Once upon a time a person’s main concern for security was whether their home, car, or business would be broken into. At the odd time there would be an armed bank robbery but for the most part – crime and thievery had a face.
When we move into the digital world our INFORMATION became the target. It was swiped using scanners and used for sinister means. Computer hackers have found ways to get into our personal records, create aliases without our knowledge, and bringing down websites. These websites include those with high level federal government security.
These cyber hackers profess to be the good guys who, through their actions, intend only to bring attention to international human rights issues. Of course there are the not-so-good guys who break into banks and steal money.
Just in the last couple of months there have been reports of attempted and successful hacking activities that have targeted some very critical venues. Banks, governments, medical records, credit card companies, and even the hosting companies themselves aren’t safe from these attacks.
Unlike some of the movies from the 70’s these hackers aren’t just some weird geeks living in his mother’s basement. These are organized, intelligent, coordinated people with a mission and a focus.
How Cyber Hacking Happens
Some of the ways these attacks take place are by installing malware or hacking tools that invade your computer. These are programmed to access your machine and carry out specified commands. These commands can be something like copy your passwords, credit card info, record keystrokes, or even mimic your machine and use it to access another.
Part of why this happens is because many people don’t take the necessary precautions with their computers.
First of all – your smartphone isn’t as smart as you so make sure you password protect it. It’s a pain to have to enter your password all the time but think of what you would lose if you lose your phone.
You should install antivirus software on your computers with automatic updates and make sure everything is password protected.
When downloading anything make sure the site is secure and verify the authenticity of the software producer by looking up their ratings on Tucows or CNet.
When you get emails – look closely. No one will ask you to verify account numbers or passwords via email. Also don’t download anything you didn’t request.
Keep in mind that EVERYTHING you put on the internet is there FOREVER! It doesn’t matter if it was a tweet, a Facebook comment, or an entire website.
The bits and bites of your information are stored away into cyber long-term memory chips and could be retrieved anytime in the future for sinister deeds.