Computer hacking and identity theft works side by side nowadays. The accessibility and flexibility of the internet has allowed computer hackers to access varied personal data online which are then sold to identity thieves. This has been an on-going business that profits both the hacker and the identity thief at the expense of the victim.
Who are more prone to computer hacking?
The computer systems of small business are the most vulnerable to identity theft. These small business typically do not have large-scale security systems that can protect their database and client information. Computer hackers can easily access customer credit card information and employee payroll files as these data are typically unguarded. Often, these small businesses do not have access logs which keeps track of the date, time and person who accessed there sensitive information. Without this, they will not be able to know if their database or payroll information have been stolen and if it was, these small businesses will have no idea at all.
How does computer hacking take place?
Hacking attacks can be performed in a couple of ways:
1. Hacking computer that have their firewalls disabled or not installed. Hackers also crash on wireless networks that do not have router firewalls enabled or installed.
2. Sending out email attachments that contain keystroke loggers or other malicious software that embeds itself unknowingly on its victims’ computers. These programs record every keystroke done by the victims in their computer and send it out when the victims goes online.
3. Attacking individual consumers who use old versions of browsers. These old browsers have certain vulnerability that is being improved with every new editions of said browser. If you use an older browser, chances are, hackers can easily enter your computer because of the browser that you use.
4. Exploiting unsecured wireless networks or secured wireless networks that have very weak or poor password protections. Hackers can easily get inside a wireless network and view what everyone in the network is viewing in their screen. When you enter your personal information, a hacker on the other end might be recording it to be used for their identity theft activities.
5. Previous employees or trusted users who access their company’s computer using their insider knowledge to get inside. These people are often disgruntled when they leave the company so they seek to get even by hacking into the system.
What can i do about computer hacking?
There are a couple of steps that you can do to evade computer hackers and potential identity theft. Here are some tips:
1. Ensure that all the computers in your home or in your office are using the latest firewalls and have anti-virus programs installed on their computers. These programs should be updated as well, or else they will not serve their purpose.
2. Use the latest browser or if you’ve gone fond of your new one, make sure that you update the patches for your browser.
3. Using your anti-virus program and anti-spyware software, scan your computer regularly for any potential malwares.
4. Be wary about the websites that you open. Do not click on just anything and avoid downloading everything that you see as “free download.”