High-profile celebrities, multinational corporations, and military institutions all share one thing in common: They were all compromised before or have their accounts and networks infiltrated by computer hackers. However, never assume that hackers only aim at prominent and valuable targets. Hacking of computers and Internet accounts for personal and financial information is becoming more prevalent and more and more computer users and Web surfers are at risk of falling victim to them. News media has recently reported of increasing attempts by hackers to take control of e-mail accounts and social network webpages such as Twitter and Facebook. More and more computer users have enlisted the help of purchased or free antivirus solutions and professional advice to help them deal with hacking intrusions.
Before we continue on with this article, we will need to define clearly what “hacking” really means and what actions do it constitutes or covers. Hacking is the general term that is used to identify attempts by persons or users to make off with your e-mail records, computer system, network connections, and Internet security settings. Simply put, it is any effort by hackers and other shady individuals to use the Web or local network to intrude in your PC or laptop and steal your important information.
To the accomplished hacker or to any computer expert in general, hacking can be a relatively basic action that can be accomplished with minimum effort. With the right skill set and attitude, basically anyone can get into computer and Internet accounts illegally and pilfer away critical personal information. A computer user can be called a hacker if he or she somehow gets the e-mail account password or Facebook account name of other individuals and uses them to steal personal information. They often take advantage of the fact that many passwords can easily be guessed; many computer and Internet users sadly only use “1234” or the term “password” as their password for important personal computer and online accounts. E-mail accounts and addresses are often targeted by hackers because they are often used as access points to your confidential Internet data. Hackers can also use other more complicated means and tools to gain control of computer files and make off with critical personal data such as Trojan horses, spam, spyware, and phishing; oftentimes, they can bypass the protective screen that is provided by most paid or free antivirus applications.
There are some hacking techniques that are so complicated and difficult to understand that only professional computer users and experts are able to follow them. They are used by skilled hackers to infiltrate and compromise the computerized networks of private corporations and government institutions, despite the high level of security that are provided for them.
So you come to realize the importance of protecting your computer and accounts from hacking attempts; you now ask yourself, “How can I better secure my computer?” You can easily realize this by strengthening your Internet security against hacking attempts and malware intrusions. To do this, you should first devise solid passwords for each of your e-mail and social media accounts. Secure passwords are those that contain lengthy and apparently haphazard sets of numbers, letters and special symbols and characters such as “&” and “@.” You can use the free online password checker by Microsoft at “https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx” to determine whether your password is secure enough for you to use.
You can also strengthen your Internet protection by using a capable antispyware tool or utility. You can select the right antispyware program for your PC or laptop from the numerous premium antimalware solutions and free antivirus applications available. There are even those that are bundled in along with your Windows operating system. If you have Security Essentials from Microsoft and you have an earlier version of Windows installed in your computer, you will have to install an up-to-date variant of Windows or get the latest patches and updates.
Having a sensible and careful attitude when surfing the Web can also help you secure your PC or laptop better from hacking attempts and malware incursions. Never access webpages that you suspect may contain malicious programs and software and never provide your personal information to suspicious-looking or bogus Internet sites. Never click on attachments or links found in e-mailed messages that were sent by unknown individuals and entities. If you have a basic spam utility built in your e-mail, have it upgraded to its full version. Modern web browsers and search engines indicate log-in pages that they have secured by showing a padlock symbol on their address bar, alongside the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) line of that website or page. If this padlock symbol does not appear on the address bar for that site, you might do well to skip the site altogether or proceed to view it with care.
If by any chance your e-mail or social media account has been infiltrated and hacked, you should modify your account password right away and call the customer helpline. If you wish to take back control of your account, you will need to follow an account confirmation process that is provided to you by the e-mail service provider or social media website.