I saw this article on Fox News this weekend and thought it very interesting and rather scary actually. The thing that amazed me most was that for $3,000 you are able to buy a fully operational kit to start your hacking career. unbelievable, well not really I suppose, nothing should surprise us these days.
1. Phishing scams
Received an email from the Queen of Nigeria or some official sounding lawyer offering you a million dollars to be transferred into your account once you send your details? I don’t think so. You are probably thinking who would fall for that. Well believe it thousands a year get sucked in.
2. Trojan horse
One of the most popular ways to deliver a Trojan is a variation of the phishing email scams.
An example of this(and I get one at least twice a week) is an email from a well-known shipping company saying you have a delivery (mine always seem to be DHL at the moment). Just click on the URL address and they have slipped their slimy little hands into your computer.
An alarm bell should go off if the company does not address the content of the email with your name. For example if they use Dear customer, or Dear resident. “DO NOT OPEN”. I often get one from the bank saying my ATM card is blocked. I rang the company the first time it happen just to make sure then forwarded it to their fraud department.
Similar scams appear on Facebook and Twitter. You think you’re going to watch a funny video your friend posted. Instead, a pop-up tells you to update your video player. The “update” file it provides is really a Trojan.
3. Drive-by downloads
Hackers set up websites with a virus attached. It can be found on popular search engines and look very genuine.
Hackers can also sneak on to anyones website after finding some security weakness on your site and embed their virus in your website. This then requires a very good security to detect this. You may need to contact the security software company for them to run through your site. Often you can be alerted by a person whose own website security has picked it up.
You should also be using the latest version of your programs. Anyone using Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8 needs to update or switch browsers immediately.
All my computers are ‘Apple’ and although I do not have the same problems as a PC owner we apple owners are not impenetrable so we need to be careful.
4. Bypassing passwords
Hackers don’t waste time trying to guess your password these days.
They might get your password from a data breach at a company or website you use. That happens often as you hear on the news.
You need to change your password every now and then and also the security questions.
Give an answer to the security question that has nothing to do with the questions.
That would be confusing for them.
5. Using open Wi-fi
Just don’t do it.
Hackers or neighbors can hack your computer from outside your building or at Starbucks or wherever you are sitting innocently working on your computer.
I think most people know this now but just in case check your security system to make sure.