Hacking is the unauthorised access of a device. If you're using the internet, it's fairly likely you've come across it before. Phishing emails, dodgy websites, odd-looking links in web pages; they're all sneaky little ways of accessing your computer.
Once a hacker has access to your computer - once you've clicked a link, replied to that phishing email or even just accidentally found yourself on a malicious website, all of your information, files and everything stored on that device is at risk. If you're connected to a wider network, like a business network in your office, then all of the devices connected to that network could be at risk too.
You might think that your information isn't worth having, but any and all information is valuable to a hacker. Your email login, for example, is an absolute treasure trove of information, as it probably contains your logins and any password resets for a ton of online accounts. If you use online banking, your finances could even be at risk too.
If you've had it up to here with hacking (and let's face it, who hasn't) we've got some great ways you can stay safe, and secure.
Stay up to date with your updates
Device updates may seem like a monumental exercise in futility, but they're absolutely vital for keeping your machine or device secure. Although you might not notice any difference whilst your using you're computer, inside these updates are plugs and fixes for vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. It's incredibly important that you stay on top of these updates; otherwise, your protection is going to be out of date.
You can usually set a time for these time consuming updates to install, so it doesn't have to destroy your work day or take over your Saturday morning. Just leave it running, keep your machine updated and your device will fair a lot better against hacking.
Get a good anti-virus program
Forking out for anti-virus software might not be a priority in the run up to Christmas, but it absolutely should be. If you don't have anti-virus software running on your machine, then there's no last line of defense. If you do click something accidentally that's laden with malware, it's going straight on your computer and will immediately start doing damage. And sorting out an infected device is going to be a headache.
For business users we'd highly recommend getting in touch with your IT support team. They'll be able to help you find an anti-virus program that's right for your organisation. Transcendit recommend F-Secure for business users, and Sophos for personal users. Keep your anti-virus program running, and scan your device regularly to keep any nasties at bay.
Check out haveIbeenpwned.com
HaveIbeenpwned is a great little website which allows you to check whether your email address has been associated with any hacks or data breaches. Just pop your email address in, and the site will let you know whether your account details have found their way into a hack. It's worth checking this site whenever there's a major data breach, and if your account has been associated with one, change your password.
It's important to change your passwords regularly, and use unique passwords for all of your accounts. When accounts and passwords are leaked, a popular tactic hackers use is to try the email and password combination with other popular sites. Social media is a popular choice, but any shopping websites where your banking information is stored are often tried too.
Staying on top of your passwords is a really simple way you can keep your accounts secure, and guarantee that if one of your accounts gets leaked in a data breach, a load of your other accounts aren't going down with the ship.
Tweet us @TranscenditUK