Cybersecurity is essential, whether you’re running a small business or a corporation. The seemingly endless spread of technology has increased the digital surfaces open to a malicious hack. Therefore, how to prevent hacking should be top of your agenda.
In this FAQ, we’ll run through the questions we frequently get asked about hacking, and give you straight answers. That way, you can protect yourself from hackers and concentrate on running the rest of your business.
What is Hacking?
Hacking is the attempt to gain unauthorized access to data in an account or computer system resulting in compromised digital devices and networks.
In an age of sensitivity to data ownership, this can cost you. And that’s without even considering downtime and its effect on your business.
How Do Hackers Get Into Your Computer?
There are various types of hacking attacks you may receive. Some common types include
- Phishing: This is a malicious attack where hackers send you fraud emails that appear to come from a reputable source but intend to steal the sensitive information of your users, like their account passwords, login details, etc.
- Viruses: These are malware attacks designed to corrupt your site, damage your devices, or steal your data once they’re set free inside your website.
- DNS spoofing: This essentially attacks the cache records of your domain and uses the altered records to redirect users to a distinct, malicious website that resembles your website.
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS): This is a cyberattack aimed at taking down your website indefinitely or temporarily so that it’s unavailable to your intended user, and you cannot deliver services.
What Devices Are Most Vulnerable to Hacking?
Most hackers will attack smart devices such as phones, webcams, routers, and computer systems. Smart devices have the most complex connections and offer fertile opportunities to hackers!
What Information Can Hackers Access?
You may underestimate what information is out there about you and your business that you consider private! When hackers attack you, they can access your emails, SMS, browsing data, personal information such as your tax number, medical records, education records, account information, etc. Identity theft can happen to anyone, even a business owner!
Is There Such a Thing As Ethical Hacking?
Yes there is. It’s the type of hacking done by security hackers where they purposefully gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks to test for potential vulnerabilities, and then fix any identified weaknesses or alert the software owners. Software owners then produce a patch in a mini-update – and this is why you need to enable automatic updates!
But the following are tips on how to prevent hacking yourself.
How To Prevent Hacking: What Can You Do?
There are many things you can do to prevent hacking risks in your business.
Software and Software Updates
Firstly, use hacking protection software. We advise installing antivirus and anti-malware software as standard. Keep it up to date.
In addition, ditch the legacy apps where possible. Any outdated or legacy software and systems that you cling to are more vulnerable to malicious attacks because they may have old-fashioned security holes in the coding. Hackers can easily exploit these.
You must also make sure all your software and operating systems are up to date, including with the latest micro updates. This prevents easy access to your system. To help with this, you can enable automatic updates throughout your business systems, on all of your devices.
Use Strong Passwords
Using unique passwords is critical to limiting hackers’ effectiveness.
- Avoid using common words and details that are easy to guess like names, date of birth, etc.
- All of your passwords for online accounts should be unique and strong – which means they should include a mixture of letters, special characters, and numbers.
- Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts.
- Use a password manager to keep them safe and to help you remember them.
Use Multifactor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires you to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to your account. Usually after you enter your password you’ll be prompted to provide a code sent to you in a text message or another service before you can get into your account. So, even if a hacker cracks your password, you have another layer of security that makes it more difficult for a hacker to access your information.
Using encrypted services in your business means you protect/secure your data (or what you’re sending) with a key that prevents others from accessing your digital data if they do not have the key to decrypt the information.
Likewise, if you use encryption on your business website, you’re protecting your customer information from hackers.
Does a VPN Stop Hackers?
If your employees use public free Wi-Fi when out and about on jobs, your devices become vulnerable every time they’re connected.
Using the anonymity of a virtual private network therefore makes it impossible for hackers to track them and their browsing history. The VPN achieves this by redirecting your internet traffic via a disguised IP address.
In addition, a VPN also encrypts the information they send across the internet. Anyone who intercepts their information cannot read it – at least without some high-end de-encryption software and a lot of time. Most hackers are wanting quick-and-easy wins!
However, your staff still need to be careful when visiting websites and pages, especially those that seem malicious. A VPN is good for your online privacy and security, but it will not protect you from hacking attacks via unsafe sites.
What Can You Do To Prevent Attacks Through Your Phone?
These are some things you can do:
- Turn off Bluetooth
- Do not use unsecured public Wi-Fi
- Use a strong passcode
- Clear your browsing history
- Reduce your digital footprint
What Can You Do to Prevent Attacks On Your Computer?
Keep your computer secured in the following ways:
- Use a firewall
- Turn off your webcam and computer from time to time
- Avoid browsing insecure websites
- Use antivirus and anti-malware software, as mentioned above
- Do not open suspicious links
- Keep your software and operating system as up to date as possible
We Can Help You!
In a world where malicious actors are trying to gain access to your digital assets and ultimately your private business information, you need to know how to prevent hacking.
Having proper security measures and policies is essential. If you feel you need expert advice, we can help. As your managed service provider in Houston, we understand how cyberattacks can cause serious loss to your business. That’s why we work with our clients to make all their IT services manageable and accessible – including setting you up with top-quality security services to prevent hacking attacks on your assets.
Contact us today to get a free evaluation of your needs, and be on your way to solid network security.