It’s no secret we live in a complex and interconnected world, with more people relying on connections formed throughout cyberspace than ever before. Whether engaging in shopping, banking, or communication with loved ones, the internet is front and center in many of our daily activities. This rings true for individuals as well as companies, businesses, and even branches of the government. It’s no surprise then that both individuals and government officials are continually seeking ways to make cyberspace safer to travel. Here we will discuss some of the ways that hacking can occur, some of the unfortunate things hacking can lead to, and steps we can all take to protect ourselves a bit more online.
Ways that Hacking Can Occur
Hearing those dreaded words, “I was hacked,” is certainly something that can instill fear in those who frequently use the internet to perform tasks that involve personal information or financials. The internet can be a scary place, especially when we hear accounts of high-profile retailers getting hacked. If a large company such as Target cannot completely shield themselves from being hacked, what can the rest us do? There are steps we can take to protect ourselves. However, it’s important to know how hacking occurs in the first place.
* Hacking through Unsecured Wireless Networks
You may think of hacking as a skill that requires extensive computer knowledge and expensive equipment, but many low-profile hackers use something as simple as unsecured networks to gain access to your personal information. Many people never think to activate the security features on their home routers and hackers are well aware of this fact. Many of them will simply drive around and look for unsecured wireless connections. Once connected to them, they can access any device on that network and have very sensitive information at their fingertips. Always lock down your home network system and enforce all the security options that came with your router to keep this from being as likely to occur.
* Hacking through Guessing Passwords
Sometimes hackers don’t need to know much about you to simply guess what your password to personal sites may be. People often use names of pets, their children’s names, birthdates, or places of employment as passwords. With just some very basic information about you, a would-be hacker has a jumping off point to begin guessing what your passwords may be. The best advice in this area is to switch them up, make them more complex, and don’t use personal information as part of your password.
* Hacking through Ransomware, Malware, and Spyware
We’ve all heard horror stories involving someone who clicked on a link and instantly found that malware was installed on their device, leading to all sorts of chaos as a result. Spyware and malware are as prevalent as ever before. Ransomware can be inadvertently installed on your devices in a variety of ways, most of which appear very benign at the time. Typically a Trojan is used in these cases, which is simply a file disguised to look legitimate but that is actually malicious in content. Once clicked on, it automatically installs and infects various aspects of the device and has an entry point to personal information. Never click on an unsolicited link and always be aware of the origins of links before clicking on them. Also, use antivirus software that will continually check for these sorts of problems.
Microsoft and Windows XP
Even Microsoft is buckling down on the issue of personal cyber security by encouraging the eradication of Windows XP. The media makes these types of attacks seem random and as if they were performed by extremely intelligent individuals with a lot of knowledge of computer software and programming. This is sometimes the case, but more often than not there are two simple pre-existing conditions that easily allow hacking to take place.
First of all, the individual who inadvertently ends up hacked is usually distracted, overly naive, or simply misinformed about the serious nature of the problems ransomware can create. This leads them to click on something that they may have otherwise avoided if they had been paying more attention or had full been educated on the dos and don’t of personal cyber security.
Secondly, it’s almost always the case that the software operating on the computer system of the individual who has just been hacked is outdated and missing the latest security protection updates. If these had been installed and were operating smoothly, the attack is almost always caught and stopped before it can be carried through.
Microsoft takes these issues very seriously. The company recently enhanced their system to automatically scan emails and attachments to emails in an effort to pick up existing malware, and this update is in full effect with Microsoft Office 365.
The End of Microsoft Windows XP
One of the best ways individuals and companies can protect themselves and enhance their security is to stop using the Windows XP operating system. Windows XP is problematic in many ways that are impossible to completely eradicate. One major flaw is that any program, even very strange ones, can gain access to the system once installed. This makes the Windows XP platform an easy target and favorite mark of would-be hackers. Switching from XP to more protected operating systems isn’t that simple, however, as most companies will first have to upgrade their internal software. This is a costly and time-consuming task but is well worth the added protection it will provide to both individuals and corporations.
Personal Cyber Protection through Rubica
Rubica is an exciting new app that can be installed within minutes and continually runs in the background of your computer or smartphone. Once installed and running, Rubica provides the user with a complete behind-the-scenes team of professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that your private information stays that way.
No two people use the internet in the exact same manner. Rubica will keep an ongoing baseline of what your normal online activity looks like. This will help them immediately detect any strange behavior and put a stop to possible attacks before hackers can get to your personal information. What’s best is that any detection of abnormal activity on your accounts will be investigated promptly by real people who have your personal protection in mind.
Rubica is perfect for any individual who wants the highest level of personal security possible. This can be especially important for high-profile individuals such as sports figures, politicians, those who work for well-known businesses, and those in the public eye constantly.
If you have a lot of financial assets you’d like to protect and feel you want to have the highest level of security possible in a world where hacking is so commonplace, Rubica will likely provide a good place to start in gaining the best personal cyber security.