Monday, 25th September 2023

How you can stop hackers in 2023

By Guardian Nigeria
04 April 2023   |   1:02 am
"You have been hacked." That's the most spine-chilling message you can come across as you use technology daily to work or connect with others. Cyber security is paramount for individuals and businesses in 2023, more than ever.

“You have been hacked.” That’s the most spine-chilling message you can come across as you use technology daily to work or connect with others. Cyber security is paramount for individuals and businesses in 2023, more than ever. Hackers have upped their game and increased their area of operation.

Here is a small reminder: hackers are criminals who gain unauthorized access to a network or devices to steal sensitive information for malicious use. They are motivated by wide-ranging reasons, including financial gain and political goals. This article will share some of the best practices that will protect your computer and mobile devices. Before that, let us look at the common types of hacking.

Common Types of Hacks in 2023

There are four main types of digital hacking. Each form has a different motivation. Here is an insightful overview to help you understand hacking better.

Corporate Spying

Espionage is among the world’s oldest professions. Spying existed long before the internet emerged. Hacking has made surveillance more accessible to the everyday person as more people connect to the internet. A company may retrieve information from rivals illegally by accessing their devices to engineer an unfair competitive advantage. Such is the grim reality of the tech world.

Financial Hacking

Stories of people checking their credit card statements and finding transactions they never made have become common. These false transactions are the brainchild of computer hackers who steal credit card numbers and other financial data.

Hacktivism and Vandalism

Some hackers access websites and alter or vandalize them for political reasons. It can go beyond the websites to affect innocent bystanders who use the affected websites.
Vandalism is similar to hacktivism, except there is no political motivation. Hackers can access and mess up websites to show off their work to other malicious parties. You should take vandalism seriously, even though the effects seem trivial. Ignoring it may cripple your business operations.

How to Stop Hackers From Accessing Your Devices

Barring hackers from accessing your networks, devices, and information is crucial. Your personal life and business depend on how you secure yourself from the hawks. People and companies rely heavily on the internet for marketing, tracking finances, connecting, social media engagement, and other critical operations.

The presence of hackers and massive computer breaches has not discouraged the world from embracing technology. However, small businesses and individuals are now among the top targets for cybercriminals. They often underestimate the risk or cannot afford expensive cybersecurity solutions, but all is not lost. The following tips can protect your devices and guard sensitive data.

Install a Firewall and Antivirus Software

Windows and macOS come with inbuilt firewalls that prevent unauthorized access to your network and alert you of intruders. Always enable your firewall before going online. You can also purchase hardware firewalls from Cisco and other companies if you have a large business.

Antivirus software detects real-time threats to secure your data. Newer versions have automatic updates to protect your machines from the latest viruses. Install one and use it. Schedule regular scans for a virus-free computer.

Use Encryption and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Encryption will prevent hackers from accessing your information even when they penetrate your network and acquire your files. Bitlocker can encrypt your hard drives, while VPN does the same to your web traffic.
Two-factor authentications add extra security by creating a second layer of protection after your passwords. 2FA will require anyone trying to access your devices or accounts to type in a numerical code sent by phone or email.

Use Complex Passwords

Passwords are your first line of defense every time you go online. Many people take them lightly, and cybercriminals know it. They use tools that easily break short and easy passwords in minutes to gain access. Having strong and secure passwords makes it harder to invade your system. A good password should have at least eight characters combining upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid reusing passwords and use a password manager for easier organization.

Back Up Your Computer and Update the OS, Apps, and Browser

Backing up your information will save you in case hackers succeed in penetrating and destroying your system. Windows and macOS have these utilities, but you can invest in an additional external hard drive.

Always install new updates for your operating system. Updates come with security fixes that keep hackers at bay. Review web browser security settings and install updates to prevent tracking and increase online privacy.

Install Anti Spyware and Use Virtualization

Spyware secretly monitors and collects personal and organizational information and can be hard to detect. Anti-spyware packages provide real-time protection by scanning incoming threats and blocking them. Virtualization allows you to run in a virtual environment through proxies or VPN. Secure your network at all times.

Final Thoughts
Hacking has real and devastating consequences. Securing devices, networks, and data is now more crucial than ever. Combine security tools and best practices for better protection. This article has not covered all the strategies, so ensure you learn more for peace of mind.