Boss Lady

Don’t help hackers target your business

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The virtual world comes with so many benefits that help to make our lives efficient and easy.  However, with the benefits that the internet brings with, comes risks. Because we expose our systems freely to the internet, we are always susceptible to malware attacks.

As software and program developers put in the effort to make these products safer, cyber criminals on the other end are busy devising strategies on how to bypass these barriers. And no matter the effort, there are always hackers out there who get the upper end when they spot out even the slightest of vulnerabilities in our systems.  Whether you are a non-tech savvy naively browsing the web or a large fortune 500 company, both are always at constant risk of falling victim to hackers.

There are so many ways to which you can fall prey to hackers lurking around the net. Below are the most common ways you can fall victim to hackers.  Therefore, you should take extra precautions in these situations. Before we go into details of the target spots, chrome users should keep the removal guide to stay away from malicious content from the web.

Social media

Yes, social media platforms offer so much to users. You can communicate with your customers, stay in touch with family and friends, or even make a living out of the platform, yet, unbeknownst to you, social media platforms are popular hangouts for notorious hackers. This is because many social media platforms have focused more on the monetary gain, paying less attention to privacy rules and the safety of its users. Thus, this is where hackers can access a lot of users’ data.

And the downturn to social media usage since their widespread popularity a decade ago is that people tend to share too much. People will share their personal data, photos with timestamps and locations, making it easier even for a layman to track their footsteps and even calibrate their routine.

Consequently, this is how online hackers profile their victims and know to strategize on how to successfully attack. So when you are naively posting and sharing too much on social media for the much needed likes to satisfy your self-absorbed ego, you are also enhancing your chances of falling prey to hackers lurking around these platforms.

The dark web

Yes, the dark web does in fact exist. And despite the creepy stories, a lot of visitors still roam this platform every day. according to online sources, it is estimated that more than ten million visitors from all over the world visit the dark web every day. This means that rather than declining, the popularity of the dark web is in fact growing.

For many, the dark web offers a place to purchase anything, even stolen goods of high quality whilst maintaining their anonymity. Thus, with potential criminal activities and transactions occurring every second, the dark web is not short of its fair share of hackers.

The dark web is not discoverable on the modern online search engines thus, it can host an array of shady websites that sell such goods. Some of the common products even include stolen data and identities such as credit card information as well as social security numbers. The transactions of such goods are done by selling key login information such as usernames, and passwords or even more personal information such as full names and home addresses of the victims.

Thus, the dark web offers a platform for online thieves to purchase such information. Yet, it is also a platform that may put the naïve individuals at risk, if you find yourself lurking around.

Data brokers

The majority of us, especially the non-tech savvy are not very much bothered by adware or platforms that collect user data over public networks. Some of us even partake in those sleazy online quizzes that make it fun for you to reveal your data and even life patterns without knowing.

The sad part is that data collection is not limited to the online world. Data and information brokers can easily access your other personal data such as driving records, voting information and court reports. Even web browsing histories and bank transaction histories can be easily accessed by marketers and hackers alike.

And like with any other process, hackers will use the information they gather on you to strategize on their attack – how they will do it and how much they will get out of you. Thus, information such as banking transactions, for example, can tell a hacker how much you make and even your spending habits.

The other sad part is that even entities that are entrusted with our data can also put us at risk. Larger and more legitimate enterprises tend to sell data that they term as safe, data that cannot put their patrons at risk. The data is normally sold to marketing companies. And many of such entities have made quite a buck out of these trades. But it begs the question, are the owners of the data safe? Is it even ethical to use one’s information for personal gain?

It is always important to be aware of the activities you partake especially ones that may be detrimental to your personal data. If you are not sure of a process, it is best to not use it at all. Take a minute to ask yourself if sharing such data is wise and why it is important in the first place. Critical thinking will save you from a lot of funny activities going on over the internet.

Therefore, you can take several steps to keep your devices safer by installing anti-malware software as well as constantly updating your operating system. But this is not enough. Even with the rapid technological advances, we still have to maintain our old fashioned common sense and vigilance. Always critically think before engaging in any unknown activities online. Develop safe patterns to protect your personal data and remember to never share too much on the internet- you never know why is watching!

About Pranchil Pandey

Pranchil Pandey is an IT specialist who devotes most of her time to helping businesses protect their systems.

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