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Cyber SecurityEnterprise Security

Hackers Are Gonna Hack – But That Doesn’t Mean You Have to be Vulnerable

Hacks are performed by hackers in order to compromise the security of an individual or organization via gaining access to networks, systems, applications, and data and then carrying out attacks. But you probably already knew that.

Unfortunately, hackers are going to hack. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be vulnerable. 

Types of Hacks

It’s important you learn about cybersecurity to ensure you stay safe. But before we look at some simple but effective ways of protecting yourself against hackers, let’s first explore some of the most common types of hacks.

Phishing

Cybercriminals use phishing to try to steal your identity or money.

They send you what looks like a trustworthy link. When you click on it, malware is downloaded onto your device.

Though, there are various forms of phishing attacks, including spear phishing, vishing, smishing, and whaling.

DoS Attacks

A Denial of Service attack shuts down a network or machine to make it inaccessible to the end-users.

Basically, the hackers interrupt the functionality by flooding the network or machine with continual requests. That means normal traffic cannot access it.

Bait and Switch

This hack is used to steal login credentials and personal data.

It involves hackers tricking people into visiting malicious sites, where the hackers can easily steal any information you enter on the site.

Viruses

Viruses are computer programs that connect to other computers or software programs to damage the systems.

Hackers insert code into the program. They then simply wait for a person to run that program. When the program runs, it infects other programs on the device.

Privilege Escalation

Basically, privilege escalation is a type of network attack that’s used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to systems within a security perimeter.

Privilege escalation occurs when the cybercriminal exploits a bug, configuration error, or design flaw in an operating system or application to gain access to resources and then do things like steal confidential data or run malware.

Check out this guide to “what is privilege escalation?” to learn more.

How to Protect Yourself Against Hacks

It’s estimated that there are around 2,200 cyberattacks every single day, so don’t underestimate just how important it is that you take precautions to stay protected.

There are multiple ways to ensure you’re not vulnerable. Here are just some of the best ways of protecting yourself against hackers.

Get Antivirus and Firewall Software

Not only should you always use robust antivirus software and firewall software for your devices. You also need to remember to ensure it’s always turned on.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of having security software but not turning it on or updating it.

Update Regularly

It’s not only your security software that needs to be updated as required.

You also need to ensure you have all the latest updates and patches for your other software and your operating systems and apps.

Use Passwords Properly

Using passwords properly means always using different passwords for each login.

Also, never use easy-to-guess passwords. Always make sure your passwords are strong, such as using a range of uppercase and lowercase letters and a combination of letters and numbers.

Only Download from Authorized Sources

Before you download anything, make sure it’s from a trusted site. If you don’t, you could unwittingly download malware onto your device.

Also, make sure bundled bits like adware and spyware aren’t included in downloads.

Ensure Websites Use Encryption Before You Submit Details and Share Files

Always check the padlock symbol next to the URL of a site to make sure it’s secure before you submit or share any files or details through the site.

With the padlock in place, it means your personal details become encrypted when you submit them. The scrambled information stops hackers from stealing your details.

Only Log into Accounts from Your Own Devices

You should only log in to online accounts from your own devices to ensure hackers can’t access and steal your details.

But if you do have to use a shared or public device, be sure to log out afterward.

Be Suspicious of Certain Emails

To prevent phishing attacks, it’s essential that you remain highly suspicious of any emails that ask you for your account or login information.

Always check that the request is genuine before proceeding.

For instance, if you get an email from what appears to be your bank, contact your bank on an official phone number to double-check the email is legitimate.

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