Hacking has been around since the early days of computing. Over the years, it has evolved from a harmless activity to a serious threat to online security. Hacking has become a major concern for businesses, governments, and individual users of the internet today. This is why online security is being given top priority in recent times.
The word ‘hacking’ is used to describe the process of gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or network. It can take several forms in today’s times. Hackers use several techniques to break into a computer network or system. Some use a variety of tricks to guess passwords while a few others use social engineering techniques.
The intention is mostly to trick users into revealing their login credentials. There are some hackers who use sophisticated software to take advantage of the shortcomings in software and hardware systems.
Motivations behind hacking
There can be a variety of reasons that motivate hackers. Some of these individuals are always looking for a major challenge. They simply want to test their ability to break into a system. For a few other hackers, hacking can be a way to make some quick money. So, they use their skills to hold systems for a ransom or steal valuable data. There are some hackers who want to disrupt a political system.
So, they try to gain access to sensitive corporate or government data. No matter what their motivations are, hackers are a serious threat. The damage that a successful hack can do can range from minor inconvenience to major financial losses. In some cases, the victims of hacking may also end up losing their lives.
Steps for protection against hacking
Hacking has undoubtedly become a big menace in the times that we live in. This is why governments, businesses, and individual users must take all the necessary steps for effective protection against hacking. Here are some of the things that can be done in this regard:
1. Update software
Among the most important steps for protection against hacking is keeping all software up-to-date. Hackers often gain access to systems by taking advantage of the vulnerabilities in software. It is, therefore, extremely important to update and patch software. This must not be done to the operating system alone. Keeping all the applications, firmware, and device drivers up-to-date is also essential.
2. Keep strong passwords
Passwords used to gain entry into the system and applications must be extremely strong. It would be a good practice to keep long and complex passwords. They must be a combination of alphabets, numbers, and symbols. A different password must be used for each account. This prevents all of your accounts from being hacked if one password is compromised.
3. Backup and recovery
If a successful hack happens, there must be a robust backup and recovery plan in place. Regular backups must be performed and they must be stored offsite. If this is done, data can be quickly restored if a system is compromised. Recovery plans must be tested on a regular basis to make sure that they’re effective.
4. User education
One must know the risks of hacking and how to recognize the hackers’ social engineering activities. The users of computer systems and networks must be educated on such things. They must be taught how to recognize phishing emails and other techniques used by the hackers. Individuals working in various establishments must be taught not to share passwords and lock their computers when not in use.