a wooden horse big enough for 40 men to hide in as a gift to the Trojans. Once the Trojans dragged the horse inside the city walls, the 40 men inside let in a greater force and the city was captured. A Trojan computer virus works just like the famous Trojan horse.

A Trojan is a way for criminals to get into your device

It’s not that easy to get past cyber security measures. Cyber criminals are well aware that a file called virus.exe won’t fool anyone. There­fore, it has to be disguised. Once the virus is in your device, it can steal your personal data, such as pass­words, or banking information. It can also spy on you, send spam messages and encrypt your files for ransom. Some­times Trojans down­load other viruses with­out you knowing.

A Trojan virus is masked to attract you

A computer Trojan can be disguised as practically any­thing that gets your attention. An email attachment claiming to be an invoice, or vital con­temporary information? Sure. A viral cat video? You bet. An interesting app? Yes, and so much more. Trojans are often injected into a program or a file you want to down­load. Unfortunately, these tricks can be really difficult to spot. They are, after all, meant to fool you.

3 tips for avoiding Trojans

The Greeks would have never captured Troy, had the Trojans not taken the horse in. Similarly, Trojan viruses can’t infect your device unless you let them in. There­fore, being safe requires your action. Here are a few things you can do to protect your­self.

1. Use antivirus software

Antivirus is like the walls of Troy. It blocks malware from infecting your device and acts as a Trojan remover. You can also scan files you may want to down­load for anything suspicious.

2. Avoid opening links and attachments

Email attachments and links are one of the most common distribution methods for Trojans. Only down­load and open files and apps you trust from trust­worthy sources.

3. Don’t fall for phishing scams

Phishing scams can take you to down­load pages or infect your device with malware. Don’t fall for easy traps and be suspicious of unsolicited emails and messages with links and attachments.

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F-Secure – we see what you don’t

Trojans are made to fool you. F‑Secure TOTAL sees the danger even when you don’t and keeps you safe from Trojans. TOTAL includes award-winning protection against viruses, ransom­ware, known phishing web­sites, and many other online threats. It also includes an unlimited VPN and a pass­word manager. You can try it for free for 30 days, with no credit card required.