In the 1990s, the World Wide Web was a new platform that opened up new opportunities and created new industries. However, it also introduced new challenges to connectivity. Computer viruses infected business networks and caused a lot of damage to email accounts. Computer hacking, which is a new form of theft, expanded the definition to include infiltrating your computer and stealing personal data. It also tricks you into disclosing private data and then using that data to steal or extort personal data such as bank credentials, business secrets and people’s identities.
What is a computer hacker?
Computer hackers are people that hack into internet-connected devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones with the intention of stealing, changing, or deleting information.
Hackers are often able to gain access to devices in the same way that other thieves do. White hat hackers are a group of people that companies hire to hack into their computers to discover security holes. Hackers might try to access, alter, or delete data from your device. They often install malware (software that is used for malicious purposes). They might gain access to your most valuable data even before you are aware that there has been a breach.
Different methods of hacking
These are the top reasons computer hackers hack into devices:
- Financial crimes. You’ve probably heard of the classic tale about someone checking their credit card statements only to discover transactions that they didn’t make. Computer hackers can often steal your credit card numbers, check account information or gain access to financial data.
- Vandalism. Hacking is a subculture. Some hackers might want to vandalize websites to display their skills to other hackers. It sounds absurd? Malwarebytes says that this motivation is quite common.
- Hacktivism. Hacktivism is a type of hacking that can be compared to vandalism. Hackers may attempt to modify or destroy websites in order to advance their political agendas.
- Corporate espionage. Spying was a common practice long before the advent of the internet. Hacking has made it easier to carry out espionage. One company can hack into the devices of other companies to steal their information, and then use that information to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
How to protect your computer from hackers
Many businesses still rely on the internet for critical functions such as tracking their finances, ordering and maintaining inventory, conducting marketing campaigns and PR campaigns, connecting with customers, engaging in social media and other important operations. Even though corporations have strong security measures, we still hear of massive computer hacks.
Cybercrime is often a target for small businesses, particularly because they might underestimate the risks and lack the financial resources to invest in expensive cybersecurity solutions. These tips will help you protect your devices and secure your sensitive data.
- Use a firewall.
Windows and macOS both have built-in firewalls. This software is designed to protect your data from the outside world. Firewalls protect your network from unauthorized access and notify you if there is an intrusion attempt.
Before you go online, make sure your firewall is turned on. A hardware firewall can be purchased from companies like Cisco, Sophos, or Fortinet depending on the type of your broadband router. This will protect your network. You can also purchase an additional business firewall if your business is larger.
- Install antivirus software.
Malwarebytes and computer viruses are all around. Antivirus programs like Bitdefender, Panda Free Antivirus and Malwarebytes protect your computer from unauthorized code or other software that could compromise your operating system. Viruses can be easy to spot – they can slow down your computer, delete key files, or they could be more subtle.
Antivirus software is a key component of protecting your system. It detects real-time threats and ensures your data are safe. Advanced antivirus programs can automatically update your computer to protect it from new viruses that appear every day. Make sure you use your antivirus program after installing it. To keep your computer safe, run or schedule regular virus checks.
- Install anti-spyware software.
Spyware is a type of software that secretly monitors or collects personal and organizational information. Spyware is difficult to find and hard to remove. It tends to display unwanted advertisements or search results that direct you to malicious websites.
Spyware can track every keystroke used to access passwords or other financial information. This threat is the sole focus of anti-spyware, although it is included in many major antivirus packages like McAfee, Norton, and Webroot. Anti-spyware provides real-time protection by scanning all information and blocking potential threats.
- Use complex passwords.
Network intrusions can be prevented by using secure passwords. Hackers will be unable to penetrate your network if your passwords are not secure.
Securer passwords are often longer and more complicated. A password should contain at least eight characters, a combination or numbers, uppercase letters and lowercase letters, as well as computer symbols. Hackers have a variety of tools that can quickly crack short passwords.
Do not use words or combinations that are easily recognizable that could be used to represent birthdays, or any other information that can be linked to you. Don’t reuse passwords, either. A password manager is a good option if you have too many passwords.
- Keep your browser, OS and apps up-to-date.
Install new updates for your operating system regularly. Many updates contain security fixes that protect your data from being accessed and exploited by hackers. Apps are the same. The web browsers of today are more sophisticated than ever, particularly in terms privacy and security. Make sure you review your browser security settings before installing any new updates. You can also use your browser to block websites from tracking you movements. This increases your online privacy. You can also use one of these private browsers.