Recently, Robert Grimes published an article on InfoWorld that detailed the most likely reasons that we end up being a target for hackers.
Below are the top four reasons he identified:
1. You were hacked because hackers want to steal your money: No real surprise here. Hackers want to gain access to your computer because they want to make a quick buck. The easiest way to do this is to steal passwords to your online accounts, including your bank, credit card, and other important financial accounts.
2. You were hacked because hackers want to send you adware and spam: Hackers also want to gain access to your computer so they can send you a bunch of spam or redirect you to websites that can steal your information.
3. You were hacked because hacker groups want to steal your intellectual property: Maybe you are an important scientist or an important member of a corporation and hackers want to steal your proprietary information to use it or sell it. Groups of hackers have emerged that only do this type of hacking and are very sophisticated.
4. You were hacked because botmasters want to turn your computer in a botnet zombie: Botmasters can take over computers in a variety of ways, but usually they do it by sending infected emails to unsuspecting users. When the user opens a file attached to the email, their machine becomes infected. Infected computers are sometimes called “zombie” computers. The botmaster is able to virtually control the computers in his or her botnet and usually uses them to send spam, viruses, spyware, and for Denial of Service attacks. Additionally, bots can also steal personal and private information from infected computers.
What To Do if You Are Hacked
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to repair your computer if you are a victim of a hacker. The only way to ensure that you are completely clean is to take your computer to a computer repair shop and ask them to wipe out your entire system and rebuild it from scratch. So be sure you know where your installation CDs are kept in case you ever need to do this, and be sure that you back up all of your data.
Also, if you are the victim of a hacker, be sure to change all of your online account passwords. If a hacker gained access to your computer, it’s best to assume that he or she also gained access to all of your accounts. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Avoid Being Hacked By Following These Simple Rules
You can avoid being hacked by following a few simple rules, which are outlined below:
- Use strong passwords and change them often. Unique passwords that use a mixture of alphanumeric and special characters (such as $, %, and #) are the strongest. But it’s also important to change them often.
- Use a strong firewall and antivirus software and keep them updated. Invest in a good firewall and antivirus system and update them regularly.
- Don’t click suspicious emails, links, or websites. Cyberthieves can use your personal information to hijack your identity and steal money from you.
- Use a VPN when accessing public wifi. If you ever use a public wifi, anyone around you with the right spying equipment can see everything that you send and do online. A VPN like PRIVATE WiFi encrypts all of your information and makes it impossible for anyone to steal your data.
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