The introduction of the internet made a revolutionary change with its infinite possibilities. Since then computers and other digital devices are intertwined with our lives. As matters stand now, one has no existence if one does not exist on the internet. But it also brought along with it associated downsides of improved connectivity. Now there are tons of spam, virus and to add fuel to the fire hacking.
Hackers can damage computers causing data deletion, rendering the computer inaccessible to financial theft. It makes computer safety essential. Read on to know the details.
What is hacking?
Hacking is the activity of compromising a computer and other digital devices. Hackers access computers or websites illegally. A majority of the population now uses online financial transactions. Some also store their bank account and credit card details on computers and laptops. As thieves intrude homes illegally, hackers find their way into computers illegally with malicious intentions.
They steal personal information by compromising the computer and use that for personal gain. Hackers can also delete important data from the computer by installing malware. Stopping them is difficult. It is because they use cutting-edge technologies, and are often located outside the United States. As a result, they evade the law and continue their malicious practices.
Who are computer hackers?
Computers do not come from Mars. They are super-intelligent people with excellent skills and use advanced technologies to intrude into other systems, unauthorized. They do it for malicious intentions like illegal fund transfer, stealing information, asking for ransom, etc. Sometimes they also work for others. They do all these before one can guess what is happening.
Different hacking types
- Financial crimes: Often it one hears a story that someone found transactions that they did not make in their bank or credit card system. Such false transactions are the outcome of hacking.
- Vandalism: Hackers have their black culture. Sometimes a hacker wants to destroy a particular computer system just for showing off to others. Although it sounds ridiculous, it happens.
- Hacktivism: It is coined from the words hack and activism. In such cases, hackers break into computer systems for social or political reasons. Such hackers often send messages for making their presence visible and promoting the cause.
- Corporate espionage: Spying and espionage have a long presence in history. Hacking now gave it a new dimension. Now corporate giants involve hackers to leak sensitive information for gaining competitive advantages.
In this digital society, none can live without a computer or any other digital device. Now, all most all transactions are done online. People also store important information on computers. But hackers always try to deceit such information for gain. So one must keep the computer secured to prevent these criminals from accessing private information. Computer security involves the application of information security to computer networks. It is done through software inclusion. One must implement this before a problem appears.
How hackers find a victim
Now people connect their computers with the internet. It makes a computer system susceptible to threats. Hackers often use phishing emails, instant messages, and bogus websites to deliver dangerous malware and gain access to the system. If the system does not have Firewall, it becomes vulnerable to unauthorized access. Hackers can monitor conversations and pursue the website. They use bogus identities and lure one to reveal sensitive information.
What can hackers do?
Once hackers can access a computer system, they can do whatever they like. Below are some of them.
- Hijack username and password
- Steal money, open a credit card, and bank account in your name
- Request new PIN and additional credit cards
- Make purchases in your name
- Get cash advances
- Abuse your Social Security number
- Sell your information for illicit or illegal purposes
How do hackers work?
Hacking is a highly skilled and technical process. Hackers install malware on a computer system to gain access. They also resort to psychological ways and trick users into clicking on a malicious attachment. Hacking is now more than a million-dollar business and they have developed criminal infrastructures and sophisticated technical skills for hacking.
Securing the computer system
The following XX tips can keep your computer safe from hackers.
- Use Firewall
Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in firewalls. It helps to prevent the computer from unauthorized access. Enable it before going online.
- Install antivirus & anti-spyware software
Antivirus software can protect a computer system from viruses and malware that may threaten the computer. Advanced antivirus programs also have automatic update options to ensure protection. Anti-Spywares prevent threats secret monitoring of the computer. These are usually included in anti-virus software.
- Use strong passwords
Using a strong password is most vital for computer security. If the password is complex, hackers feel it hard to crack. Use a long and complex password that has at least eight characters with a combination of numbers, upper & lower case letters, and symbols. It will make hacking harder.
- Use two-factor authentication
When one uses a two-factor authentication besides a strong password, it boosts up system protection. One needs to type a numerical code, sent to e-mail or mobile, besides the password for logging in.
- Update the system
Always update the computer system including browser and apps regularly. These eliminate software flaws and prevent hackers at bay.
- Shut the system down
Maybe the computer has Wi-Fi to access the internet. If one is always ON, it makes the system more visible and vulnerable to hacking. Keeping the system switched off overnight or when one is not working helps to prevent hacking.
- Keep eyes open
Always keep your eyes open about e-mail from unknown sources and phishing emails that mimic trusted sources. It will keep the system safe.
Computer security is something that none can take lightly. Like all other spheres in life, prevention offers the best protection against hackers. Following good habits, applying smart security, and having the right tools can make a computer safe. Now that you know the steps, follow them. They can deter hackers from targeting your computer.