In this day and age almost everybody owns or has access to some sort of computer. The majority of homes will have a PC, Laptop, tablet, smart phone or some sort of device that allows access to emails, the Internet and other web related applications.
Even if you don’t own one of the above devices it is without question that you will know someone who does, or it may be that you access your emails and online data at school, work or at a public location such as an Internet cafe or library.
This is all great as it allows people to interact, work and socialise from anywhere on the planet; however with it comes a real risk or being targeted and perhaps falling victim to computer hackers.
Since the birth of the world wide web and massive reduction in price of computers and related products over the past decade or so there has also been an increase year on year in the amount of cases reported of computer hacking.
There are many forms of hacking and ways criminals or hackers [as they are known in the computer sector] can infiltrate and cause either damage or steal personal information that will almost certainly leave you feeling distressed and perhaps even harmed in a financial way.
Insight deal with many cases of computer hacking day in day out and have years of experience in advising and implementing strategies to fight back against the hackers. We have produced this article to help you to combat and understand how to protect your computer from hackers.
Email – One of the most common ways for a hacker to get access or disrupt your computer is via a “spam” email that actually carries a virus or plants a bug that gives the criminal access to your personal data. We have all seen them, a random email from “your bank” or a random email address asking you to verify your details by clicking a link. Common sense should tell you that if a random email address asks you to visit a site or click a link, do not do it. Also if you for example bank with HSBC and get an email from Santander asking you to confirm your details by visiting a site or link, again common sense will tell you that as you are not a customer of that bank do not click the link. Attachments sent with emails can also carry viruses that can completely disable your computer. Imagine the disruption this can cause to a commercial entity, one employee misguidedly opens such an email and it plants a virus throughout a network of over 1,000 systems…the result would be catastrophic!
Install Anti Virus Software – When you buy a new computer system they will more than likely come with an anti-virus software package installed as part of the deal or at least a months trial before having to upgrade. It is essential that you do either have software pre-installed or that you purchase protection software to block out the threat that harmful viruses and attachments can bring. In the UK some of the most popular anti-virus software providers include AVG, McAfee and Norton; there are many other providers and it is worth weighing up the benefits of each before making a decision. Anti-virus software will block threats, remove them and run regular scans of your system to warn you of potential issues that can be swiftly resolved.
Add Anti Spyware Software – As with anti-virus software, anti-spy ware software will prevent harmful spy ware programmes from infiltrating your system. These programmes will watch your every move on the web and on your computer and can get access to your bank, email and any other account access that you previously thought safe!
Always update your system – Updating your operating system will help to keep your computer packed with the latest software improvements and upgrades from your system provider. These upgrades often contain security and safety improvements so it is essential your system isn’t left in the dark ages and more susceptible to hackers.
Turn off your computer – When you have finished using your computer always turn it off! It sounds like an obvious thing to do but many people simply but their system in sleep mode or shut the lid of their laptop but do not actually power off. If somebody stole your laptop they can simply open the lid, click the mouse and will then have full access to your system and perhaps sensitive data.
All the above points are simple measures you can take and should help you to understand how to protect your computer from hackers; if you would like a more detailed conversation on the matter please contact one of our specialist private investigators today.