Your Computer and Information
Unsuspecting computer users are under the impression that their information is safe from hackers. Computer safety should be a concern to us all. Cyber-attacks occur at a rate of millions per day. The attacks are not likely to involve us since like most people, we have meager assets, meaningless information, and do not work in sensitive government agencies. Hackers are usually seeking money, data, or personal information. If you are hacked, you may be forced to buy back your information. This con takes place daily and there is nowhere to turn. The only caveat is that if you have little or nothing, you have little or nothing to be alarmed about.
However, even if you have nothing, computer safety and the protection of your information is a concern. The free virus software, Microsoft Essentials, is good for low-level attacks. However, most sophisticated hackers can easily penetrate this software. Symantec, Webroot, or Kaspersky are excellent to dissuade many hackers. As my Dad said: “Locks are for honest people.” Most criminals don’t want to work and are looking for an easy mark.
You probably will not even know when malware is on your computer. Malware is defined as “software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.” Malware is designed to steal information. It can take over your defensive programs and perhaps deactivate them. Then it proceeds to do what it has been programmed to do: destroy computer safety and send sensitive information back to the hacker.
You should check your protection status. Click on the icon on your computer tray which represents your computer protection program. If working, the program will confirm this. Thus, the program will attempt to protect your computer when attacks occur. Notice, it is when and not if attacks occur. You don’t plan on being hacked, but there is an excellent chance that your computer will be or has been compromised. Check your computer safety protection software often.
Many dedicated hackers can break into any program and leave your computer defenseless. An important precaution is to always turn your computer off when not is use. When on, hackers can more easily get into your computer. Another step is to change your passwords to a minimum of 14 characters. It is unwise to use any recognizable names or repeating characters or numbers. Therefore the password will be more difficult to hack. It is preferable to use random 16 character letters and numbers with symbols (@ # $ > < ? ! etc.). Never use the same password for different accounts. Do not use proper names, familiar phrases, or full words.
Your password and your computer’s defenses can still be bypassed. Those who develop the defense software are very good at what they do. But the hackers are even better. Many hackers can easily get into any computer and take control. You may never even know that your defenses are no long working and your computer safety protection is down. Consequently, the malware takes control of your computer and gets passed on to the next computer.
What to do?
As mentioned above, turning your computer off when not in use will help. Don’t put business data or embarrassing pictures or information on your computer. Use a long reliable password and change it often. If you are using wireless, convert it to a hard-wired internet access. These are the first and easiest steps to control hacking on most computers.
If a hacker can detect your internet and your security code, they can use your internet and get into your network. Often they will park their car outside your home, figure out your access and use your wireless to perform attacks or download pornography. Do you want to explain this to your spouse or to the cyber sex unit? Protect yourself and stay out of these situations.
Another instance is when an unknown virus, worm, or Trojan horse is planted on your computer. It can easily collect data and disrupt your computer. Think about the information that you put on your computer and the pictures you may upload to the internet. You may think that no one will want your information but it is still yours. Protect your privacy.
The definition of safety is different today than what it was when we grew up. If you think you have been hacked, there is a good probability that you have been. Do not live in a dream world. When you search the web you are putting yourself at risk. When you open emails you are increasing the likelihood of a virus being placed on your computer. Some simple steps can markedly increase and improve your computer security. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of brilliant criminals. The hackers are out there and are looking for you.