Hacking is an attempt to breach defenses and exploit vulnerabilities in a computer system or a private network inside a computer. In simple words, it is the unauthorized access to or control over computer network security systems for some malicious purpose.
Hacking means stealing personal or important data for some illegal purpose. When you make a website live, you open the doors to your data without even knowing, and you will never see anyone coming unless you have a proper protection system and password management system in place to secure your computer and personal accounts.
Cybercriminals are invisible and quick, searching a website for details of customer accounts, mainly for their credit card information. You have a legal responsibility to protect this data from theft and to report security breaches that occur.
Theft is not the only thing on the mind of a hacker: Absolute destruction is the main motivator. Hackers may want to destroy all your records, bad mouth your customers with some sick message on their screen, or just destroy your reputation. These hackers mostly target MNC’s, military institutions, and Celebrities.
Some of them are hired to either destroy someone’s public reputation or to corrupt company systems to destroy them. Multinational Companies hire Ethical hackers so that they can do penetration testing on company systems and look for vulnerabilities that can be fixed thereby making their networks and systems more secure. Ethical hackers have a very bright future because cybercrimes are increasing daily and people need help to secure their systems. If you are interested in pursuing a career in ethical hacking then an ethical hacking online training course will be a good start.
How to Secure Computer and Personal Accounts from Hacking Attempts
1. Protect Your Sensitive Personal Identifiable Information (Pii)
Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is information that can be used by an electronic thief to identify or locate an individual. PII includes information such as name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, Social Security Number, IP address, location details, or any other physical or digital identity data.
You should be extra cautious about the information you share on social media. It is best to share the minimum about yourself and your family and to always keep a check on your privacy settings across all your social media accounts.
2. Reinforce Access Control
The admin-level of a website is the easiest possible way into everything and needs to be protected at all costs to prevent hacker access. Create user names and passwords that can’t be guessed. Use a password management system. Limit the number of login attempts within a particular time period, even with password resets, because email accounts are prone to attack as well.
3. Update Everything
Updates cost money. Software companies only do it when it is unavoidable. Many people who use the software do not install updates instantly. Delaying an update exposes your system to attack in the interim period. Hackers can scan thousands of websites per hour looking for vulnerabilities that will allow them to break in.
4. Tighten Network Security
Take measures to make your network more secure, ensuring:
- Logins expire after a short period of inactivity.
- Passwords are changed frequently.
- Passwords are strong and never written down.
- All devices plugged into the network are scanned for malware each time they are attached.
5. Installing a Web Application Firewall
A web application firewall can be software-based as well as hardware-based. It should be set between the website server and the data connection and read every bit of data passing through it. The web application firewall filter out unwanted traffic like spam and malicious bots. It blocks all hacking attempts and is a great way to protect the system and networks from hacking.
6. Install the Required Security Applications
Some free and paid security applications can be installed to make breaking in difficult for hackers. Some free plugins can provide an additional level of protection by hiding the identity of your website’s CMS (Content Management System). These plugins can protect sites like WordPress specific builds and versions with one or more known vulnerabilities.
7. Back-Up Frequently
Keep everything backed-up in case something bad happens. Back-up everything on-site and off-site multiple times a day. Automatic back-up should be on at all times and when a user saves a file it should automatically back up in different multiple locations.
Taking all the above-mentioned measures will help you secure your computer and networks. Failing that, ethical hacking can come to the rescue. Ethical hackers are one of the most in-demand positions in the IT industry. An ethical hacker is an IT professional who purposely penetrates networks and systems to find and fix vulnerabilities. You can learn all about ethical hacking by taking an ethical hacking course which will teach you all the above-mentioned measures, how to penetrate systems and networks and how to find vulnerabilities, giving you many opportunities to start your career.