These days, a business relies on the internet and their website in order to get anything done. Unfortunately the march of technology makes web sites and other network reliance is somewhat shaky, and one of the reasons is hacking. The concept of a hacker has been around since the late eighties, but these days they are even more dangerous.
That said, a number of people get the wrong idea about how to protect themselves from hackers. When they picture a hacker, they picture some computer whiz sitting at their laptop trying to figure out how to ensure that they can get past program security. While there is some of that involved in hacking, that’s not the major way hackers get to your information.
1. Passwords Do Not Equal Security
The heading is somewhat misleading, because passwords are necessary to keep things safe. However, many companies get the idea that a safe password is a password with multiple lowercase and uppercase letters, several numbers, and a weird character. Not only that, but they get the idea that it’s better and safer to for employees to change their passwords on a regular basis.
In truth, not only does this make passwords more difficult to remember, but it actually makes them easier for password hacking programs to figure out. Each character is only one of a specific set of characters. If you have 2 numbers in the password, that means each one is only one of 10 different numbers. It doesn’t take very long for a password hacking program to figure that out.
The best way to have a secure password is to have multiple words of gibberish. Something like “horsepower clock radio” is a great password, because it uses multiple words and the more letters of the alphabet that it contains the harder it is for a password hacking program to figure out precisely what order those letters are it.
2. Most Hacking Isn’t With Programs
The mental image of a hacker being a computer whiz is not actually correct. There are computer hacking programs, and those can do a number of important things. But the best and easiest way for a hacker to get your information is just simply asked.
It may seem as though nobody would fall for such a scam, but the real truth is that it’s quite easy for a hacker to call someone, pose as someone from a higher office or someone from it, and simply ask for them to tell them the password. When employees are overworked and underpaid arrested, they’re more likely to answer the question without thinking about it.
3. DDOS attacks
A DDOS attack, or a distributed denial-of-service attack, is an attack made by overloading the website server. A huge number of people or a program designed to mimic a huge number of people all attempt to log on to the website at once. The end result of this is to force the server to be unable to send out that amount of information that quickly. This causes the website to crash, and makes it unavailable for the average user.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do to guard against this. You can ensure that the servers are well-maintained, and set up for a large load, but just about any server can be overloaded. Luckily DDOS attacks are temporary. Eventually the server gets through all the requests, and then can function as normal.
4. Don’t Keep Information In One Place
One of the biggest dangers to internet security is the simple fact that people don’t clean out their information very often. They try to keep things on hand, such as credit card numbers or even simple information such as addresses.
The end result of this is that when a hacker manages to get to one place, they manage to get a huge amount of information. They can then take this information and do so much more with it. So try not to keep too much private information on hand in one area, and that way it will be more difficult for hackers to get quite as much info in one go.
5. Upgrade Software Regularly
One of the easiest ways for a hacker to get your information, whether it’s your personal information or company information, is for hackers to exploit weaknesses and old software. It may seem as though companies selling software are just trying to sell you the same old software was a slightly new upgrade, and in many cases they are, but newer software also trying to protect against older weaknesses.
Plain and simple the longer a piece of software has been on the market, the easier it is to be exploited. This is because the longer a piece of software has been on the market, the more time people have had to work on exploits. So make sure that you upgrade your software regularly, even if it seems like you don’t necessarily need it.
The simple fact of the matter is that hacking is often a matter of social engineering rather than computer technology. This means that the best way to protect against hacking and the most common styles of hacking are the things that help guard against normal old human error.