In the past few years, there have been countless reports of hackers compromising the security of big name companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Amazon. So, what makes you think your company is any safer than they were? Hackers are sneaky; they can find the most minuscule opening in your system and take complete advantage of it.
Do you know where your computers and mobile devices might be vulnerable? Are you leaving yourself open to hackers? Here are just a few ways a hacker might be able to get into your system and compromise your valuable and private information.
How Hackers Get In
- Spam- Ever notice how your junk e-mail folder always seems to stay full? Many hackers use this type of spam to sent you enticing and believable messages like “Free Gift!” or “Where were you?” to make you think the e-mails aren’t actually spam, but correspondence from individuals you trust. These spam e-mail are used to trick you into giving the hackers personal information, downloading programs, or visiting harmful sites online. Hackers are smart, and giving them just a little bit of information can allow them to access much more off your computer.
- Downloads- Downloading programs from the internet is wildly popular these days, but you should be careful. When you download videos, music, software, and images, you could be getting more than you bargained for. Hackers use these downloads to infect your computers with viruses, adware, and spyware that can put your information at risk and give hackers that little window they need to infiltrate your system.
- Popups- Like junk mail, popups are yet another tool hackers use to trick you into putting your personal and corporate data at risk. While they may seem like legitimate advertisements for services and products, these popups are often filled with hidden spyware and viruses, just waiting for you to click on them.
- Software Updates- Many individuals don’t realize it, but forgetting to update their software, like anti-virus and anti-spyware programs can make them extremely vulnerable to attacks. These updates contain security patches for new viruses, worms, and Trojans that may be present on the internet.
- Shared Files- While sharing files with other computers on your network may make work easier around the office, it can also place you at greater risk for hacking. Once a hacker has accessed your computers, he can easily look through your files, gather personal and sensitive information, and even delete the folders and files you have created so you no longer have access to them.
What to Do to Prevent Hacking
- Install an anti-virus program- then use it regularly. Pay attention to what it says and get rid of any viruses, worms, or Trojans it finds. Keep an eye out for updates as well, as these can help fill those holes hackers use to gain access to your computers.
- Use encryption software to make your data unreadable to anyone who might gain access to your computer. Use this encryption on all of your information, even if you do not think a hacker can use it to infiltrate your system. Remember, hackers are very sneaky, and if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
- Disable all file sharing on your computer. This can easily be done on Window Explorer. To do so, open your browser and take a look at your folders. If there is a small hand under a folder, it means you are sharing it with your network. Right click on that folder and then click on Sharing and Security. Select the tab that says ‘Sharing’ and then click the ‘do not share this folder.’
Your computers could be much more vulnerable to hacking than you might think. Use this information to determine where the holes in your security are, and begin using an ant-virus program and data encryption program immediately to ensure your computer is safe from attack.