In today’s more digitised world, almost all personal information, including birthdays, passwords, credit card numbers, and emails, are freely available online to hackers assuming they’re skilled enough and if your online security systems are weak. Hackers are continually evolving and improving their craft to trick internet users for their personal information and use that personal information to devious ends.
Being hacked and getting your information stolen and changed can be one of the most frustrating and most damaging things financially that can happen to you, so how can you recognise hacking signs from these seemingly unstoppable online bandits?
How Do Hackers Get to Your Information?
Phishing is a fake email commonly pretending to be from your banking institution or a company that you might be patronising, asking for sensitive information, such as your credit card number or passwords for “verification purposes.” The email could also contain a link that automatically downloads malware; we’ll later get into malware later in this article. Phishing targets almost everyone, but the demographic who is affected the most are senior citizens who have very little computer literacy knowledge. To protect yourself from phishing, make sure that you double-check the email sender’s name, and a quick google search or phone call to your banking institution could help verify the email. But, for the most part, companies will never ask for your sensitive information via email.
Malware is a software created by hackers specifically for wrecking all kinds of havoc in your computer system. These attacks include stealing personal information, web browsing patterns, saved passwords, credit card numbers, and system information to control your computer remotely. Malware’s are designed to hide in your computer, replicate, and spread to other flies rendering your computer useless. Malware is usually contracted through downloading a pirated version of the software and through malicious phishing email links.
Social engineering is when a hacker pretends to be someone else, usually someone from your company’s IT department. They then use that lie to get you to click on a malicious link that compromises your work’s IT infrastructure. That steals sensitive data to be sold on the black market or to competitors or even used to blackmail the company and can even be used to steal your company’s customer information.
How Can I Protect Myself from Hackers?
Hire a cybersecurity company.
Suppose you want to test how well your site will fare against malicious individuals and a cyberattack. In that case, it is essential to get professional help from a company that can conduct network penetration testing on your site. Knowing how hackers will go through your site can effectively make necessary changes based on this information and data. Companies that perform these tests are called white-hat hackers; they use their knowledge of hacking for good and keeps you and your data protected.
Do not access banking or personal information on a public Wi-Fi.
This tip is essential to stay protected at all times from hackers. You don’t want to access banking information on public Wi-Fi because the Wi-Fi might have been hacked to collect sensitive information before you connected to the network.
Download the latest security programs
Downloading the latest security software can be a massive boost in cybersecurity, mainly because this software actively looks for malware in your computer and warns you of any suspicious account activities. Security programs can also automatically delete any potential malware in your system and seek any vulnerabilities in your computer to fix them.
Come up with unique passwords
Passwords are your first line of defence against hackers. Passwords prevent unauthorised entities from accessing sensitive data. The more unique the password, the more challenging and longer it is for hackers to access your data. Unique passwords that are case-sensitive and contain special characters can take hackers thousands of years to crack.
Overwrite deleted files
Suppose a hacker fails to gain any information off of you through their usual methods. In that case, they will often resort to more creative work-around to find vulnerabilities in your computer system. One of these ways is going through your deleted files and recovering data, which may be used to gain access to your system or blackmail you. Overwriting deleted files is easier than it sounds; all you have to do is use the built-in windows feature called Cipher, and if you’re using Mac iOS, you can always download free deleted files encryptors.
Cybersecurity is an essential part of staying secure in this digital world. Leaving your computer vulnerable and without cybersecurity systems is akin to leaving all your windows and doors unlocked and putting a sign on your porch that says, “rob me.” Always be vigilant and keep your data safe.