Every single day, hundreds of computers are hacked, or are systematically compromised by some other party other than the person who owns the unit.
Perpetrators hacks into to computers for different reasons, but primarily to (1) Steal financial and other information, (2) use the hacked computer as a gateway or hub to commit other crimes, (3) prove a point (that they were right), (4) create a situation from which they may subsequently benefit financially or otherwise, (5) hurt someone, an organization or a state, (6) spy on someone or something, (7) find amusement, recreationally overcome a challenge, or (8) simply to get attention.
Some hacks may be stopped before they occur, some may be discovered after its occurrence, others may never be discovered, while a few may be ignored out of plain ignorance by the computer’s owner.
In reality, hackers love to target computers or individuals who are directly and or indirectly associated with media houses, government departments, security hubs, social networking hubs, airline hubs, immigration hubs, banks and any other medium that holds invaluable information, rare images and financial records.
Information that you may ignore or data that may seem irrelevant to you may very well be of financial or material value to a hacker who may have already contemplated how he or she can gain from it.
And even though the average computer user may not be as expertly trained as a hacker, there are still certain things that the lesser-learned user can do to prevent a hacker from hacking into their computers (or at least try to make it difficult for them in their efforts to hack into it).
While the information below may be classified as theoretically simplified and as basic precautionary measures against junior level hackers, it can nonetheless be of some sound benefit to the average computer user if the following five guidelines are properly observed;
1. Don’t let a hacker sit at your computer:
The first rule to hacking prevention is to simply do not allow a known hacker to sit at your computer, share your internet connection on any Wifi network, any social hub online, or any shared connection within a computer network that you are a part of (even if either is locked with a password).
That would be like inviting him or her to a buffet or an open feast.
2. Be mindful of what you download:
Hackers know people like freebies, free software, free games, and a host of other free stuff. So in a bid to get into your computer, the would-be hacker will simply embed his desired hacking tool or an infection into the software that you want, and you would then smilingly download and install it on to your computer, certainly without any knowledge.
Of course, the hacker can then simply harvest your daily information and send it to his database every time your computer is connected to the internet, or he can simply time the software to infect your computer within a certain time if you do not connect.
So the best thing to do is to be mindful of your software download sources, the reputation of websites that you visit, pirated software on your PC, and any application that had to be cracked in order for you to use it.
3. Change your passwords regularly:
Clandestine software and key loggers planted on your system can be mediums that hackers can use to get your system password, and in essence log into your PC in person or remotely.
To safeguard against this, you should change your password often, and avoid sharing it with other persons, even in the same household.
Additionally, you must never use the same password for your email, etc, as your PC logon password.
As an added form of protection, you may also want to consider setting up a firmware password, which may help to make it difficult for a low to middle level hacking software or a hacker to compromise your PC, reset the PRAM or alter the booting process.
4. Install a very good anti-virus software and activate your firewall:
You should always ensure that you have a very good and well updated ant-virus software.
While no anti-virus software is 100 percent fool proof, it would nonetheless help to stave off at least 95 percent of all virus attacks and intrusion that your PC may face every year.
A good free antivirus option may be Avast, AVG, BitDefender, Adaware SE, or Microsoft Security Essentials.
However, in order for any anti-virus to work effectively or even as a basic system security requirement, you must ensure that your PC’s Firewall is always on.
5. Clear your cache and watch those cookies.
In such a case, you may want to clear the cache and cookies folder of your web browsers as often as possible either manually or via a cache cleaner such as CCleaner or any other credible cache and cookie cleaning tool.
While the above is not conclusive, and may not guarantee protection from more advance and well-learned hackers, it may still offer some level of protection from the larger population of lower level hackers that often plague the virtual world of information technology.