Hacking Secret: What Hackers don’t Want You to Know (2015)
CHAPTER 7: TECHNIQUES TO STOP HACKERS
KEEP YOURSELF SAFE
The most important thing to do when you’re trying to stop a hacker is to keep your information as safe as possible. You want to make sure that you are using all of the techniques we mentioned above (such as encrypting your computer, using complex passwords and using strong virus protection) but there are other things that you can do as well. You need to keep your computer and your entire network safe because if a hacker can get into your network they have a much easier time trying to get into your specific computer and into the information that you’ve stored there as well.
Protecting your entire network is key. This means you want to put a password on your network. Many people like to leave their Wi-Fi network completely open because they assume that it’s not a big deal. The problem is that you are letting someone get access to your network and to any computer that you have connected to your network. If you don’t have the right security features set up on your computer you could actually be handing someone complete access to your computer (which may have passwords and other information stored on it) without ever having to break through anything.
Another thing you can do to protect yourself is to follow hacking forums. This may seem strange because, after all, you’re trying to protect yourself not necessarily become a hacker yourself. But these are great because they help you understand what hackers are doing. When you understand the newest techniques and methods that they’re using you’re setting yourself up to be better protected. For example, if you knew that hackers were sending out emails pretending to be your insurance company would you be more wary of emails from your insurance company? Absolutely. So knowing what the hackers are up to helps you protect yourself better.
Some forums are also made for people just like you. These are legitimate forums where people who have been hacked before will talk about how the hackers got to them or how someone tricked them into giving out their sensitive information. By understanding what has happened to other people you are able to be better prepared as well. So join some of these forums and talk to other people. You may have been almost victimized and not even known it. It’s important to know when these things happen so you can act very quickly.
Next, make sure you never allow for default passwords. A lot of different programs will provide you with a default password for something like a network, computer or even for your bank accounts and private information. You never want to leave these default passwords because they are much easier to find and they’re also much easier to break into. By setting your own password you are deciding on the strength of the key that you use and you’re making sure that you are the only one who knows what the password is. On the other hand someone had to set up that default password for you, so they know how to access your account.
Make sure you are not giving out any of your information either. You don’t want to tell anyone your passwords, no matter how much you trust them. Just because they won’t abuse the information doesn’t mean that they won’t make a mistake and write it down, tell someone else or use it in an unsecure way. If they do this it can damage the security level that you have and it will definitely hurt your ability to keep your information protected. You are the only one you should trust with your passwords.
Finally, keep in mind that a lot of programs you download or install will allow you to download and install additional programs. When you purchased your computer you may have been able to download a temporary virus scanner. When you download Skype you get an add-on that says you can download a new search bar or create a new default home page. These are things you want to disable quickly and make sure you remove the little check mark before you accept any terms. You want to only download the one program you actually want. Those add-on programs may look good but there’s no telling if they could be dangerous.
If any extra add-ons come preinstalled on your computer make sure that you get rid of them. This could include samples, demos, promotions and previews because they aren’t actually doing anything on your computer. Because you aren’t using them it’s easy for someone to access them and turn them into something completely different. You don’t use them so you don’t notice that they are acting strangely or doing something they shouldn’t. The hacker uses that and gets more of your information without you realizing there’s anything strange going on.
Hacking is becoming a very dangerous thing. There are so many more people who are engaging in this now that it’s nearly impossible to fully understand where a hack might come from or what it might entail. You have to make sure that you are paying attention to everything that happens on your computer and even everything that happens on your network as a whole. If you don’t know what’s going on you could be putting yourself and your entire family at risk without even realizing it. The problem is, most people don’t understand enough about hacking and, as a result, they end up losing information or getting caught up in a scam that could cause extreme financial problems for everyone. Protect yourself and your information at all costs.
By using the tips and techniques we’ve talked about throughout this book you can get yourself better prepared and better protected from hackers. We can’t give you a comprehensive guide of absolutely everything that a hacker might do to get your information, but we can help you get better prepared and we can help you understand what you should be doing to protect yourself. There’s plenty of bad people out there in the world, don’t make yourself an easy target. Instead, make it as difficult for them to get in as you possibly can.