How to protect yourself against hackers? Hackers are criminals who illegally obtain usernames / passwords from computers and websites. Many people bank, shop, and pay bills online, allowing hackers with opportunities to access their information. Some hackers steal personal information, while others show an interest in financial data.
Research shows that hacking will cost individuals and businesses over $6 trillion by 2021. A company will fall victim to hackers every eleven seconds in 2021. Besides, the cost of hacking and data-stealing reached over $150 million last year. Experts say that hackers and cybercriminals will steal a substantial amount of data in the coming years.
For instance, experts argue that hackers will steal over 33 billion records in 2023. People in the U.S lose $15 billion every year due to personal and financial information loss. So, identity theft has become one of the biggest threats in the U.S. It takes around seven months to identify a breach. So, how to protect yourself against hackers? Read on!
Types of Hackers
A hacker is a person with a tremendous interest in computer systems. Cybercriminals and hackers learn about computers and technology. So, they make efforts to experiment with computers and try to misuse their abilities. As a result, a hacker has unauthorized access to a computer or website to steal sensitive data and information.
Hackers deface websites and steal personal and financial information from systems. Besides, they take corporate websites out of commission, leading to a loss of revenue, especially for an eCommerce or financial institution site.
In addition, loss of sensitive data in the case of government or corporate systems means the launch of data espionage warfare on their websites. When a hacker or group of hackers access sensitive corporate data, they can misuse the information and risk a country’s security. Here are the types of hackers.
Advanced hackers write and develop scanning tools that look for vulnerabilities in computer systems and websites. Script kiddies are less experienced hackers who run the scanning tools available online to scan a large number of computer and networking systems to find vulnerabilities.
Script kiddies run these apps or tools against namespaces associated with businesses. The purpose is to breach the system and steal sensitive data. Besides, script kiddies also use a list of IP addresses to launch cyberattacks and gain access to systems.
White hats are security experts in computer systems. These people specialize in testing and use various methods to ensure computers systems remain secure from hackers. So, these are IT security experts that rely on a plethora of customized tools to counteract cybercriminals.
Black hats are the most advanced hackers with expertise in penetrating secured systems and websites. According to KVS Computers, black hats are the bad guys who break into computers and networks or create viruses and malware.
In addition, black hat hackers usually outpace white hat security experts in technology. Not only do black hat hackers find the least resistant path, but they also use advanced scripts and coding skills to penetrate highly secured systems and networks. That way, they steal a large amount of data, including financial information.
The Problem of Hacking
How to protect yourself against hackers? It is crucial to understand how hacking occurs before you implement ways to mitigate the attacks. There are two primary ways hackers get your personal information.
First, a cybercriminal accesses data directly from your PC or laptop by installing spyware. According to KVS Computers, spyware is a software or application that installs itself. It sends information from your PC to the hacker without your knowledge.
A hacker installs spyware by tricking people into opening spam emails. Likewise, cybercriminals also trick you into clicking on images, attachments, and links in email messages. Cybercriminals also use spyware to track keystrokes.
Besides, they also acquire photos of your computer’s monitor or laptop screen. That way, they snag your account numbers, usernames, passwords, and even credit card information.
On the other hand, hackers access personal and financial information directly from websites. Hackers use malware or malicious software to target websites. That way, they gather a massive amount of data.
Malware is a program used to infiltrate a computer system to steal private data. Hackers also use malware to harm computer systems’ operations and securities. Malware enables criminals to test a website’s vulnerability and reproduce the content of the site’s database.
Some people and businesses are unaware that cybercriminals have hacked their accounts. For instance, if a family member or friend contacts you about emails that seem like they are from you but which you didn’t send, it is due to a hacked account.
Besides, a hacker may also change your password and deny you access to your account. If you think a hacker has hacked one of your accounts, make sure you change the passwords of other accounts immediately.
Protect Yourself against Hackers
Your computer, phone, tablet, credit cards, etc., are an integral part of your daily life in the fast-paced technology world. Hackers have become more intelligent in stealing people’s personal and financial information.
Therefore, it is crucial to protect yourself against hackers. Here are a few ways to improve your security and prevent hacking of your computer and online accounts. Continue reading!
Contact Your Friends and Family
KVS Computers recommend contacting your family and friends and make them aware of your hacked account. Cybercriminals try to gain access to your email contact list. So, they send emails from your account to your friends and family members, asking them to send personal information. Therefore, we recommend notifying your loved ones about your hacked account to protect them from hackers.
Contact Your Bank
If your hacked account contains financial information, contact the bank or Credit Card Company as soon as possible. Let the company know that a hacker has compromised your account. Your bank or Credit Card Company will issue you a new account number or card.
Make sure you monitor your accounts’ activity for any fraudulent transactions. In some cases, cybercriminals steal your financial data without your knowledge or consent and misuse it.
KVS Computers have professionals with many years of experience in counteracting cybercriminals and hackers. Our experts say that you have to monitor your account for an extended period if the bank has not issued you a new account number or card.
Update Your Computer Security
Ensure your computer security software is up to date. Update your operating system and internet-connected software regularly. These may include web browsers, emails programs, music players, and other applications.
If you don’t have security software, install antivirus software and a firewall. Make sure you keep them up to date. KVS Computers recommend installing Malwarebytes because it comes with a wide range of advanced security features.
Your operating system will alert you when an update of the antivirus program is available. Some computer users install separate software for viruses and malware. We think this is a mistake because some programs are incompatible with each other.
It means the programs will consume extra CPU and memory resources. Thus, they will make your computer run slow. At the same time, compatibility issues can further make your computer system more vulnerable to hackers.
There are various reputable products available for free. However, a free antivirus program does not offer complete protection. That’s why KVS Computers recommend every computer user install Malwarebytes for additional security. Some of the key features of Malwarebytes are:
- Quick and advanced scanning of infected devices
- Advanced protection against viruses and malware
- Shields vulnerable computer systems
- Background checks to prevent threats proactively
- Stops adware and ransomware attacks
- Offers centralized management to perform customized scans
- Generates threat reports and acts immediately to eliminate viruses
Monitor Your Activity
How to protect yourself against hackers? According to KVS Computers, it is wise to delete dubious-looking or spam emails without opening them. For example, you may receive a questionable email from a family member or friend.
In that case, contact them and verify before opening the email. You must not click on any attachment or link without verification. Access online accounts from your PC while using a secured connection.
Limit accessing personal accounts from public computer systems. It is because public computer systems are more vulnerable to malware and spyware. Likewise, they have an unsecured internet connection.
Use Strong Passwords
Use strong passwords to protect yourself against hackers. Many people use simple passwords, such as their name or “12345678.” These are lousy password choices, allowing hackers to access your computer, smartphones, or online accounts.
KVS Computers always encourage their clients to use complex passwords that contain at least eight characters. Use a combination of upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters. That way, you will have a strong password.
Besides, you can use a specific sentence or phrase a password. If you have multiple passwords, write them down on a piece of paper. Make sure you keep the paper in a safe place. Avoid saving your passwords on your computer or smartphone.
If you want to decrease the likelihood of someone hacking your online accounts, change your password every week. Strong passwords are at least eight or twelve characters long. These include letters, numbers, and special characters, such as “^!$#@, etc. “
Avoid using your name, date of birth, and other common words. Always set a different password for a specific account if you have multiple profiles or emails. When you have a different password and criminal hacks one of your accounts, you can use the others.
Evaluate Your Network Security
Evaluating your network security is an excellent way to protect yourself against hackers. Port scan your network from outside to determine the exposed services, such as TCP/IP and FTP. Besides, run a vulnerability scanner against your servers to monitor your network traffic. Remember, this method is particularly beneficial for businesses.
Moreover, refer to your system log to figure out unauthorized services running on your network or systems. Check your firewall logs to determine dropped and rejected packets. Reviewing firewall logs also enable you to mitigate persistent hacking attempts.
Cybercriminals can gain root access through your programs’ vulnerabilities. Therefore, it is crucial to keep track of patches and new versions of software and applications. Avoid using third-party patches and cracks for your programs other than the ones provided by the company.
Use Data Encryption Methods
Encryption is a valuable method of scrambling information, so only you can access data and use it. It allows you to use specific patterns to unscramble data and make it accessible or readable.
Remember, encryption technology is an excellent way to reduce the risk of data theft. For example, if someone steals your PC or laptop, they won’t access your data thanks to encryption.
However, it is crucial to keep your encryption patterns or keys safe. If you forget or lose the keys, you won’t be able to unscramble the information and view it in a readable form.
Install Email Security
According to KVS Computers, emails are not a secure transport channel unless you install security protocols. For example, it is crucial to encrypt your message before sending it. Keep in mind that all emails, especially those that travel outside of your website or domain, have poor encryption by default.
That’s why such emails are prone to eavesdropping and theft. KVS Computers recommend configuring your email transfer to make it secure. However, this is not an easy task and requires a significant setup. You can use third-party encryption software to secure your emails. Make sure you purchase premium software for advanced protection/encryption.
Protect Yourself against Hackers – Final Words
Implementing anti-hacking methods can protect your computer system from cyberattacks. KVS Computers can install and configure the best antivirus program on your computer to prevent malware and spyware attacks. Follow the guidelines given above to protect yourself against hackers. Contact KVS Computers for more information.