Hacking generally refers to an unauthorized intrusion into a computer or network of computers. And a person engaged in hacking activities is a hacker. Now hacking can culminate through various modes- virus, trojans, spamware, clickbait, waterhole attacks, keylogger, phishing is just to name a few.
Before we go on to discuss how to prevent hacking, let us first discuss why do people hack
- It is their job
- The sheer fun of it
- Sell stolen data to the brokers or on the darknet
- Spy on people or businesses for a third party
- Practice learned skills
- Political expression
- To display prominence in the hacking community
The very recent hacking of the official BJP website, and in past hacking of major departments of many countries just goes on to show the level of damage hackers can cause.
Now since you have got the gist, let us discuss what steps could we take to stop hackers from stealing our data.
Never use your main email account for all sites. Everything on the internet cannot be trusted. Always play safe. Also never use your email ID as your username on any site. This gives an easy hint to hackers. To minimize these hazardous cyber attacks, consider using a secure online collaboration system with bank-level security using data encryption for both data in transit and at rest.
Always use a combination of small and big letters, numbers and special characters while creating a password. Also never use the obvious birthday, anniversary, house number in your password. And most importantly never use the same password for all your accounts on various platforms. Also, change your password at frequent intervals.
Secure Browsing Habits
Be extra careful and never click suspicious links or download anything online. Clickbait and phishing make use of your unsafe browsing habits. Make secure browsing a habit.
Always be on the lookout for a secure website with Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) that gives additional security protocol, one that has https:// at the beginning of the URL. Other browsers also put a padlock icon indicating security on the website.
Precautious in public WiFi and public systems
Be extra careful while accessing internet in public WiFi. It is not secure. It could allow man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM) gaining access to whatever you’re doing online, even your bank account details. Malware spread, phishing and identity theft is a high risk when using free public WiFi.
Shop Only From Trusted Sites
With online shopping gaining popularity in comparison to retail shopping, so have online theft. Shop only at familiar, well-known and trusted websites.
Share Less on Social Media
It has become a common practice to share every titbit of personal life on social media. JUST DON’T. It is not safe out there. Your public announcement of your personal life just makes you more susceptible to a hacking attack.
Use Two-Step Authentication
Use mobile phones in authenticating login on emails and social accounts.
Update Your Software Regularly
Take advantage of updates to fix bug issues and increase security measures.
Encrypt and Backup All Your Data
Protect all your data saved in the cloud and on hard drives.
While these steps don’t actually guarantee protection from a hacking attack but as the wise have said- Prevention is better than cure.