What is Hacking and how you can prevent it?

What is Hacking, Ethical Hacking and Password Protection in a layman’s language

 

This article is aimed to be for the readers who have no previous knowledge of “Hacking”. It will give them a good knowledge about the subject and how they can protect themselves from being hacked.

Hacking refers to techniques or methods through which someone gets the access to your devices without your permission, such as your computer/laptop/tablet/phones/routers or websites.  There are 3 main types of Hacking.

 

  • -Black Hat Hacker
  • -Gray Hat Hacker
  • -White Hat Hacker

 

When someone gets the accesses without the owner authorization, he will be considered as Black Hat Hacker. A White Hat Hackers are completely opposite to the Black Hat Hacker. They are paid by the owners of the website/devices to hack so that they can make identify the loopholes. An ethical hacker must have written expressed permission from the company to hack the network or website. Then companies, try to improve their security to protect their devices and websites. The Grey Hat Hackers are in between both and there is a very thin line which if they cross can land them either in Black or White Hat Hacking.

They are several methods to hack. A hacker will try to get access to online accounts by stealing your personal details. They may try to get access to your devices by fooling you to install a small piece of code. Once this code is installed, it will create a backdoor from your computer to their computer and hacker will have a full access to your computer/machine.

Hackers also can fool you to reveal them your email address, passwords, WiFi password, or even more dangerous stealing your banking details.

 

How to avoid being Hacking!

You can use various simple methods to safeguard yourself from these attacks. Mostly, people have a misconception that they need to be a computer master to avoid being hacked. But in reality, if you take small precautions, you can keep yourself safe from computer hacking. These precautions are as follows:

Software Updates

You must always be very careful whenever you update your computer or any machine. As all companies continuously enhance their applications/programmes, they send the updates and it provides the opportunity for hackers to take advantage.

A hacker may send you a malicious code hidden within a normal looking file, for example, a picture, or a video, or PDF, or a doc file.  As soon you open that file, it runs the code in the background.

Hacker may send you a malicious programme update, fooling you to update that particular programme. This would give access to your machine or whatever he wanted to achieve.

To avoid this, before you click on download or update any programme, make sure that you read thoroughly who the sender of that notification or email. Check the sender’s email address and try to compare it with programme provider’s details.

Password Security

With latest developments and new programmes are being made, it has made easier for hackers to break simple and weak passwords. Most, people use a simple password which is categorised as a weak password. People try to use a simple password so that they can easily remember it.

A weak password contains only alphabets or only numbers or a mix of both. A good password should normally be a minimum of 8 characters and should consist of alphabets in lower and upper case, numeric and special characters in it. For example, a good password will look something like this:

x5*ht&0@U

 

There is not a 100% guarantee but this will put even a professional hacker in some trouble to decode your password. It is also recommended that password should be changed after every 6 months and you should not share anyone.

Browse only Secure Websites

In our daily life, we are always very careful when we use our credit or debit card details when we go out shopping or withdrawing money from a cash machine. We try our best that no one can see our pin number or any other card details. But, do we do the same precautions online?

Whenever you use a credit card online, see the website first. Is it secure? What kind and type of security codes, they use for security. A company or website which accepts payment online must be PCI DSS Compliant. (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

Wi-Fi / Wireless Network Access Protection

Nowadays, it is very common that we get free Wi-Fi in public places and restaurant. Always be very careful when you are using these kinds of networks. It is an open invitation to the hackers. If you are connected to an open network (Free Wifi), you make 80% easier for a hacker to steal your details. They can see what sites you are visiting over the internet, without hacking into your device.

If you are using the Free Wifi, never open or use your sensitive data.

Online Scams

Protection against Phishing scams

It is also a very common and most famous method of hacking someone’s bank account details. Phishing scams are fabricated emails mimicking the contents of any website.

For example, you may receive an email with instructions to follow a link that will lead to a deceptive website. The goal of this malicious threat is to steal your sensitive data like login details, passwords and pin numbers. The deceptive website looks identical to your banking website but the URL will be different and it will be very similar to the original website. You may get caught in it unless you really pay attention that deceptive website address carefully.

Example: Your bank’s Original URL: www.citibank.com (citibank.com domain)

Deceptive Site URL: www.citibank.24.com (24.com domain)

The hackers will try to create such type of website address that looks very similar and most people will think it is genuine because they are not paying attention.

Logging off /Signing Out of Accounts

This is a very common mistake and we all must have done it in our life and some of us, are still doing it.  Always remember, whenever you Sign-In/Login on any device, always make sure that you are using the secure internet connection and secure device. You should also Log-Out/Sign-Out when you finish your work.

Remember, in some website, closing the internet browser without signing out does not mean that you will be automatically logged out. Re-opening the browser by anyone else can give full access to your account.

Anti-virus Installations

Installing and regularly updating anti-virus definitions is very important. Anti-viruses are designed to detect and eliminate all potential threats. These include viruses, malware, and illegal port penetrations.

 

Please do let us know if you have been the victim of the attack by clicking here.